August in Orlando isn’t necessarily the best time of year to go. Don’t get me wrong, we love going to the Premiere Show — it’s one of the best for nails — but the weather leaves something to be desired. So after setting up the NAILS booth and with thunderstorms on the horizon, managing editor Hannah Lee and I set out to find a place to take refuge from the rain. Who would have known we would find solace in a mall? After driving around Orlando (who knew it would be so hard to find a nail salon?) for a good portion of the afternoon, we decided we would surely find one at The Florida Mall. And boy, were we right. There was a JC Penney Salon, an Elizabeth Arden Spa, and Salon Cielo. We opted for Salon Cielo (cielo means heaven in Spanish) and luckily nail tech Kristen Furia could fit us both in for pedicures.
Hannah went first (she’s the boss and all) and we struck up conversation with Kristen, who is a nail newbie — she’s only been licensed since February of this year. She told us she received a great education at the International Academy in Daytona Beach, Fla. Unlike many cosmetology schools, her teachers were actually nail techs and she got plenty of hands-on experience by way of clients who came in for students to work on. Kristen received a full specialty license (600 hours versus 240 for just the nail technician program) for both nails and skin care, but at this point she does mostly nails at Salon Cielo.
Salon Cielo is owned by Ratner Companies, owners of Hair Cuttery, Bubbles, Colorworks, Easy Color, Salon Plaza, and Salon Cielo in 13 states and the District of Columbia. The upscale salon definitely took us away from the hustle and bustle of the mall and the crackling thunder and lightning outside. After my service, when we emerged from our pedicure room (there were also two private skin care rooms), we didn’t even know the rain had stopped. What a perfect way to spend the afternoon — waiting out the rain getting pedicures at a lovely salon.
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