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On the Road: True Envy Salon

by Sree Roy | November 6, 2012
True Envy’s Angeles Arpizaga, Ramar Russell, and NAILS’ Sree Roy enjoy the boisterous atmosphere inside the salon.

True Envy’s Angeles Arpizaga, Ramar Russell, and NAILS’ Sree Roy enjoy the boisterous atmosphere inside the salon.

An established hair salon, True Envy in Orlando recently added nail services to its revamped space.

New to Nails

True Envy was a three-year-old hair salon when the opportunity arose to add nail services. Co-owner Ramar Russell jumped at the chance. He went to school for nails, had two hair stations removed from the salon, and put in their place a gorgeous pedicure bench and a nail table. He’s still making his way up the learning curve of doing nails. “The biggest surprise to me is how fast you need to be for the next guest,” Ramar says. “I think I have enough time, but then with the consultation and being detail-oriented, it takes a lot longer.” The salon was in the process of adapting some of its hair programs to nails, such as a referral discount program.

Enthusiastic Employees

I was really impressed with my nail tech, Angeles Arpizaga, due to her initiative in making her career exactly what she wants it to be. While still in beauty school, she approached True Envy and asked if she could intern there in exchange for getting a spot at the salon after graduation. I wanted to clarify, so I asked her, “You mean you interned for free?”  She responded, “It wasn’t really for free because I got so much knowledge.” She was also the one stylist who volunteered to go back to school for nails when True Envy wanted to add the service. “I figured the more you know in the beauty industry, the better off you are,” Angeles said.



Retail Ready

True Envy was in the process of adding nail products to its retail area during my visit. The already expansive boutique included such products as sunglasses and Redken’s hair line. Ramar wanted to add the nail products all at once (instead of one here and there) to make a big impact on clients. He also wants to limit the salon to a few or even just one nail product brand because he says, “If you stand for everything, you stand for nothing.”

Fun Facts

> Ramar blogs for NAILS’ Blueprint of a First Year. Check out his posts at blogs.nailsmag.com/blueprint.
> Ramar co-owns the salon with his wife, Trish. We spotted the two of them the next day product shopping at the Premiere Orlando Beauty Show.
> Don’t expect facials at True Envy anytime soon. Though some clients have asked for them, Ramar says the salon’s loud atmosphere — what sounded like ’80s new wave was playing the day of my visit — isn’t conducive to the typically serene nature of skin care services.

Menu Highlights

Manicure: $18
Basic Pedicure: $35
Spa Pedicure: $45
Gel-polish manicure: $31
OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps: $5/finger
Women’s Haircut and Style: $31-$54

Product Highlights

Brush-on gel polish: OPI GelColor, CND Shellac
Nail coatings: OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps
Polish: OPI Nail Lacquer
Hair: Redken, Pureology, American Crew, Moroccan Oil

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