It started with an idea. Janet Savage was a talented nail technician working in a salon on the second floor. After noticing elderly clients struggle to get up the staircase, she decided to branch out on her own and solve the problem.
“My daughter is also a nail technician, so I asked if she would want to work for me,” Janet says. “I told my clients at the time that I was considering going out on my own. One of them had previous experience with the Blue Ridge Crossroads SBDC and referred me to them. That’s how it all got started.”
“One day, Mandy Archer [the SBDC’s Center Director] told me, ‘It is either go or no from here,’” explains Janet. “When she said that, Nailed It seemed like the best thing I could do.” With the business insight of the SBDC, Janet’s idea for her own salon came to fruition.
She rented the space for her own salon — on the ground level, of course — and, in 2015, opened Nailed It. The SBDC staff guided Janet in making sure she was legally prepared to open her business, and helped her with a ribbon-cutting and press release to celebrate the opening. Unlike most salons, she does not use any electric tools. “My elderly customers like that I do everything by hand, and I don’t charge them much,” she says.
In early 2020, Janet sought to expand. She visited the SBDC again, seeking assistance to purchase a larger building for Nailed It in the community that inspired her from the beginning. It will also be home to additional nail technicians and hairstylists.
Janet is quick to credit the SBDC and Mandy Archer and Ginny Plant for Nailed It’s success. Janet still maintains a close personal relationship with her SBDC advisors and even picked up Ginny as a Nailed It client. “Once I got confronted with licensing and other obstacles, I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it. The SBDC helped me do pretty much everything,” she says. “Without the SBDC, Nailed It may still very well be an idea floating around in an upstairs salon.”