> Nail director Amber Edwards oversees 150 nail techs across 13 of Mario Tricoci’s 15 locations. The first location opened in 1972 in Schaumburg, Ill., by Italian-born hairstylist Mario Tricoci. Others followed and the posh Michigan Avenue location opened in 1999. The salon and spa take up two floors in The 900 Shops on Michigan Avenue. Approximately 8,200 square feet are dedicated to the salon, located in the front by the entrance and approximately 4,500 square feet are dedicated to the spa that can be reached through closed doors. Hair and nail services take place in the more bustling salon side, while clients in the spa can experience pure relaxation.
> All new nail tech hires go throuh a rigorous three-week training program before they can begin seeing clients. It’s important for clients to know no matter the location they book an appointment, they’ll receive the same level of service. At the time of our visit, there were 12 nail techs employed at the Michigan Avenue location and Edwards was looking to hire six more. (She advertises on Craigslist, as well as sends out mailings to a list of Illinois nail techs that she obtains from the state.)
> Since full benefits aren’t always offered at smaller salons, one of the key bonuses of working at a multiple location salon is the benefits offered. Employees at Mario Tricoci are offered 401(k), health insurance, flex spending, and paid continuing education. (The company even pays its employees for time spent taking classes.)
> Even in the cold Chicago climate, pedicures are still the top-ranked service with manicures coming in second. Around 48% of the nail clients at Mario Tricoci opt for a combined mani-pedi service. No-chip manicures make up 25% of current nail clients. And while gel and acrylic are offered, only 2% of the salon’s nail clients opt for enhancements.