A Needed Niche
As a resident of Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood, Ericka Bates would hear people complain about mistreatment at neighborhood salons and watch them head north or downtown for their services. Ericka was inspired to open Shine, a boutique nail, brow, and lash salon, right in her own neighborhood. Due in large part to the overall neighborhood demographics, Shine services a virtually 100% black clientele, though her inspiration is “quality services for all.” About 40% of the clients are men. On some nights the salon is booked until 2 a.m., with some clients waiting up to two hours.
Paraffin is included as a part of every pedicure. “I wanted to offer something different. A lot of people don’t know what paraffin is,” Ericka says. “Plus, it’s all part of doing the best service possible.” The salon also keeps multiple brands of the same type of product. For instance it has on hand three brands of brush-on gel-polish. Ericka says, “I use whatever is best for that client. I do a lot of customized services to fit every person, and I educate while doing the service.”
“We buy polish two or three times a week,” Ericka admits. Before crackle polish was available from mainstream polish manufacturers, Shine found a bottle from brand Mia Secret. Recently the salon launched a “Color of the Week” promotion. Each week, the sisters pick a different polish color and announce it on the salon’s Facebook page. (It was recently essie cosmetics Coat Azure, second from left.) It really works, the sisters say, as clients all week specifically request that color.
> When Shine ran out of scrub one day, homemade product line Bink’s Scrubs was born. Bink uses ingredients like organic sugar and pineapple oil to make the moisturizing scrubs, which are now retailed to clients for home-use too. “I wanted something natural, not harsh,” Bink says.
> The salon had “Shine Beauty Comes From Within” shirts made, which turned into a great retail item. Other retail items include CND SolarOil, PediSox pedicure socks, Earthly Body candles, and an assortment of polishes.
> When Shine first opened seven years ago, the street block was pretty sparse when it came to other businesses. But now the block is much busier, in part due to other business owners being inspired by Shine’s success. One addition, Atmosphere Hair Salon, has proved to be a great business for Shine to cross-promote and share clients with.
Mr. Wonderful (a mani-pedi for men): $65;
Enhancements (for nails): $40;
Brow Wax: $15;
Lashes (natural or full): $25+;
Trends: Minx, Crackle Nails,
No-Chip Manicure: prices vary
Polish: China Glaze, OPI, essie, Mia Secret Brush-on Gel Polish: CND Shellac, Hand & Nail Harmony Gelish, ibd Gelac
Nail Coatings: Minx
Scrub: Bink’s Scrub