Kristy Kutschbach (right) threw a posh party to celebrate the grand opening of Salon Chic on Brighton Road in Brighton Heights. Mom Debbie and son Blayze stand with her. (Photo courtesy Kristy Kutschbach)
With the addition of nail-care parlor Salon Chic, Bright Heights just got a little bit classier.
Owner Kristy Kutschbach grew up in Brighton Heights and jumped at the chance to not only own her own business, but own it in her own neighborhood.
“There’s [no other nail salons] here in this area,” Kutschbach said.
She has nine years of experience in nail care and says she can make any hand or foot beautiful. Her brochure even says, “Nail, hand and feet beauty are more than skin deep.”
“I actually enjoy doing bad feet,” Kutschbach explained, “because when I’m done with the service people can really see the difference.”
For a pedicure, which is her most popular service, customers sit down in a luxurious spa chair and soak their feet in warm, relaxing salt water. Then Kutschbach takes care of the nails. She can put on a fake nail or two if the customer is missing a nail or has a bad nail, and no one can tell the difference.
“You can bring it back to what it used to look like. You’d be amazed at what a pedicure can do. You walk on your feet all day, so it’s important to take care of them,” she said.
The service at Salon Chic goes beyond expert nail care and skin-softening lotions, though. Kutschbach also offers free coffee and cookies in the morning, and then free wine and cookies in the evening.
“When people come in to spend on these services, they really want to relax, so I’m trying to make that my goal,” she said.
She also offers the best products in the nail-care industry with O.P.I. nail polish. Every manicure or pedicure package comes with an application of color, or customers can come in to have her change their polish for $10 on hands or $12 on feet.
A basic manicure costs $14, and a basic pedicure costs $20. Nail enhancements range from $30 to $35, and the most pampering hand service (minus enhancements) runs only $17 — a full $5 less than the basic manicure at her old salon.
Kutschbach’s long-time Brighton Heights friends have been helpful in getting the word out about Salon Chic, and over 120 people came to celebrate her grand opening in mid-April.
So far, business has been better than she expected, and she already has ideas for expansion, or possibly hiring someone — but she plans to wait a little while to see how things go before purchasing more equipment or expanding her services.
“I was actually booked [the first week], I couldn’t fit another appointment in,” she said.
Spring is a good time to open a nail salon, because as the weather gets warmer, people pull their sandals out of their closets and want their feet to look good in them.
So far, Kutschbach has been working around 60 hours per week. But, she doesn’t mind. “Being here, knowing I’m the owner doesn’t make it so bad.”
She used to work in a Downtown salon, and the 30 to 45 minute commute from Reserve Township where she was living with her eight-year-old son Blayze wasn’t working out.
It took two months and the help of Kutschbach’s parents, who live right across the street, to get Salon Chic up and running after Kutschbach purchased the mixed-use building on Brighton Road.
Using only her own and her parents’ investments, she was able to purchase the equipment and supplies she needed to get started, as well as renovate the bottom floor that houses the business.
The house used to be a dentist office, and when Kutschbach’s mom saw that it was for sale she urged her daughter to purchase the building.
“It was an old dentist office with green walls and blue carpeting,” said mom Debbie Kutschbach. “It needed modernized.”
They painted the walls and replaced the carpeting with hardwood. Kutschbach ordered “chic” bright pink and silver wallpaper with a fleur-de-lis pattern from the United Kingdom, but almost didn’t get it when she found out the company wouldn’t ship to the United States.
Luckily, one of her customers had an office across the Atlantic, and let Kutschbach ship it there.
Kutschbach said she owed a lot to both her parents, not only for their investment in the business but for their help and dedication in getting it ready.
But Mom didn’t mind — this is her daughter we’re talking about.
“She’s really good at what she does, too,” Debbie said.