> Lourdes’ open floor plan and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the garden courtyard create a breezy, relaxed vibe. But it’s the almost palpable feeling of having arrived at a place that feels as if you belong that sets Lourdes apart from the other salons in Burns Court, a small, historic district of Sarasota, Fla. Burns Court is home to trendy boutiques and niche restaurants, yoga studios, and tiny storefronts where skin, hair, and nail artisans create their own form of art. At Lourdes’, clients linger, pulling new arrivals into a conversation that weaves throughout the day. Many stop in without an appointment, just to talk with owner Lourdes Castillo and each other.
> A nail tech of 23 years, Castillo is originally from Cuba. She’s traveled to Prague, Miami, and Houston, before landing in Sarasota in 2008. She opened Lourdes’ Nail Studio in its current location in July 2012.
> The salon has room for two pedi booths and two nail desks, though only one desk is set up as a nail station. Until Castillo finds a good fit to work in her second seat, she uses the space as a small consignment boutique where clients bring new and gently used handbags, shoes, and shades.
> Castillo performs natural nail manis and pedis, plus acrylic and gels. Her first love is pink-and-white acrylics, but pedicures are her specialty. Though a veteran with a thriving business, she continues to educate herself. Skilled in the Footlogix B/S Brace technique, Castillo has built a reputation as the go-to tech for troubled toes.