Located in Denver’s Tennyson Street Cultural District, Tootsies the Nail Shoppe is at the heart of a vibrant, cosmopolitan arts scene — the perfect place to participate in the city’s First Fridays. The monthly events feature galleries, studios, and cultural attractions that stay open late for art, food, drink, and fun. When salon owner Castle Searcy met artist Frankie Toan during his artist-in-residence stint at Redline Contemporary Art Center in Denver, she saw a perfect opportunity for a First Friday artistic event that brought hands and art together in more ways than one.

Toan created a custom installation for Tootsies called Hold Hands featuring his signature soft sculptures in the shapes of fingers and hands. Searcy also collaborated with Toan on custom nail wraps featuring his patterns and designs. “I am a graphic designer, so I drew up the templates and collaborated with Frankie on patterns and images,” she says. “We worked with a local printer who can laser-cut anything, including vinyl.”

The event was heavily promoted over a two-week timeframe using press releases, Facebook advertising, Tootsies’ 8,000 client mailing list, and other channels. “It really was an organic, guerrilla effort,” says Searcy. “And it totally worked.”

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