Kelly Moreland opened Chic Nail & Beauty Bar after deciding the nail industry needed to be better represented in her small town of Hailey, Idaho.
Moreland was working as the manager of a day spa in Hailey when she thought nail services needed to be included in the spa’s repertoire. Though none of the few salon owners she contacted agreed to provide nail services to the spa, one offered to sell her business to Moreland. In quick succession, Moreland bought the salon, attended beauty school, and moved locations to the East side of the highway where businesses tend to do better.
Now, Chic Nail & Beauty Bar offers a trendy, “girl’s night out” experience at an affordable rate. Moreland says the salon has such a high volume of clients and a steady rise in profit that she wants to increase her salon space and add an additional nail technician and hairstylist.
Comfortable club chairs flank one salon wall for Chic Nail & Beauty Bar’s favorite service — the spa pedicure. The service includes a pumpkin enzyme treatment and homemade foot scrub, and can be done concurrently with a facial since the chairs fully recline. In accordance with the salon’s hygienic ideals, each pedicure station uses disposable tub liners from Footsie Bath. “We pride ourselves on being the cleanliest salon in town,” Moreland explains.
Additionally, true to its namesake, Chic Nail & Beauty Bar houses a nail bar rather than individual manicure stations, encouraging an open and social environment. According to Moreland, though it wasn’t her initial intention, the collective environment of her salon has developed into a “women-helping-women” atmosphere because of the interactions and connections customers make with each other. The exchanges carry over to the hair stations and it’s not long before everyone is discussing the dresses at the Golden Globes or the latest town gossip.
Comparatively, Chic Nail & Beauty Bar’s nail services are on par with other salons in the area, despite its expensive-looking decor. Manicures are $20, gel-polish manicures are $40, and spa pedicures are $35.
On the business end, nail services represents about 60% of Chic Nail & Beauty Bar’s revenue. The rest is made up of esthetic and hair services, and a small amount of retail. Moreland wishes she could sell more items in the store, but as of right now, there simply isn’t enough room. Yet the salon manages to do well; customers love to buy the homemade foot scrub, and the products the salon does carry are high-quality.
Hailey, with about 8,000 residents, is next to a national forest and is located only 10 miles away from Sun Valley, the state reserve. After Moreland bought the business from the previous owner in 2010, she chose to keep the salon as natural and clean as its local surroundings.
Chic Nail & Beauty Bar offered only natural nail services until gel-polish came along. “The smell of acrylic can turn a lot of people off, I’ve noticed,” Moreland says. So, it’s never appeared on her list of services. Instead, the salon carries a full range of manicures and pedicures, waxing, facials, hair care, permanent makeup, and eyelash extensions. Not to mention every customer receives a complimentary glass of wine or cup of coffee with her service.
The salon’s clientele varies from day to day. Often, Moreland will see teachers, mother and daughter pairs, and the occasional male customer as well. Moreland feels the salon’s decor is what draws customers in. In fact, the salon is so well decorated that clients are often surprised at how affordable the services are. With large chandeliers, gold walls, and chevron curtains, it’s no wonder customers feel trendy. “It’s definitely a party!” says Moreland. Locals who visit Chic Nail & Beauty Bar once often set up regular monthly appointments after their first service. A big portion of her business comes from tourists traveling to Sun Valley, and since the state reserve is such a hot spot for celebrities, Moreland says she is waiting for her first big star sighting!
A Nice Place to Work
Chic Nail & Beauty Bar not only caters to its customers, but also to its employees. Moreland really tries to take care of her staff. The salon adopted the PediSmuter — which Moreland refers to as a Clarisonic for your feet. This handheld device removes calluses from feet in order to take the tech’s shoulder work out of the pedicure.
There are three nail technicians and three other team members who provide the hair and esthetic treatments. Every staff member benefits from free services, and is encouraged to sell her own products in the store. “Some of the girls make their own jewelry,” Moreland says, “and if another one of the girls notices a customer might like that jewelry, she’ll talk about it on her coworker’s behalf.” The sense of camaraderie clients experience in the salon starts with the employees. Moreland says her staff is a close-knit group of girls who like to support each other.
Moreland also encourages her team to stay abreast on what is trendy. “Since Hailey is not that current of a place, we have to go out and find what is on-trend,” she says.
Salon Name: Chic Nail & Beauty Bar
Location: Hailey, Idaho
Owner: Kelly Moreland
Square Footage: 1,000
Number of Nail Techs/Total Staff: 3/6
Compensation: Booth Rental