Where the Pros Go
Located in downtown Chicago in the Loop district, Pure Rain Salon caters to one of the busiest neighborhoods in the city. Surrounded by courthouses and offices, the salon offers its professional clientele a complimentary glass of wine along with their services, whether that’s an acne facial, bikini wax, or their most popular service: a gel manicure that includes collagen gloves to rejuvenate the hands and protect skin from UV rays.
Most of the clients are professionals from the surrounding law firms and offices, many of whom opt for this quick in-and-out mini “hand facial,” although they get a fair share of tourists. To appeal to the professional clientele, Nadmid also updated the salon’s interior when she took over.
“I wanted something to reflect my style, so I opted for something simple, yet chic and modern,” she says. “Our clients really like it.”
Expanding the Service Menu
As an esthetician, owner Nadiya Nadmid brings a background in skin care, but she wanted to expand the salon’s service menu when she took over the salon five years ago. (The salon has been open since 2007.) After observing the popularity of nail art on Instagram, she decided she’d begin offering clients a variety of natural nail services. Nadmid emphasizes the importance of creating a welcoming, family-feel among both clients and the 10 team members.
“Our techs are huge assets to the salon,” she says. “I make it a priority to create a fun and friendly environment.”
Nadmid says she tries to get everyone together on days when weather permits or when the salon is closed for trips such as going to movies or concerts. One of her favorite gatherings, she says, is the yearly anniversary. In honor of her fifth anniversary as owner, Nadmid decided to go all out: She purchased tickets to the play “Hamilton” for her entire crew.
“It is a personal cost to me, but they’re doing an amazing job and some of them have been here for years,” she says. “I couldn’t be happier with our team, so I wanted to show them my appreciation, and I think they appreciate it too.”
Staffing a Cohesive Team
Finding the right team member can be a challenge. In addition to seeking beauty professionals with at least three years of experience, Nadmid wants to find personalities that will be cohesive with the rest of the team, especially because they often spend 10 hours a day together.
“We haven’t had much turnover, which I’m grateful for,” she says. “But last year, some of our girls graduated from nursing school and left to pursue their careers in healthcare. At first, it was hard to find replacements because I really want to keep this sense of community.”
The salon also hosts a lot of parties, from bridal showers to birthdays to Mother’s Day. Customers are able to bring their own snacks and booze, and celebrate with large groups. While parties are profitable for the salon, Nadmid says they book regular appointments quite far in advance so these parties are generally planned months in advance as well.
While owning a profitable business is obviously important, Nadmid’s favorite part of working in a salon environment is interacting with customers and building relationships with them.
“I’ve known our most loyal clients through many stages of their lives, from being single to getting a boyfriend to getting married and having kids,” Nadmid says. “It’s been awesome for us and our clients to grow together.”
Salon Name: Pure Rain Salon
Owner: Nadiya Nadmid
Square footage: 1,000
Opened: 2007 (Nadmid took over in 2014)
Number of employees: 10
Specialties: hot stone massages
Compensation structure: commission