Sherman Oaks, Calif. — Hannah Lee, Editor — Katie Cazorla had a dream to open a nail salon after getting a mediocre pedicure that cost too much and didn’t live up to her expectations. She thought, “Why can’t there be a place you trust and love but can also afford?” And with that, she became “obsessed” (her words) with opening a nail salon where she would want to hang out. The Painted Nail is just that — a cozy, shabby chic-style space with white-washed wood floors, big comfy white armchairs, vintage-inspired chandeliers, and pretty purple walls. Clients (including many celebrities) come in to get their nails done, but stay for the camaraderie. Health and beauty are Cazorla’s highest priorities, so in addition to the cute decor, she uses Footsie Bath pedicure tubs, an autoclave, and single-use files, buffers, and callus removers.
Since she already knew what she wanted the nail salon to be, Cazorla, a stand-up comedian, actress, and TV host, went to beauty school to learn all about nails. The 1,100-sq.-ft. nail bar opened in March 2009, and nine months later, Cazorla took over the space next door to open the boutique and party lounge.
“We were doing so well with our retail items and with our parties in the nail bar, when the space opened next door I decided I had to do it,” Cazorla told me. The newest addition to The Painted Nail includes a 1,100-sq.-ft. retail boutique (her office and a new employee break room are in the works on the boutique side), with a 1,100-sq.ft. party lounge upstairs. The boutique sells a little bit of everything — specialty clothing, jewelry, and gift items. The upstairs party lounge has a stage with a full sound system for karaoke and a disco ball (Cazorla’s boyfriend is a music producer, and many of his platinum records adorn the walls), a nail bar, a custom pedicure bench, a photo booth, and a full nail printer station.
Not only is The Painted Nail a fun place to go if you’re a client, but it’s also a great place to work if you’re a nail tech. The staff of 10 includes four full-time nail techs, three part-time nail techs (one is also an esthetician), two other employees to help in the boutique and with parties, and Cazorla herself (who is at the salon every day). They are all employees of the salon and Cazorla is invested in their success.
She is also currently shopping around a pilot for a reality show about the salon. “We shot the pilot with 495 Entertainment and Inappropriate Behavior Entertainment and we’re anxiously awaiting news on whether we’re getting picked up,” says Cazorla. “It would be the first reality show about nails and what it entails to open a salon, go to school, look for products, deal with crazy clients, celebrities, nail tech drama, you name it!” From what I saw, this is just the salon to represent our industry on TV! Here’s hoping the show gets picked up.
General manager Thomas Le met Cazorla in nail school after leaving the world of corporate banking. He wowed me with the salon’s signature Ice Cream Sundae pedi.
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