Like many pros, Kelly Ninh, owner of Kelly Nail Spa in Salons by JC in Winston Salem, NC, moved from commission to rental and back more than once. But her passion was always in making women look pretty and running her own business. With six years of experience as a salon manager, she had the business chops to back up her dreams and decided to go full-in at Salons by JC, particularly when they helped her get just what she wanted.
“Renting a station in a hair salon can’t make you competitive against nail salons,” notes Kelly. “At Salons by JC, I was able to get a double suite and they put in a half wall for me, so I could separate it with one side for spa pedicures and the other for nails. I wanted this because clients often want to come with a partner or friend.”
Kelly also liked Salons by JC’s security, contemporary design and quiet atmosphere. “I did not have to invest a lot of money, I just pay the rent and have everything I need,” she adds.
Kelly offers manicures, pedicures, gel nails, nail art and waxing and says her most popular services are her Signature Nail System (“Gelous” color dipping powders that last 14 days on real or artificial nails), and her Luxury Spa Pedicure. While 99-percent of her clients get these services, she notes that running your own business means understanding the ebb and flow of demand.
“Once students go back to high school or college and winter comes, I do about 60-percent fewer pedicures,” she notes. “Also, a few clients change over to a natural nail. To replace this business, I bring in pedicure products that clients can use year ‘round, and I am just starting a beauty facial with Nu-Skin’s mini facial machine. It can be used while clients are getting their nails done.”
Kelly carefully researches what she adds and when, which is something commission-based employees can’t do. Also, she says, she loves the ability to make certain her clients are happy and to connect with them personally. Plus, she adds, she can keep her suite fresh and clean—something that was beyond her control as a station renter in a hair salon.
“The best thing about being independent is that your business is as professional as you make it,” she adds. “And no one can tell you that you don’t have a job anymore.”
While many suite tenants love using Instagram to build business, Kelly doesn’t use it. Instead, she relies entirely on the connections she enjoys, and says that referrals from clients have always been her biggest business builder.
“I am an open-minded person and my clients and I share our lives, our family news and more,” she says. “I love helping them look great and giving them a place to relax.”
Judging from her five-star Facebook reviews, she knows just what her clients want.
Salons by JC salutes Kelly Ninh as the Salons by JC Specialist Spotlight featured Salon Suite Owner of the week. We wish you continued success. Thank you for choosing Salons by JC for your small business journey.