For five years, the former owner of Nail Care on Farmington Avenue ran a small business with her daughter, doing mainly manicures and relying on her daughter’s varied skills to boost business. But when her daughter married and left the salon, the business struggled.
It proved to be an opportunity for Kim Engelhard, of Cheshire, who was friends with the former owner, went to the same church and had even done work at Nail Care.
“She said she was having a hard time running the business and I thought maybe it’s time for me,” Engelhard said Wednesday from the salon.
Engelhard took over Nail Care, renaming it Fashion Nails and Spa, on August 13. She changed the name to indicate the expanded services the salon now offers, including massage and waxing.
Most of her skills Engelhard said she learned in Korea, where she studied nail techniques as well as how to do facials, hair and makeup.
But new techniques and products are emerging all the time, Engelhard said. To keep up, she travels to shows in New York, put on by beauty supply companies that unveil new products.
“They teach you how to do it. You learn the different shapes and different customs,” she said.
Engelhard’s been working in the United States for 12 years and is married to an American, to which she attributes her ability to understand what her customers want and to communicate in English.
“It makes a difference. It makes customers comfortable,” she said of her English.
That was one thing her predecessor lacked and over time, Engelhard said, the number of customers at Nail Care had waned. To rebuild the customer base, she’s running ads in the Yankee Flyer and on Patch and staying open six days a week. Though the salon is closed Sundays, Engelhard said Fashion Nails offers private spa parties and appointments, which can be scheduled for Sundays.
She also has one assistant who specializes in massage. The salon offers 10, 20 or 30 minute massages for $15, $30 and $45 each.
Manicure services range from a simple manicure ($12) to French manicure ($17) to spa ($25) and French color gel ($40). UV gel set extensions go for $80, while silk wraps are $60. Maintenance, like powder and gel fills run between $25 to $55.
Pedicures are available for men ($35), in French ($35), callus ($45) and spa ($60) varieties. A manicure and pedicure is available for $40.
Waxing for eyebrows, chin, lips, arms, legs, bikini and Brazillian range from $8 to $60.
Children under 10 can get a manicure for $10 and a pedicure for $25.
To reach Fashion Nails and Spa, at 1686 Farmington Ave., Unionville, call 860-675-7711 or stop in. Business hours are Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.