Publisher Cyndy Drummey and I were happy to make the drive to Palm Harbor to see nail tech Amanda Mullin (second from left) and salon owner Heather Goodwin (far right). To celebrate the salon’s two-year anniversary that very weekend, Heather bought everyone tickets to attend Premiere.

We first met salon owner Heather Goodwin in 2007 when she entered (and won 1st runner-up in) our Nail Tech of the Year program. She didn’t have her own salon yet, but the plans were in motion. The next time I was in Orlando for the Premiere Show was 2008 and Heather was moving into her salon that very weekend. I promised her next time I was in central Florida, I would visit her salon. In June, publisher Cyndy Drummey and I made the visit.

I loved that the salon had purse hooks everywhere you turned so I didn’t have to put my bag on the floor. In addition to beauty products, the salon offers a bunch of cute boutique items, including these candles by A Scent of Scandal, with names like Hot Mess, Cabana Boy, and Cougar.

Located on the busy U.S. 19 amongst many strip mall turn-ins, it would be easy to miss A Totally Unique Nail Boutique if you didn’t know what you were looking for. Fortunately that’s the not the case with most of Heather’s clients — they know exactly what they are looking for. The Friday we visited was bustling with regular clients, neighboring business owners, and what seemed like a lot of friends. "The salon is a lot like ‘Cheers’," Heather told me when I commented on the community feeling. Everyone knew each other’s clients; the man who stopped in to sell baked goods seemed well acquainted with the team and the clients; and it just had an overall good vibe — an honest-to-goodness professional neighborhood nail salon.

Amanda has been a nail tech less than two years and she’s learned so much on the job in her seven months working with Heather.

The salon is long and skinny, with a robust boutique area up front with the reception desk, waiting area, and manicure stations. As you walk down a long hall, there are several rooms on the right — a room she rents out to a hairstylist, a pedicure room, a tiled wet room for spray tanning, and a small room with a stand-up tanning bed. There is also an employee kitchen and a bathroom in the back. The walls are painted a lovely mix of bold colors, and it really is a one-stop-shop. (Heather subleased her space from the fitness center next door — there’s even a door that goes directly from the salon into the gym. The owner’s wife, a massage therapist who also runs her business next door, was a long-time client who recommended the partnership.)

My pedicure (complete with an electric foot filing and the complete Footlogix system) was topped off with CND Shellac in Fedora.

In addition to Heather, there are five other nail techs at the salon. Enhancements are big business here. Heather says her enhancement clients are about 70% gel-wearers and 30% acrylic-wearers. They’ve recently added CND’s Shellac and it was the talk of the salon that day. I got a Shellac pedicure (after a talking-to from Heather about my cracked heels and a gift of Footlogix #3 mousse) and Cyndy got a Shellac manicure. Interestingly, Heather isn’t moving her gel clients over to Shellac; instead she’s moving her natural manicure clients over to the gel-polish hybrid.

A nail tech for 15 years and a salon coach with Inspiring Champions for five years, Heather runs a very successful business using her coaching techniques in her newest role as salon owner. It’s obvious why it’s a great place to work and a great place to come hang out and get your nails done.

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