On The Road: Hip Chicks Salon

In the small town of Redmond, Ore., this cozy salon in a converted house makes you feel like a neighbor just popping in to chat over some coffee.

<p>Nail techs Tara Cook (left) and Sierra Mills (right) treated us to pedicures and owner Neva Spurgeon (second from right) welcomed us in to her salon.&nbsp;</p>

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Located in Redmond, Ore., population 18,000, Hip Chicks Salon caters mostly to local clients, but they also see out-of-towners visiting the nearby golf resorts, national forest, and state parks. The quaint area reflects a close-knit community where people know their neighbors. The salon, a few streets over from “downtown” Redmond in a more residential area, is no different. Surrounded by houses and other boutique businesses, everyone seems to know everyone else. A full-service hair, nail, and waxing salon, Hip Chicks has been open for five years.


Separate, But Together
There are three nail techs at the salon, all of whom are booth renters. Two of them, including my tech Sierra Mills, also do hair. As booth renters, the techs set their own hours and prices (which they come up with collectively) and purchase their own products. Mills and Tara Cook, who gave associate publisher Michelle Mullen her pedicure, use a variety of products but seem to favor mostly CND products, including Shellac. The techs offer acrylics and gels in addition to natural nails. Cook has a solid pink-and-white business, with many regulars opting for the classic French.


Building a Business
Newbies at this salon, Mills and Cook are building their clientele by word of mouth, through Facebook marketing, and by networking with existing hair clients. The entire team has meetings where they share ideas to help bring clients in. Our pedicures were offered in this cute, custom-built area. Owner Neva Spurgeon says nail services make up about a third of the salon’s business. While she lets the nail techs run their own business, she does ask that they ask clients to book their next appointments when they check out.


Fun Facts
> Hip Chicks’ website boasts that the salon is about “luxury without ego” and they strive for exceptional customer service in a non-pretentious environment. The salon’s home-like exterior makes you feel like you’re just popping in to see a neighbor.

> The owner of the coffee shop next door makes frequent stops in the salon to take orders for specialty tea and coffee drinks. He even brought over some tasty crackers and locally made jam for us to try when we were getting our pedicures.

> Owner Neva Spurgeon spent three years waiting for something to become available on the street where the salon is located. Originally, they were going to remodel the original house, but because of structural issues they ended up having to destroy the building and apply for a new construction permit.

 <p>Associate publisher Michelle Mullen (right) and I hiked to the top of Smith Rock (it was a solid three-hour hike) the day before our pedicures. So the pampering was appreciated more than usual.</p>

Menu Highlights
Almond Spa Manicure: $25;
Marine Spa Pedicure: $40;
Shellac Manicure: $35;
Twinkle Toes (glitter with Shellac): $50;
Full Set Acrylics: $43


Product Highlights
Polish: OPI, SpaRitual, Essie;
Brush-on Gel Polish: CND Shellac;
Mani/Pedi Products: CND

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