When thinking of a name for their Tumblr account, sisters Donne and Ginny Geer agreed that “Hey, nice nails!” was the best compliment a woman could get. The blog got so popular that these sisters decided to open a salon together after finding they couldn’t both be hired to do nails at the same location. While completing their first book, Nail Candy, the Geers transformed a 1920’s building into a hip nail salon in downtown Long Beach’s arts district. Hey, Nice Nails is now more than just a compliment, it’s a haven for nail art junkies around the world.
> The Geers are the only two techs working at the salon, so nails are done by appointment only. However, they have instituted a guest artist program in which a visiting nail tech sets up shop in their space to do nail art for walk-ins for a limited time.
> Most clients know the Geers from their Instagram (@heynicenails) and Tumblr accounts (heynicenails.com). As a result, nail art is by far their best seller. Hey, Nice Nails does offer a full menu though. All services are done by hand filing only, no e-files are used.
Another unique trait of this salon is its polish exchange, where clients can bring in polish they don’t want anymore and trade it for one on this rack.
> The sisters share an office that sits alone on the second floor and is lined with mannequin hands in the window. Hundreds of polish and gel-polish from indie brands to Yves Saint Laurent to Gelish create bands of color along two walls. A magnetic board behind the techs’ tables is where containers of embellishments can easily be pulled on and off. Charms are displayed in frames by the tables and glitters and powders peek through cupboards. The Geers’ sketchbook is also on the wall behind them for those who want to sample one of their ideas. Nail art pens and prints from Etsy are available to be included on clients’ nails as well. The amount of supplies and color present in this salon make it clear that anything a client could ask for is possible.
[left] While applying nail art to my fingers, Ginny Geer had her camera roll open to view her inspiration photo. She often snaps pictures and saves them for future nail art ideas. [right] Me (left) with salon owner and nail artist Ginny Geer.
A chevron print couch greets clients and is accented with a rainbow pillow.
A bike hangs at the front of the salon’s loft. A ladder was installed to reach the loft so the Art Deco windows could be opened and closed.