Blueprint of a First Year

The Ultimate Before/After Adventure

by NAILS Magazine | April 30, 2013
Allow me to apologize first for dropping off the planet. Back in January I put an application in for a space and was approved, but three weeks later after no communication from the guy, he had his receptionist call me on February 5 to tell me he decided to give the space to an existing tenant. At that point I had to re-sign, for the fourth time, a lease for the space I have been in for the past two years.

On top of that, I had secured hair services from a friend and was going to expand to a full-service salon, only to find out just last week that she was offered money to open her own place. I'm happy for her, but I've had to rework my plan again and start looking for a smaller space.

Over the past three months, I had completely given up for a while. Then I was driving down the street in midtown Memphis, and literally right at the edge of midtown, I saw that a space that was formerly a nail salon was vacant. So I called first thing the next morning and the landlord met me at the space.

I saw the inside and I'm not sure how she did nails in this place because there is CARPET!(?) Yeah, that's not gonna work. He showed me the front area, which has bay windows, a bathroom, a laundry area, and a random space that was in the middle of the front and the back area. Not big enough for a pedi area, but just right for a lux lounge room.

There's plenty of lighting, natural light to die for, but wood paneling that I cannot paint :-( So me being a color freak/expert, I will bring it in some kind of way. Luckily the wood paneling isn't everywhere so I'm OK. Otherwise, it would be a deal breaker.

The bathroom is a funky nasty color with an over-the-toilet storage rack. Can we say tacky?!

The upside to all of this is that this space is only aesthetically messed up. Unfortunately sometimes people have some really weird decorating ideas and they bring their at-home decorating ideas into their businesses. This will be the ultimate before/after adventure.

The great thing about it is I will be commissioning the help of the most creative clients/friends of mine, which means...partytime! So I'll have painting parties, decorating parties, and craft parties in the month that I have to do this work.

Oh yeah, the lease. He is drafting the lease for me to sign by tomorrow. I may have time to do it during my lunch; if not, I told him I'd sign it by the end of the week. The way things have been going, I may just leave without any concern about the repercussions. I gotta go! I have loud neighbors and the building isn't being kept up properly, so it is really time I move. So I will occupy the space by June 1 and open the salon in July. So now the funding begins all over again: bank, Indiegogo, and my savings. This should be great!

— Lauren, Graffiti Nail Bar, Memphis, Tenn.
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