Ville de Coco, located in Hawaii’s Outrigger Luana Waikiki hotel, is a quick 10-minute walk to the beach and neighbors many boutiques, giving customers an excuse to show off their beautiful nails shortly after the service. Born and raised in Japan, owner Coco Hayano got her start as a nail technician in 1998. After eight years working in various positions in the nail industry and receiving the airbrush gold medal in the 2002 Nailympics, Hayano wanted to open a salon that would be unique among Hawaii’s existing nail spots.
DESIGNING THE VILLE
Since it’s opening in July 2006, Ville de Coco has been featured in Japanese publications for its modern decor and open space. “I wanted the salon to have enough space for clients to relax after their services,” Hayano says.
The inside of the 2,800-square-foot space was custom-designed with the help of a professional Japanese interior designer. In fact, says Hayano, everything was custom-made. The drawers were measured to fit the products used by the techs and the chairs were measured to be as comfortable as possible for employees and customers. The furniture is made out of ebony to create a calm and welcoming atmosphere.
Three words Hayano uses to describe the decor are: relaxation, beauty, and Japanese. Not only did she want the design of the salon to fit Japanese style, she wanted the service to represent the culture of her birthplace.
Coming up with a competitive salon strategy came easily to Hayano. She dreamed of opening a business that “represents true Japanese-style customer service.”
From the distinct details of each service to the comfort of open space, she says her salon strives to ensure that all clients feel well-attended to, from the moment they step into the salon until they leave. A variety of beverages — such as Japanese green tea — are offered.
Guests can choose from three aroma-therapy treatments: Beauty, which incorporates ginger and jasmine to awaken the inner goddess; Relax, which uses rosewood and grapefruit to alleviate tension and increase metabolism; and Refresh, which blends a mixture of mints and lemongrass to reduce fatigue and exhaustion.
Clients are then given plenty of time with their nail technicians during their visit. “We don’t book clients back to back,” Hayano says. “We try not to be the ‘fast food’ nail salon.”
THE GUEST EXPERIENCE
Ville de Coco serves island locals, hotel guests, and visiting customers as well as brides-to-be. Hayano says about 60% of the clientele are regular customers, but many new guests come from around the world.
There are four separate rooms for manicure, pedicure, massage, and skin care treatments. For those wanting more privacy, there’s also a separate VIP room that customers can reserve for nail treatments.
The most requested nail service is the 90-minute Ville de Coco Pedicure, which incorporates a hot stone oil massage, Sea and Earth masque, and paraffin treatment on top of the regular pedicure. Manicures range from $40 to $90 and pedicures range from $70 to $160. Hayano says that though the costs might be slightly higher than average for the area, her clients say the service is well worth the price.
Ville de Coco serves an average of 140 clients per month, and with an updated website and feature coverage in Japanese magazines, the salon’s clientele continues to grow.
The website is published in both Japanese and English in order to attract more tourists visiting Waikiki. Like most nail salons, the majority of clients are female, but Hayano says many more male clients are coming in, even for facials.
Hayano is very excited about the success of the salon so far, saying, “It’s getting -better and better every month.”
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