MAUI, HAWAII — Last year, my best friend Emily and I both turned 30 and as birthday presents to ourselves, we planned a vacation to Hawaii to celebrate. Upon my arrival at the Westin Maui in Ka’auapali Beach, I ditched my suitcase, donned my bathing suit and headed straight for the pool deck. You can imagine my delight when I saw the Poolside Nails sign on the steps. I had planned to get a pedicure on my trip, but I never could have guessed it would be poolside (and oceanside) at my very own hotel.

As it turns out, the hotel’s health club and spa were being completely remodeled during my visit, and although open for services, they were being performed in hotel rooms that had been converted into temporary treatment rooms. Lucky for me, I was not interested in being inside while in Hawaii and the poolside option was right up my alley. After some lazing around in the sun and a few tropical cocktails over lunch, I made my way over to the little tent where Kitten Turner offers nail services. The set up is nice. A big comfy chair, with a portable pedi spa for pedicures, and a manicure table for nail services. There is also a cabinet to store all the supplies and a sink with running water — both additions that came after working outside and realizing they were necessities.

Kitten, who only works outside, explained to me that not all nail technicians enjoy working poolside because of the heat and the tradewinds. Polish, in particular, is a sticky issue. “You really have to get used to polishing outside,” noted Kitten, who has been a nail tech for six years and has always worked outside. “You have to be able to polish quickly, and you can never use an entire bottle of polish when you have it out here. The consistency totally changes.”

The service was fantastic, the view was amazing, and Kitten was delightful to talk to. And you can imagine my satisfaction when I saw they had posted the Footspa Sanitation Guidelines from NAILS inside the cabinet.

Business is good at the poolside nails tent at the Westin. On a normal day, the nail tech working outside will have several appointments booked through the indoor spa, but she quickly fills up any open slots as soon as people walk by and see her working. In the hour during my service, three people came up to make appointments for that day and Kitten had no problem filling her book.

Once you get used to polishing in the wind, it’s really a great place to work,” she said.

Seriously, if I could choose to work anywhere, it might just be here. With the amazing ocean view, the happy vacationing patrons, and the beautiful weather — what could be better?

I know, my job is tough, but somebody has to do it.

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