Profiles

Fashion Meets Relaxation in Chicago’s West Town

At Posh’aah Nail Spa, guests are treated to pampering mani-pedis in a comfy-chic atmosphere. The owner — who quit her successful career as a mixed-use property manager in 2012 to embark on her lifelong dream of opening a nail salon — shares the story of making her dream a reality.

I opted for a custom-built pedicure sofa with ceramic bowls for easy cleaning and disinfection.
<p>I opted for a custom-built pedicure sofa with ceramic bowls for easy cleaning and disinfection.</p>

Hi, I’m Makeda, the owner of Posh’aah Nail Spa. I opened Posh’aah in March 2012 after spending about a decade stalking the nail industry. I spent countless nights reading NAILS Magazine and the annual NAILS Big Book (my favorite), studying via an online nail school program, and perusing the Internet. I also “suffered” through a parade of mani-pedi places, receiving pedicures from hot spas and cool nail salons. While I liked the focus on nails at area salons, I loved the rich overindulgences offered by spas, like the Double Choc Pedi at Bliss Spa. (Mmmm and aaaah!) I dreamt of the ideal nail place for years and named her Posh’aah, a made up word that blends the fashion from “posh” with the relaxation expression “’aah”. The imaginary comfy-chic mani-pedi place ruled my dreams. Over time, I decided to let go of the dream, scrapped the idea, and went back to my real life in the shopping center industry.

My life before Posh’aah Nail Spa takes most people by surprise. I resigned from my corporate career as a manager at a prestigious mixed-use property in downtown Chicago. My duties with the company ranged from market research, strategy, and insights to management. It was a great job, but my heart wasn’t there. Instead, I found my heart wrapped in and around Posh’aah.

I’m still surprised when I turn the key of my little storefront and step inside the brightly lit space, blanketed in cool blues and peppered in pink. I had hoped my dream would come to life, but now that it has actually happened, I feel beyond blessed. Allow me to introduce you to my little girl, Posh’aah Nail Spa.

I bought this from Overstock.com after searching for a “dollhouse bookshelf.”
<p>I bought this from Overstock.com after searching for a &ldquo;dollhouse bookshelf.&rdquo;</p>

WELCOME

Posh’aah Nail Spa is located in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago. We specialize in spa parties, nail fashion/art, and zero-calorie treats for the feet. The Posh’aah Nail Spa experience is always topped with great customer service in a clean, non-rushed environment with a smile.

The first thing our guests’ notice when they step inside is that there is no harsh chemical smell (or the accompanying headache that follows for folks like me). Posh’aah is a natural nails-only salon. We offer no-chip mani-pedis in both CND Shellac and Hand & Nail Harmony Gelish as well as regular mani-pedis. While we love not having to wear masks to provide services, we have had to turn away some acrylic wearers. In an effort to accommodate guests that are seeking a little length, we’ve decided to add gel enhancements to our service menu. We are currently testing different gel systems in search of the one that best suits our needs.

Once inside, guests have an opportunity to choose from various brands of nail polish including vegan-friendly Zoya, stylish Essie, and oh-so-popular OPI colors. Each season, our dollhouse display is loaded with hot new fingertip fashion collections. We get to celebrate Christmas every season at Posh’aah!

We also love when our guests slide onto our pedicure sofa. My favorite pedicure is the Lemon Cake Pedicure that comes with a lemon cake-scented salt and sugar scrub, moisturizing massage, and vanilla paraffin wax.

Nail fashionista Nikki whipped this design together. The client wanted subtle nail art. We charge $5 per nail, plus the cost of the manicure.
Nail fashionista Nikki whipped this design together. The client wanted subtle nail art. We charge $5 per nail, plus the cost of the manicure.

We also like to spa party! Our space is just the right size to host pamper parties. We close the nail spa and allow the guests to enjoy a private party with their friends. Guests bring their food, drinks, iPods, and light alcoholic beverages. And they leave with dolled-up digits to go along with their great big smiles.

We have the most fun when our guests add a little nail art to their mani or pedi. Our last bachelorette party was with a group of ladies from Michigan who had heard about Posh’aah Nail Spa and wanted to get a little something extra added to their manicures. Snakeskin, sweethearts, and bow-haired skulls later, the ladies left happy compliments of Nikki.

MEET OUR TEAM


Nikki Rios (right) and I attended Chicago Magazine’s Best of Chicago 2012 Awards Celebration.
<p>Nikki Rios (right) and I attended Chicago Magazine&rsquo;s Best of Chicago 2012 Awards Celebration.</p>

We’re a quaint operation with four talented team members. Nikki Rios, Whitney Young, and Lyvonne Turner are the perfect blend of educated, artistic, and amicable. Our guests love them. Nikki is our resident “nail fashionista.” Her nail designs paired with my gift of blab have landed Posh’aah Nail Spa on two local cable television programs and a feature spot in Chicago Magazine as the best manicure place in our neighborhood. Whitney is our newbie. She’s bright-eyed, enthusiastic, super sweet, and a growing talent in the nail art arena. Lyvonne is quite artsy with a nail brush. She can paint tiny Dr. Seuss pictures on natural nails.

There are so many things that make Posh’aah Nail Spa an enjoyable experience for our guests. I think the most important element is that we enjoy working together. Our team is selfless and I can’t imagine Posh’aah without the people.

Regular client Gracie Gladney was interviewed by Eva Saha for a segment about our salon on ABC7’s “190 North” program.
<p>Regular client Gracie Gladney was interviewed by Eva Saha for a segment about our salon on ABC7&rsquo;s &ldquo;190 North&rdquo; program.</p>

Thanks for visiting with us!

QUICK LOOK

Salon name: Posh’aah Nail Spa
Location: Chicago
Owner: Makeda Moore
Square Footage: 1,200
Opened: March 2012
Number of Nail Techs/Total Staff: 3/4
Specialties: nail fashion/art, deluxe Oh My Posh’aah!! Pedicures, spa parties for little ladies, and BYOB bashes for big girls
Compensation: salary plus tips
Website: www.poshaah.com

Moore shares more of the story of her first year owning Posh’aah on NAILS’ Blueprint of a First Year blog: blogs.nailsmag.com/blueprint.

Keywords:   opening a new salon     salon ownership     salon profiles  



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