Not many nail salons can say that The New York Times article “The Price of Nice Nails” affected their business in a positive way.
This story first appeared in the June 24, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Tenoverten is the exception and its business is rapidly expanding.
“We’re busier than before and a lot of new customers have come in, which I think is a direct response to the article,” said Nadine Abramcyk, cofounder of Tenoverten. “We post things about [our salons] on social media and we have a letter to our clients in each of our salons explaining our stance on the position. It’s very transparent and encourages people to ask questions about our manicurists and hygienic practice.”
In September, Tenoverten will venture out of its comfort zone and open its first shop outside of New York City in Austin, Tex., at the South Congress Hotel.
“We’ve only done salons in the Northeast, where we get hit really hard in these winter months where things change and people don’t get their nails done as regularly,” said Abramcyk. “We really wanted to go into a warmer climate where we could look at how our model does in that weather.”
Meanwhile, Tenoverten will open its fourth location in New York City in the Financial District in November. The 2,600-square-foot space will be its largest outpost yet, complete with offices, two treatment rooms for waxing, a conference room for private events or business meetings that can hold up to 16 people and a small retail shop at the front of the store with Tenoverten products and additional third-party brands.
“We feel that every salon we open really speaks to the neighborhood,” Abramcyk noted. “The Financial District is a strong, busy working area so that speaks to our client that’s down there.”
Also, Abramcyk and her business partner, Adair Ilyinsky, are looking at Los Angeles and Houston to open salons.
But the services don’t stop at manicures and pedicures. Abramcyk added that Tenoverten’s waxing business has grown tremendously. Starting in the Financial District location, clients will have the option of sugaring, a natural form of wax that blends lemon juice, water and sugar. Sugaring has no heat element so there’s no risk of burning or redness. Also, clients don’t have to grow their hair as long in between each appointment.
Another aspect of the business is Tenoverten’s polish line, which consists of 25 shades plus a base coat called the Foundation and a top coat. And at the end of this year, the company will launch a nonacetone nail polish remover.
“We’re really into developing our brand into a nail-care brand,” said Abramcyk. “We’re interested in creating a kit where you have tools and formulas to take to your local nail salon or use at home so you’re not stripping your nails.”
In terms of distribution, Tenoverten’s assortment is sold at Sephora and in its salons. But they’re looking to keep the brand small and niche.
“We’re really looking to partner more with salons that are like-minded and they can use our polishes for a service,” said Abramcyk, adding that Tenoverten’s products are being used at Caudalie’s spa in Venice, Calif. “We have e-commerce and we’re trying to build out our direct sales to the consumer. We’re trying to really grow and add more content on our Web site so clients can go read about nail care and learn more about the practices.”