BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 2 - (Page 22)

MANLINK AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL ELLIOTT "I remember thinking, 'wouldn't it be great if men could have great hand and foot care and not feel uncomfortable or out of place?'" Nailing It One Service at a Time WHEN A GIRLFRIEND presented Michael Elliott with a gift certificate to a nail salon, he tried his best to disguise his disappointment. "I realized she didn't know how much I hated going to nail salons," he said. Little did Elliott know that the gift would change the course of his career and within a year he would be launching a business model that had captured the attention of network executives at ABC's Shark Tank. While Elliott had always enjoyed having wellgroomed hands, he hated going into a nail salon for services. "There were typically two people working on me, speaking a language I didn't know," he recalls. "Plus, every nail salon I visited was focused on women-from the lighting and décor to the retail products." So perhaps it was providential that Elliott found himself sitting next to another male when he redeemed the nail salon gift certificate and they struck up a conversation about how much they dreaded going to the nail salon. A former screenwriter, Elliott considers the conversation a 'light bulb moment.' "I remember thinking, 'wouldn't it be great if men could have great hand and foot care and not feel uncomfortable or out of place,'" he said. In less than a year, Elliott invested his life savings and founded HAMMER & NAILS, a Los Angeles nail salon dedicated to men's hand and foot care. Elliott describes the décor as the ultimate man cave. From the leather punching bag to the granite surfaces, the environment speaks to a male aesthetic. Clients may enjoy a beer or other beverage in an oversized leather chair while watching a personal flat-screen TV. But that's as far as the stereotypes go, because Elliott says the concept of HAMMER & NAILS appeals to all types of men. He notes that on a recent Saturday, the 56 men getting manicures and pedicures at HAMMER & NAILS spanned the gamut. "The diversity was amazing," he HAMMER & NAILS celebrated its grand opening last November in Los Angeles. said. "In one seat, a man in his 70s was reading while getting a pedicure, while a 25-year-old was watching football and drinking a beer, and a father and son were getting manicures," he recalled. More than the décor separates Elliott's concept from traditional nail salons. Elliott designed the concept to reflect a high-end, luxury resort where men can kick back and be pampered. "Women have grown up getting manicures and it's all about maintenance for them, whereas men see the manicure as an opportunity to relax and be pampered," he said. Another insight Elliott acquired was that a significant number of his clients are new to the manicure experience. "Approximately 40 to 50 percent of our clients have never had a manicure before visiting HAMMER & NAILS," he said. He envisions a day when it will be as commonplace for men to receive a manicure as it is for them to visit a barber shop. Response to HAMMER & NAILS has been vigorous not just from clients, but also from the business community. Elliott has received numerous pitches from manufacturers seeking to distribute product though his store, but he is keeping his initial focus on developing the business model. He is working with legal advisors on a franchise concept and believes the HAMMER & NAILS concept can expand to meet the needs of men across the U.S. A recent call from ABC's Shark Tank executives may accelerate his vision. As BeautyLink went to press, Elliott was in discussion with the ABC program to present his concept to the show's sharks. But for now, Elliott and his team of nail techs are focused on nailing it one service at a time. LEFT. HAMMER & NAILS founder, Michael Elliott, receiving a signature service. ABOVE. The décor and aesthetic represents the ultimate man cave. 22 | BE AU T Y L I NK | BAL*ANCE | 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 2

Message From the Aacs President & Cea Chair
The Workings of Washington
Creating a Recipe for the Future
Voices From the Trenches
Creating Harmony in the Classroom
Living an Integrated Life
A Student’s Perspective
And Then There’s Compliance
This Hairstylist Is on Fire!
Keeping the Enrollment Funnel Flowing
Beauty Changes Lives
Significant Changes
Battle of the Strands
Cyber Liability and Data Security
Superstar Graduate
Plagued by More Delays
Voices From the Classroom
Launching a Blow Out Career
People & Places
New Products & Services
Associate Member Profiles: Distributors
New School Members
Upcoming 2014-15 Events
Index to Advertisers

BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 2