A new nail salon opens in Uptown Dallas’ West Village on February 18, and it hopes to change the way we think about getting our regular mani/pedis.
Boston-based MiniLuxe uses two tactics to set itself apart in the beauty industry: cleanliness and technology. After a $23 million investment, it has chosen to launch its first out-of-state salon in Dallas.
First, cleanliness. MiniLuxe looked to Boston hospitals to pioneer a new level of hospital-grade hygiene, without sacrificing the store’s environs. It does that by sterilizing metal tools in a clean lab, filled with the same machines surgeons and dentists use. All single-use products are offered to the client to take home after the service.
Prices for MiniLuxe services are refreshingly affordable given the sophisticated setup. Manicures start at $20; pedicures start at $30.
In addition, MiniLuxe only does natural nails, meaning absolutely no acrylics. And the products don’t have many of the common toxins found in other salons.
“All polishes are at least three-free, and our own line is actually five-free,” says MiniLuxe CEO Sue Thirlwall. “Three-free means you don’t have the toxic trio of formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalates or toluene.
“Five-free also excludes formaldehyde resin and camphor. None of these things is good for you, and it’s even more important for our technicians who handle polish all day long.”
Then, technology. MiniLuxe has an online booking system, including a group option. It also has sophisticated point-of-sale and back-end systems that enable it to staff appropriately, so customers get what they need, when they need it. Those savvy business practices helped secure those investors.
Do all of these bells and whistles cost you? Not really. Prices for services are refreshingly affordable given the sophisticated setup and the dedication to hygiene. Manicures start at $20; pedicures start at $30. MiniLuxe also offers a full range of waxing services, including brows for $20.
Thirlwall says MiniLuxe is not only committed to its customers, but also to its staff. Technicians get a monthly profit-sharing check based on how well their store did, as well as health insurance, 401(k), paid time off and sick time.
“Our turnover of employees is unusually low, a testament to the fact that we are trying every day to be the best place for our team to build a career,” Thirlwall says. “Just because you are an hourly employee doesn’t mean you don’t deserve these things. Our staff lives and breathes the brand every day and we owe it to take care of them.”
So with eight successful MiniLuxes in Boston, why expand to Dallas first? For starters, the brand recognizes that Dallas is booming economically and spends a lot of money in the beauty industry. Dallas also scores high on the “pedicure index.” (Apparently that’s a thing.) But, in the end, Thirlwall says the question wasn’t why Dallas, but rather, why not Dallas?
“As a proud Texan for over a decade, I knew how much Dallas would love the MiniLuxe brand, what we stand for, how we’ve elevated an experience and how we weren’t afraid to do something different because we had the conviction it was the right way to do it. There is no place on Earth like Dallas, and we’re thrilled to be here.”