When Ruchki da Nozhki owner Katya Kan moved from Sakhalin, Russia, to New York in 2011, she quickly realized how different the U.S. nail industry was in comparison to her homeland. In Russia, Kan says, a manicure is considered a luxury, while in New York a manicure is considered an affordable weekly treatment.
“Guests can walk in, which is different from Europe, where you would need to make an appointment weeks and sometimes months in advance,” she says. “Yet with a density of one salon per block here in New York, I had difficulty finding a place that met my standards for cleanliness, quality, and customer service.”
This led her to open Ruchki da Nozhki — a nail lounge dedicated to elevating every detail of the salon experience, from air quality and sanitary conditions to fair treatment of employees and the use of natural products. Since opening in March 2017, Ruchki da Nozhki has become one of the first nail salons to meet New York’s recently enacted ventilation standards.
Feeling as though no English words could capture the essence of the salon, Kan struggled to think of a name. So she decided to stay true to her roots and name the salon Ruchki da Nozhki, which means “little hands, little feet” in Russian.
“It conveys warmth, care, and playfulness,” she explains. “It is unique and reflects my heritage, and our guests love to pronounce Ruchki for a manicure and Nozhki for a pedicure.”
With a simple but comprehensive menu, guests can choose from three main services: the “Relax” service, a classic manicure or pedicure with a relaxing three-minute massage; the “Pamper” service, which includes additional exfoliation and essential oils; and the “Indulge,” a spa option featuring a soak, mask, exfoliation, and a longer massage.
All products used during services are natural or certified organic, and the salon carries a vast selection of Zoya and Deborah Lippmann polishes.
As for the salon stations, each is equipped with a built-in exhaust system that eliminates vapors at the source of exposure. The salon also avoids using acrylics or hard gels to contribute to the quality of air.
Located in the heart of Brooklyn, the salon’s atmosphere is just
as unique as its surrounding neighborhood — a welcoming, vibrant environment filled with people from different backgrounds and cultures.
Inside, the salon’s warm colors range from a trendy “millennial” pink to soft grays. The plants, fresh flowers, and the subtle smell of lavender and lemongrass all add to a feeling
of comfort and peace.
At Ruchki da Nozhki, it’s all about creating lasting memories for both the client and the nail tech. “Everything we do is focused on people — our relationships, daily interactions, and friendships with each other, the experience inside the salon, meeting their family and loved ones,” Kan says. “Being able to connect with people at meaningful, intimate moments is something that makes me feel very lucky.”
Salon name: Ruchki da Nozhki Nail Lounge
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Owner: Katya Kan
Square footage: 715
Opened: March 2017
Number of nail techs/employees: 12/14
Specialties: Manicures, pedicures, and waxing
Compensation structure: Hourly wage plus commission