Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Doing a Radio Interview While Getting a Pedicure

A woman from KPLU (our local NPR station) called me today to talk about the "greening" of nail salons. I took the call while getting a pedicure - and I don't think I quite realized that that would be the interview! So there's my best multi-tasking moment this week.

Although my vernisseur might not have thought so. Poor Lisa - I kept moving around as I was talking - I always knew that I talk with my hands (as though waving left would help the person on the other end of the line understand my driving directions better), but I hadn't realized the extent to which I also talk with my feet.

But I'm loving my white polish (a nice 180 from the black I was wearing a week ago). Very summery. Thanks Lisa!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Finding Vernisseurs

Over the past few weeks, I've had more than a few people calling for appointments annoyed with us that we're already booked for that day.

"How can you be booked already?!" one woman demanded. "You just opened! I called as soon as I learned about you!"

"I know!" I had to agree. "Isn't it crazy?" But I felt terrible about not being able to accommodate her (because she had no other times that week that would work).

The bottom line is we need more vernisseurs! The seven nail professionals we have are AMAZING, but it turns out that they can only see one guest at a time (go figure!), and we have more guests interested in coming to Julep than the vernisseurs necessary to treat all of them. Especially since Anthony is going away for a two month design internship in New York City at the end of this week.

If you have any ideas for talented, passionate, empathetic people, or how to reach them, please let me know ( One vernisseur had the idea to tap into hairdressers who are also licensed and great at nail treatments for part time work in our busy evening hours.

If you are a talented, passionate and empathetic licensed nail professional reading this right now, please call us at (206) 985-6644. I'd love to be able to talk to you personally to tell you about Julep, and have you experience Julep yourself with a complimentary nail treatment of your choice (please mention VIP-V at the time of booking, and bring proof of your current license).

I was so preoccupied thinking about this issue as I was leaving Julep one night that I wore my apron and wireless telephone headset home. And this is not the discreet model that makes you look like you're crazy and talking to yourself. It's the serious, heavy duty, full-meal deal that leaves it's mark on your hairstyle all day long. But it means that I can answer the phone at anytime, anywhere in the parlor. But apparently not halfway across the city, in my living room, or so I have learned.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


If you are a loyal reader of this blog (e.g. if you are my mother-in-law), you may have noticed that I've been a little light on postings recently.

That is because I've been recovering from the world's longest summer cold, while trying to start-up a business, support all our new employees, and catch passing glimpses of my family whenever possible.

I've been relying on Sudafed to get me through the day - until Safeway decided to cut me off. I was in buying my traditional cocktail of Airborne, Zicam, and Sudafed the other night when the cashier told me that they could no longer sell me Sudafed because I was past my limit.

Dear Safeway, I can truly promise you, I am not making crystal meth. In fact, I have no idea what crystal meth even looks like, or what it does (except I think my friend Ali told me once that many of her inmate clients have lost their teeth over the habit). Oh - would that I had the time for a crystal meth habit.

Instead, I am merely a very busy, very tired, stressed out mom of two who is starting a business (please read below). It seems cruel to take away my decongestants in this time of need.

Surely your demographics tell you that the #1 Sudafed purchasing group are harried women raising germ-infested children?

Please have mercy.

Parties, Parties, Parties

Today we hosted 3 bridal parties (4 to 10 people per party!), one girls night party (8 women), as well as several pairs of girlfriends.

I love bridal parties. At our last one tonight, each of the friends of the bride made a toast, sharing stories and words of wisdom. Despite having only met the bride the hour before, I was entirely teary eyed, listening from the computer where I was trying to keep track of who was doing what to whom.

We also welcomed back two of our growing cadre of regular guests. I love getting to know these guests, their various moods, idiosyncrasies, thoughts and ideas. One very nice woman has already come back several times in the three weeks we've been open - and has even sent in her daughter and daughter-in-law!

I feel really lucky to have this time helping to build our parlor into a home for communities of women.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Getting to know our guests

Two weeks in, and we're really starting to get our groove! The best part of the experience right now is feeling like everyday is better than the last.

What's really exciting is that we're starting to develop relationships with our emerging frequent guests. It's fun to get to know people, and their daughters, daughter-in-laws, and friends. I can see the outline of a Julep community starting to take shape.

One woman came in on our very first day, then came back later that week with her friend. Then they bought gift certificates to send their husbands in for Father's Day.

Over the next few weeks, we'll hopefully get our nail polishes, roller-ball cuticle oil (so very cool), and other details in place so we can offer all that we have been planning for.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

First Girls Night Out

Wow, Sarah Jessica Parker looked more like a real person on the first episode of Sex in the City. That's one of the things I learned last Thursday at our Girls Night Out. (And that Miranda had a really bad haircut).

We had lots of pairs of friends coming in to hang out, reminisce, and get glamorous with our Julep mani-pedi package and $10 brow wax. Let me know if there's any better way to spend a Thursday night (especially during re-run season).

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

First Mommy Monday!

We had our first Mommy Monday this week, where we hosted fourteen moms and fifteen children aged 6 months to 5 years. And King 5 News broadcasted live from our parlor!

In the past 72 hours, we have booked more than 20 appointments for the next month of Mommy Mondays. . . so it looks like the word is spreading. Especially with the help of mommy websites like Red Tricycle.

Of course, at the end of the day, just after Mackenzie left and I was packing up the toys, two more moms and their one year olds walked in. So Amy, Michelle, Lisa and I got to fight over who got to sit and read Brown Bear, Brown Bear to two very cute, very cooperative toddlers.

I'll post pictures later, when I remember to bring my camera home.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Opening Party

Renata, Ali and Paul arrived in Seattle Friday night, making the launch all the more celebratory. We hosted a birthday party, a baptism party, and a belated mother's day party on our second official day! And then we had our own fabulous Opening Party in the evening. It turns out that my powers of persuasion are not strong enough to get my whole team out on the dance floor, but those that did put on their dance shoes put on a strong showing (thank you!). And thanks to all the brothers, sisters, moms, dads, nephews and friends of Julep who came to help us celebrate.