Jessica Saelim hit the ground running, having opened La Jolla, Calif.-based The Nails Club in December 2012 only five months after graduating college.
When I met Jessica Saelim, a 25-year-old salon owner, the tips of her long black hair were dyed turquoise and her nails were covered in glittery almond-shaped acrylics. She’s full of spunk and even more ambition. Saelim built The Nails Club from scratch after a meticulous planning process that started while she was still in school finishing her degree in business. Catering to the beach crowd of La Jolla, Calif., the salon evokes relaxation with blue notes, oceanic art, wavy fixtures, and all-new Belava Embrace pedicure chairs.
>The Nails Club is known for its nail art, which starts at $3 per nail. Clients discuss their requests — usually designs they’ve found on Instagram or Facebook — with Saelim, who pairs them with a nail tech and oversees the process. (Although Saelim is a li- censed manicurist, she has transitioned into a managerial role.) The salon carries brands including CND, LeChat, Gel II, Orly, China Glaze, and OPI. According to Sae- lim, her clientele has a thing for the latter, as The Nails Club goes through approxi- mately three bottles of OPI’s Bubble Bath, Big Apple Red, and I’m Not Really a Wait- ress per month.
>It’s Saelim’s belief that happy employees make productive employees, so she makes an extra effort to create a desirable work culture at the salon. She hosts group training sessions and places a strong emphasis on respect. “‘Please,’ ‘thank you,’ and smiles go a long way,” says Saelim. She also designed the salon with her employees in mind. There’s a spacious prepping area and a private break room stocked with snacks.
>Some might say Saelim was destined to work in the nail industry. During my visit to The Nails Club, I met Saelim’s mother Kim, who’s also a salon owner, and she shared that her daughter’s namesake is Jessica Cosmetics’ owner Jessica Vartoughian.