Ira Bloom (in photo above with Cyndy Drummey) does everything in a big way. Maybe it’s living in the state of Texas. Bloom owns the biggest nail salon in the country (actually two of the 10 biggest salon), and when it comes to business, he does not work on a small scale. Before the real estate market plummeted in Texas, bloom was a successful real estate developer, and he made and lost a fortune dealing in retail shopping centers (that’s how he found out about the lucrative nail business).

I met Ira five years ago at a NAILS Magazine show in Dallas. It was his first show, and I had invited him to a focus group we were conducting with local salon owners. Although he was new to the salon industry, he offered so much wisdom and personal insight that we became friends on the spot. When he opened his first Nails Now! Salon in the Dallas area in 1992 with 18 technicians, it was clear that he was going to become a big name in the nail industry.

Although originally conceived to be moderate-priced salon, the four Nails Now! salons have carved out for themselves a unique niche, specializing in quick service, convenience, competitive prices, and warm ambiance. Bloom had designed key salon elements all of which he patented that make the salon attractive to both workers and clients. There’s a custom built polish drying area that utilizes UV light for hands and feet, a ventilation system that removes 90% of salon dust and door, and nail workstations with hidden storage, shared supply cabinets, maximized work space, and privacy for both the technician and the client.

Although I had certainly known of the Nails Now! Salon for some time and had kept in touch with Ira, I had not actually visited the salon in person until last year. On a cool and rainy autumn Saturday, I stopped in the Plano salon and had a manicure with LouAnn Moore. LouAnn has been doing nails for two and a half years and, she says she’s never been happier in her life. After three years in the Army (she and a friend enlisted, thinking they’d get to see the world, meet interesting people, and get in good shape), she was a grocery store clerk for eight years before looking into nails. She was meticulous and one of the better polishers I’ve had. Ira and the Nails Now! Nail technicians showed me true Texas hospitality, and a great set of nails to boot.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.

Read more about