Our studio did a couples’ party. The 12 couples had a candlelight dinner prepared by a chef, and we set up a spa suite for couples’ manis, pedis, and massages. The host put together a CD of each couple’s favorite song and we placed it in a goodie bag for each couple to take home with them. - RONIEKA PAGE-HOWELL, Abstract Nails & Wellness Studio, Carmel, Ind.
I have several clients who are sales representatives who are always asking me to be a hostess. Instead, I will allow them to leave a catalog in the waiting area — for make-up, jewelry, etc. — or hold their own parties in the salon on the days we’re closed. I either offer nail services during the party or the sales rep will buy gift certificates from the salon to give away for the door prize. It works great because I get out of being a hostess and all their invitees (whether they attend the party or not) are given directions to my salon. My favorite one was a scrapbook party. The ladies did their scrapbooking in between their manicures and pedicures. I used UV top coat to avoid smudge problems. - NANCY DONATONE MCCOY, McCoy Nail Salon, Walnut, Miss.
My business is a mobile full-service nail salon, and I had a cruise party. It was a lot of fun and the girls had many drinks. They were so entertaining. - SHANNON PARKER, Tips and Toes To Go, Pekin, Ill.
We offer “Princess” birthday parties at which each girl, including the birthday girl, gets her hair, fingernails, and toenails done, then goes home with a small goodie bag. - JEAN NICHOLS, Nichols Nails by Jean at Hair Decisions, Milan, Ind.
My favorite was not at my own salon, but I was the focus. When I was pregnant a local salon did a baby shower with pedicures and leg massages for everybody who was pregnant. We got gift baskets of pedicure stuff for after the baby. It was fun with all of the decor and baby shower games. - CLAUDIA IACOVETTO, C-C My Nails, Newcastle, Wyo.
It was St Patrick’s Day 2004. I knew a guy who did a fabulous Irish brogue, so we had him dress up in a kilt and serve Bailey’s all day! What a hit! - MAGGIE FRANKLIN, Art of Nailz, Visalia, Calif.
Every year we all dress up for Halloween. We don’t do a regular schedule of paying clients. The staff pitches in and buys goodies (popcorn balls, candy apples, and candy) and packs them into bags that are always too small. We do everything from glitter to rhinestones to far-out eyelashes. We play scary music in the background, and the place is decorated to the hilt. We use professional face paint, and we start a list in early October of whom and how they will be painted. If the participant needs a hairstyle to match his or her outfit, it’s done (including color hair spray and of course more glitter). I get excited planning our yearly Halloween face and hair adventure. - LUCIA ETCHAMENDY, Lucia’s Hair and Nail Salon, Hesperia, Calif.
Illustration by Ajay Peckham