What could be a more natural pairing than foot care and footwear? At Tootsies of Vermont in Burlington, the mother-daughter team of Mary Lou Robinson and Beth Estey peddle shoes alongside nail and spa services. They are not the first to take advantage of this enticing combination. “The original Tootsies was an idea born by Nini Dake who opened a store eight years ago in Vero Beach, Fla.,” explains Estey. “She now lives in Laguna Beach, Calif., and has a Tootsies there. She is a boutique consultant and will help a candidate open a Tootsies when the right qualifications are met.”
Robinson worked at the Vero Beach location as a pedicurist and became familiar with the workings of the store. “I thought it would be a great addition to the Burlington scene,” says Estey, who is also a nail tech. “So we decided to move forward to open the only northeast Tootsies. I’ve always loved shoes and had the nail skills, so it seemed a great fit.”
When Tootsies of Vermont first opened in 2006, it was definitely a shoe store first and a nail salon second. “But over the years it has evolved to be pretty much even-steven,” says Estey. “In fact, because the services have grown so much in popularity, we decided to expand our offerings. In February of this year we renovated our existing space and now have what we call the Mini Spa @ Tootsies, where we offer facials, waxing, chair massage, Shellac, and of course, our award-winning pedicures.”
During the “season,” which is spring and summer in Vermont, the salon has five techs on staff. “Three of them are cosmetologists who can perform all of our extra services,” says Estey. “We hope that with our expanded offerings we will stay busy during t he slower months of the year as well.”
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