Pretty in pink, Lacquer Lounge offers a wide range of nail services priced between $10 and $60. This “something for everyone” mentality has served the salon well amid economic uncertainty.
Clients can receive manicures priced anywhere from $10 to $45, depending on the service. Clients sit at nail bars perched in front of color-popping wallpaper.
Hot pink wallpaper, glitzy light fixtures, and mod furniture give Philadelphia-based Lacquer Lounge an atmosphere that can only be described as fun. Likening the space to Barbie’s Dreamhouse, salon owner Lisa McElhone has a very specific vision: “I don’t want my spa to be quiet and nature-like; I want it to be a place where customers come to pamper themselves and chat over a drink.”
And indeed they can — at Lacquer Lounge, cocktails are complimentary. Whether it’s a seasonal hot chocolate with marshmallow vodka or sparkling white wine, clients can order whatever they’d like along with their nail services.
“I took everything I thought was missing from my experience in other salons and put it in my own,” says McElhone. “Sometimes if you offer things that are above and beyond, it’s a nice touch to make clients feel like they’re taken care of and getting the most for their money.”
McElhone leveraged her perspective as someone who went behind the scenes of the beauty world later in life. Toward the end of her long career building wireless cell phone towers, she went to school to become a nail tech and soon after sold her other business to open Lacquer Lounge.
Offering something for everyone, services are priced between $10 and $60 and include everything from basic gels to caviar nails.
Because cleanliness is such a large focus for Lacquer Lounge, Footsie Bath Disposable Liners are one of McElhone’s favorite pedicure products.
KEEPING A FINGER ON THE PULSE
Lacquer Lounge makes it a point to stay current with the latest trends in nail fashion, color, and even social media. Knowing exactly what type of service customers want comes from hours of research and listening to feedback, says McElhone.
“I would say our clients are pretty aware of the trends,” says McElhone. “Because of social media, everything’s so viral. Clients see photos online and request these original designs.”
Keeping it simple, the salon carries OPI, Essie, and Hand & Nail Harmony. When a new collection or line comes out, McElhone makes sure it’s in her salon the day it launches. “The first thing clients do when they come in is notice that we have new colors,” says McElhone. “It’s refreshing, especially for our once-a-week visitors.”
Although gel-polish manis and pedis are Lacquer Lounge’s most popular offerings, the salon also specializes in “trendy manicures,” which includes caviar, velvet, and texturized manicures in addition to nail art. Last year, the local ABC news channel aired a beauty trend special on Lacquer Lounge’s services.
The salon’s nail techs are constantly experimenting in their downtime. “Whenever I see something trending in the nail word, I make it happen in my salon,” says McElhone. “We practice on each other and on ourselves. We read magazines, go to tradeshows, follow vendors, and have a lot of websites bookmarked.”
Lacquer Lounge, located in the Queen Village of Philadelphia, sees primarily female clients between the ages of 20 and 40.
Lacquer Lounge recently launched its new website equipped with a complete list of services, online booking for the first time, and a photo gallery to click through.
It’s also in the process of being adapted into a mobile site, which, according to McElhone, is a necessity in today’s digital world. “More and more customers are turning to review sites like Yelp, especially on their smartphones, and those sites link directly to a business’s website,” she says.
“Everyone uses smartphones these days so I realized there was a lot of work that needed to be done to make things easier on our clients,” says McElhone. “We always have our finger on the pulse.”