Having started at a kitchen table, Nails by Annabel is now a stunning salon with its own nail brand – the amazing Glitterbels range of colourful acrylics, gel polishes and nail accessories.
Inside, the salon is a self-confessed fairy tale wonderland, so we just had to feature it for our salon design of the month! We caught up with the founder, and extremely talented nail tech, Annabel Maginnis, to find out how the salon found its success…
How did Nails by Annabel begin?
I actually started off in the industry by being a client of Kirsty Meakin, and really enjoyed getting my nails done. So, I decided to do my training with Kirsty and started as her apprentice straight away!
From there I took the plunge and started out on my own. I began working from my mum’s kitchen and then went on to rent a couple of spaces in various places. My husband suggested having my own salon and having people work with me, which for a period of time really freaked me out and I was so worried if it could actually work. I eventually listened to him, and I’m so glad I did! I started off with just one member of staff, who is still with me now, and we slowly grew and expanded. We now have over 25 people working for us and our own brand, Glitterbels.
How did you decide on the aesthetics of the salon?
I wanted to incorporate both a super girly, princess vibe and an edgy, more funky look with our flowers and graffiti walls. I wanted our clients and trainees to walk in and feel like they were in a fairy tale wonderland. It’s like the inside of my brain brought to life! The first thing to be built was our U-shape nail bar and the rest of the design just came to life from there.
How do you stand out from your competitors?
We don’t particularly focus on our competitors. We put more time and energy into making our salon more of an experience for our customers, and not just to be your average nail salon. All of our staff are so friendly and welcoming, and we love creating our happy little nail heaven where people can come and be pampered.
How do you think social media has influenced our industry?
Social media can be used as such a good business platform to showcase your work and advertise, especially when just starting out. I find running competitions and being active on social media can really attract new and ongoing customers as social media is just so big now.
How do you keep up to date with the latest industry trends?
Social media and clients! I don’t necessarily follow the trends a lot of the time anyway, I just have an idea and run with it. I do love to scroll through Instagram for inspiration and put my own twist on things! I don’t often plan out a set; for example, I did a set inspired by an image taken from NASA, so literally anything can spark some inspo!
What do you think makes a successful salon?
Driven, friendly and polite staff who love their job and are dedicated to their work. Our staff ensure that our customers get more of an experience than just a standard nail service. I think that your team definitely makes your salon and we’re so lucky with our staff!
What advice can you give others wanting to open a salon?
Take your time. Picking the right staff will help to make your salon, especially building a good management team, and making sure employees are trying to be top of their game. Make sure you have a really welcoming salon, make it somewhere clients want to visit and keep coming back. You want your salon to be comfortable and friendly, some of our clients even come to us in their pyjamas – no matter what, our clients know they get the exact same treatment as anyone else!
What are your favourite products and tools to use in the salon?
Pre-mixed glitter! A set just isn’t complete without a bit of sparkle and capped in clear Glass Slippers to really make them pop. Metal nail file boards for super straight shaping are definitely an essential for me as well as the Glitterbels core powders. Plush Cover and Snowdrops White are my favourite combination for a classic ombre!
What can we expect from you in 2020 and beyond?
So much!!! Everything! Lots more plans for training courses, more trade shows and new product releases, expanding our range with even more colours and glitters. We have a few surprises coming up this year that we’re really excited to announce!
You can shop Annabel’s own range of Glitterbels online now at Salons Direct!
For more, check out our full range of professional nail supplies.
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