Paintbox

After six years in business on Crosby Street in SoHo, manicure salon Paintbox this week is opening a second location on the Upper East Side.

The salon at 20 E 69th Street on the corner of Madison Avenue comes after the company quietly raised a pre-series seed round of $1.5 million in funding. Paintbox on the Upper East Side is a bilevel space, slightly smaller than the SoHo location at 1,350 square feet. The downstairs level will host a removals bar — Paintbox does a lot of gel manicures — and upstairs features manicure chairs.

Paintbox specializes in nail art and trends based on the fashion season, offering a menu of nail art styles to choose from. In June, the brand launched its first polish collection, Power Couples, again based on seasonal trends and sold in sets of two for $40 or as singles for $22.

The salon was founded by Eleanor Langston in 2013, a former magazine beauty editor. Chief executive officer Jane Hong was brought on in 2017 to help spearhead growth. With the investment, Hong said the brand will continue to launch seasonal polishes, and potentially products beyond lacquer — to be sold on its web site and in the salon — and open three to five more locations in the next five years.

The brand is also becoming increasingly fashion-focused, partnering with Ulla Johnson for the spring 2020 season on a seasonal polish that was shown at the designer’s recent show. Paintbox creative director Mabeyln Martin led the nail looks for the finalists in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund show in 2019.

“The founding roots of Paintbox were to elevate the nail experience and create a social, buzzy environment where women can come in and entertain — it’s replaced dinner out for a lot of our clients,” said Hong.

Paintbox’s expansion is coming at a time where other high-end salons are expanding with new locations and into retail. Los Angeles-based Olive & June launched a product line this year, as well as a nail sticker collaboration with Essie that was said to sell out at Target. Tenoverten released a product line earlier this year in 800 Target doors.

Hong said that Paintbox appeals to a consumer who is interested in fashion trends, and said there is opportunity to grow the brand’s physical locations outside New York.

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