This Mobile Nail Salon Offers
When Susan Afak was an accountant and investment banker, she worked 100 hours a week and she found herself wishing for a nail truck downstairs from her office just like there was a food truck stationed for lunch. “I am religious about getting my nails done,” she explains. She quickly came to realize, after developing a desire for the entrepreneurial life, how busy working women can get. So she purchased an Airstream trailer and while she waited for her permits for the vehicle to clear, Afak attended beauty school. In January, La Lacquerie, the mobile nail salon serving San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., was born. Sitting 26 feet long and seven-and-a-half feet wide, the Parisian themed and decorated trailer serves both corporate clients and private events. The bright pink exterior of the trailer makes the salon a “walking billboard,” while the more modestly decorated interior creates a relaxed environment.
HOW IT WORKS Afak explains that as long as there is enough employee demand for an entire day’s worth of appointments, companies interested in becoming corporate clients can schedule services anytime. They just need to provide parking and, ideally, electricity. Depending on the company’s size, La Lacquerie is scheduled to visit campuses or parking lots weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. Right now,
the mobile nail salon is visiting Google’s campus weekly, but most companies are seen biweekly. Smaller companies that can’t quite accommodate minimum booking can either be booked monthly or have an individual nail tech sent to their conference room. If techs drive themselves to these types of clients, they become commission-based rather than earning the usual hourly rate.
Those who would like to book a private event for a birthday party, shower, or bachelorette party are able to reserve the mobile salon for three hours, with three nail techs. Included in the package is OPI or Essie polish favors, beverages, cupcakes, and a pink balloon bunch. Additionally, La Lacquerie offers house calls for other types of services, such as manis and pedis for photo shoots and commercials.
WHAT MOBILITY OFFERS Since La Lacquerie is a mobile nail salon, traditional manicure and pedicure services can be cumbersome. Instead, she and her techs offer waterless services in order to ensure the best hygiene. The mobile salon uses Bodipure’s keratin gloves and socks, which can be a new experience for some clients.
The mobile salon often sees professionals who are getting their nails done during their work day, which means they don’t necessarily want nail art. Plus, they are busy people who want to get in and out as soon as they can. Therefore, the services offered are very straightforward: traditional and gel-polish manicures and pedicures. “We don’t do any nail enhancements. Glitter or a French manicure is about as crazy as our clients get,” Afak says.
She also explains that since the tech world is predominately male, companies have a harder time recruiting women. La Lacquerie’s services are a free perk these companies could offer to entice female employees and make their lives easier. And while she didn’t expect to appeal to many law frms at frst, there has been a definite demand from female attorneys. Because the salon can be anywhere a company is, Afak’s nail techs are able to be in multiple places at once. While the Airstream could be on a campus in San Francisco, an individual nail tech.