An Adorable Nail Cottage by the Sea

About a week ago, I stopped at Elégance Boutique Spa in Manhattan Beach, Calif., to attend an open house and meet the spa’s new manicurist.

It was a bustling event, especially since the salon was savvy and had its open house coincide with the annual Manhattan Beach Holiday Open House & Walk About. Isn’t the nail cottage (with the arched doorway and the new “open” sign) so cute? That’s salon owner Bernadette on the left. And, surprisingly, up until about three weeks ago this cute cottage behind her spa that is walking distance of the Pacific Ocean was Bernadette’s office.

That was until mobile manicurist Melanie McCulley walked in the door. Melanie, who does celebrity work on set and special events, was used to drumming up business by walking into salons in her neighborhood and offering up her nail services for special events. (Melanie tended to target hair salons that don’t have their own nail departments.) When she walked into Elégance just a few short weeks ago, she and Bernadette totally clicked.

Within days, Bernadette had moved her stuff out of the cottage and rented it to Melanie as a private nail room. Melanie moved her stuff in and voilà, was ready to start doing manicures (and pedicures, as soon as her pedicure equipment came in). She still does mobile work, but now she has a home base to do nails in a perfect setting that matches her high-end nail business. Plus, she’s able to offer themed services to match her surroundings like “The Seaside” manicure and “The Garden Luxe” pedicure.

I really thought this was a remarkable story of how simply cold-calling and telling your business neighbors about your nail business can open up opportunities that weren’t even on your radar before. I hope this partnership works out well for Bernadette and Melanie. (P.S. Melanie may be looking for a new manicurist soon to handle clients while she’s tending to her mobile business. If you’re interested, contact her via the information on her website, )


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