Oxford’s Nail Bar & Co. has put serving their signature cocktails for clients on hold until they can obtain a required license that would allow them to serve alcoholic beverages to clients who are of drinking age.
Open since August, Manager Amelia Whitmore said the Nail Bar has performed better than expected, which has caused other nail salons to follow their trends.
“Since we have opened, other salons have begun starting to serve alcohol as well to their customers,” said Whitmore, who said she isn’t sure other businesses are serving alcohol responsibly.
When the Nail Bar served cocktails, she said the business established a two-drink limit per customer that could be ordered from a diverse menu that included wine, mimosas and champagne.
They also offered a non-alcoholic pampered experience for their younger crowd, serving orange juice in champagne flukes to those under 21.
Nail Bar receptionist Channing Hoover said, “Giving customers beverages was one thing that would set us apart from other nail salons in Oxford.”
The Nail Bar has other unique offerings. “I feel that we have brought the (holographic) nail design to Oxford,” said Connell. Many beauty bloggers have written about the futuristic, metallic-looking trend. Connell and her team travel to trade shows throughout the year to stay current on nail trends.
Meredith Wimbrow, a Nail Bar customer, said she began going to the Nail Bar because she enjoyed the atmosphere and watching a movie while her nails were painted. Wimbrow said she enjoys the customer service and “never feels like I am being rushed to move on to the next person.”
Nail Bar owner Kristina Connell strives to make her salon a clean and relaxing environment.
“Customer service is key in gaining repeat business,” she said. “We have a fresh buffer and file for each customer, and all of our pedicure scrubs are in individual containers for sanitary purposes.”
While customers are being pampered, a movie plays in the center of the salon. The manicure station is set up like an actual bar. Clients sit on the outside and manicurists work from inside the “bar.”
Connell opened her first salon at age 18. “My parents owned their own salon, and once I saved enough money, I opened my first salon in Memphis,” Connell said.
After owning the Memphis salon for nine years, Connell said she had a great opportunity to open the Nail Bar in Oxford. The business follows the motto, “Curated, clean and cool,” to ensure repeat customers.
There were many options available on the Square, but Connell chose the current Oxford location because of “free parking customers could use instead of parking on the Square.”
“I did not want to be directly on the Square because I felt there would be too much foot traffic,” she said, “and it would be distracting to the atmosphere we are known for.”
Connell uses social media to advertise the Nail Bar. Many clients use Snapchat when they get their nails done, and they send pictures to friends. “Many customers come in with screenshots from a Snapchat of a friend’s nails, and they tell us they want what they got,” Connell said.
Using Instagram is also key for the Nail Bar. It shows people the different features they offer. “The majority of our client base is college students, and social media helps bring new customers to our salon,” Whitmore said. They now have 1,800 followers on Instagram.
The Nail Bar’s website, thenailbarandco.com, is updated with their services, hours and links to social media. Connell feels it is important to stay modern with trends and technololgy. “The website is nice for clients to learn more about us, and what we are about,” she said.
Nail Bar owners say school breaks are busy for Oxford customers. “We notice that once the students are on break, many of the locals come to get their nails done because it is not as busy,” said Amelia.
With hopes of bringing back their signature cocktail feature, the Nail Bar staff hopes to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
By Kirsten Faulkner. Read more stories like this on Oxford Stories.
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