Valley Nails, the well-known purveyor of downtown-girl nails is taking its signature nail art and gel manis and pedis to the Upper East Side.
The nail salon’s third location — the first is in NoLIta and a second opened last year on West 15th Street in Chelsea — will open Monday in a 400-square-foot space on the second floor of 21 East 62nd Street, situated between Fifth and Madison Avenues.
“I’ve always had clients coming down to me from the Upper East Side since the beginning, so I’ve been approached a number of times to open up here,” said founder and owner Nina Werman, who opened the first Valley location on the Lower East Side in 2006 before moving it to its current location on Elizabeth Street in 2009.
Aside from providing a convenient location for her existing clients, Werman is keen on bringing in a new customer set, specifically well-heeled Upper East Side mothers and their teenage daughters. “We have a large, untapped market in this neighborhood and I’m excited to attract that customer,” Werman said. “I can see moms renting this space out for birthday parties — it’s also the perfect size for corporate meetings or bachelorette parties.”
Valley Nails has cultivated a reputation downtown for its intricate nail art designs and commitment to ethical practices. In the new location, Werman will stock five-free polishes from Smith & Cult, Londontown and Deborah Lippmann, and will also introduce a seven-free line of gel polish.
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Another new feature is the implementation of iPads with stylus pens at each nail station, so customers can draw out their own ideas for nail art designs while consulting with their technicians.
The space is appointed with six manicure stations and two pedicure stations. Against the east wall is a layer of custom, ombré-effect textured wallpaper by Calico Wallpaper that mimics the sun setting over the ocean and a ceramic lighting fixture by California-based Heather Levine.
“I love the design process of a salon, I’m passionate about creating a space, an experience that people really love,” said Werman, who oversaw the interior design herself. “It’s like a little jewel box.”
A small assortment of jewelry items, as it is in the other Valley locations, will also be available for retail sale at the Upper East Side salon. Werman said the move uptown will allow her to experiment with higher price points and more upscale designers.
“The customer downtown typically doesn’t spend above $250,” Werman said. “We’re thinking there’s [going to be] a higher level of casual purchases within a $500 to $950 range.”
Werman typically sources pieces based on her own taste, which involves bright color and bohemian influence. In her downtime she scours trade shows, the Internet and local artisan fairs in her native California. Designers carried in the new space will include Fayt, Marly Moretti, London Jewelers and Poupette.
Pricing for manicures at the uptown location will run from $35 for a basic manicure to $50 for gel, while pedicures run from $50 for basic to $70 for gel. Custom nail art designs range from $10 to $35 for 15 minutes to $75 for 60 minutes.
There are no immediate plans for another New York salon just yet, but Werman has Los Angeles in mind, though she declined to give a time frame or definitive location. She also has an idea for a Valley-branded product in the future, but is mum on what that would be, noting only that it is “something that hasn’t been created yet.”
Valley’s new west-of-Madison-Avenue address was a boon for Werman, who noted that most nail salons in the vicinity are a few avenues over, making the location convenient for those living on the park. Though the space is small and requires a quick walk up an old staircase, Werman believes these are features that will appeal to the neighborhood’s customers, who are used to the charm of New York spaces.
“Finding this location was a coup. I said to my realtor, ‘Is this real?’” said Werman, who lives in Brooklyn. “What I love is the tradition, the institutions up here — I don’t get that feeling downtown because everything changes constantly.”