Six years ago, Missy Malone, then a stay-at-home mom who loved to be pampered, was looking to supplement her income. She got a manicurist license, hired a staff, and opened a mobile salon called SPAtaneity, which caters to the folks of Fort Worth, Texas. Although Malone’s passion for nails is quite palpable, she never expected it to lead to the opportunity that soon came her way.
Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth asked SPAtaneity to perform services on the new mothers from the hospital’s labor and delivery unit. Malone’s business focuses on eco-friendly, waterless mani/pedi options with a special emphasis on client health, so naturally it was a good match.
After much success, SPAtaneity began working with patients in the hospital’s oncology and rehab wards and cultivated partnerships with Baylor Medical Center at McKinney and the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Fort Worth as well.
In 2011, Malone expanded SPAtaneity, opening a stationed salon in the city’s medical district. Malone and most of her employees are now formally trained to deal with at-risk clients, many of whom she met in the hospitals.
CLIENTS AS PATIENTS
The salon is situated in what used to be an auto repair shop. Some of the original brick is still exposed, in addition to hand-painted signs on the walls that read “body repairing.” Malone left them up for their puns — she considers her services to be a type of wellness or “repair” for the body and mind.
The inspiration behind creating a salon that not only focuses on nails but also health in general initially came from Malone’s sister. Years ago, she contracted a staph infection from a neighborhood salon, a misfortune that greatly impacted the Malone family. “No client should have to be concerned with getting sick from a beauty service,” says Malone. “I think this industry has become undervalued and I’m on a personal mission to change the mindset of the community.”
In addition to continually monitoring sanitation, nail techs at SPAtaneity have clients fill out a questionnaire before each service that asks about their treatment preferences as well as their health regulations. If a client is diabetic, for example, SPAtaneity’s staff will use extra moisturizing products to prevent dry skin. Or if a client is enduring chemotherapy, scentless products are recommended.
Malone says she’s also really drawn to Jessica Cosmetics because the brand helps nail techs determine each client’s nail type with a useful nail chart conveying symptoms and solutions.
SPAtaneity also carries China Glaze’s Rainbow for Hope, a collection of 20 nail polishes representing different cancer types. Additionally, the salon also carries CND Shellac and will soon introduce Zoya products.
BEYOND NAIL ART AND POLISH
In 2011 Malone received her medical nail tech certification through the MediNail Learning Center (www.medinails.com) after completing advanced courses. Medical nail techs understand medical protocol, perform services on at-risk patients, and some use this license to practice in a medical spa or podiatrist’s office.
“There is a safer and healthier option out there for manicurists who care about expanding their education beyond just what the state requires,” says Malone, who’s still taking continuing education courses and has inquired about oncology manicurist training. “If there’s anything I can learn, any type of tradeshow or training session I can attend, I’m all over it.”
Malone requires this same attitude from her employees. “They need to share my vision about education and understand that we’re not a typical nail salon — we don’t just do nail art and polish.”
Although 80%-90% of clients come to SPAtaneity for manicures and pedicures — because the brand started out as nails-only — Malone has welcomed a booth rental esthetician. She’s oncology certified, which goes hand-in-hand with Malone’s vision.
KEEPING IT CLEAN
SPAtaneity is known for its unconventional waterless services. According to Malone, it’s better for the environment and safer for the client. “We all hear the horror stories from the whirlpools and tubs not being cleaned properly, so I wanted to get rid of water entirely,” says Malone.
On rare occasions when it might be necessary for a client to have the extra hydration, Malone’s team will use water, but for the vast majority of clients, water’s been replaced with disposable kits.
The kits have antibacterial sanitizers in them to hydrate, cleanse, and soften the skin. Each kit comes with a pair of gloves and booties to lock in the moisture before a nail tech wraps the hands and feet in a warm towel.
Following the wrap is callus work, exfoliation, cuticle grooming, a brief massage, and polish. SPAtaneity frequently uses Footlogix’s scrub and sanitizing shoe deodorant for clients.
Malone has plans to make disposable mani/pedi kits of her own in the coming years. “I’m starting to get a lot of customers asking about the kits, so I want to launch my own line,” she says. “I’m in the process now of getting all the raw materials. They just make for a really efficient service.”
SPAtaneity also uses products from Natural Kosmetics and BR Nails made by Balbpharm. Additionally, they have their own alternative paraffin wraps called “Ecofin,” which is made from a biodegradable product without harsh chemicals made to prevent pore clogging.
The salon does natural nail care services only; however, Malone recently started offering gel-polish due to its growing popularity. “But I always tell my nail techs to pull out the client consultation form to see if their nails are peeling or weak,” says Malone. “If they are, we won’t do gel-polish for them.”
The most popular treatment is the basic mani/pedi called the Eco-Essential, which runs $30 for a manicure and $45 for a pedicure. The other popular treatments are the Herbal Mist Treatment and the SPAtaneity Specialty, which includes an aromatherapy neck wrap, disposable kit, Ecofin, an extended massage, and polish. The SPAtaneity Specialty mani goes for $40, while the pedi is priced at $60.
SPAtaneity exudes “urban-chic” with brick walls and smooth jazz piping in the background. A collection of elevated pedicure chairs and sleek manicure bars line the space. Malone opted against having televisions because she felt it would take away from the relaxing ambiance.
Although Malone says the salon’s collective goal is to get clients’ nails healthy, she has found the finances to incorporate a few trendy service offerings like rockstar nails, Minx, and caviar manicures. There are three nail techs in the salon at one time, but SPAtaneity has about 10 employed who still do mobile services. “Doing that on the side helps our salon through slow months.”
Malone does promotions through Groupon and also works hard to stay current with the industry.
“I’m addicted to NAILS Magazine,” confesses Malone. She also confessed that she’s working with a few brands to soon create her own product lines.
Salon name: SPAtaneity
Location: South Fort Worth, Texas
Owner: Missy Malone
Square Footage: 1,650
Opened: July 2011
Number of Nail Techs/Total Staff: 10/11
Specialties: Eco-friendly, waterless manis and pedis
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