Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ongoing Improvements

One of the things I love most about starting Julep is engaging in a path of ongoing improvement and growth.

Some of the improvements you may notice if you've been with us from the beginning:

1) Our cushions have now bee restuffed - cushier seat and supportier lumbar.

2) Our light tails have been shortened - making them easier to move around and get light where our vernisseurs need it.

3) This one you haven't seen if you're a guest, but our lockers and counter have finally arrived - making our breakroom just a little less of a storage closet . . .

4) Due to popular demand, we've added 2 more flat screens (total of 3 now) - making it easier for anyone in the parlor to watch Sex in the City.

A few things we're still working on:

1) Online scheduling - coming very, very soon. (Vs. the "Coming Soon" we've been stating on our website).

2) Getting additional signage out front to help you find us!

3) Getting labels for our fabulous cuticle oil (in roller ball bottles!) so we can start sharing our magic potion with the world.

4) Getting new foot-rests attachments so we can make our pedicures even more comfortable.

And much, much more.

Let us know if you have any ideas!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Bare Double Up

No, there isn't anything R-rated going on here. It's just my very favorite service these days.

I'm a busy working mom, and while I aspire to look as easy breezy put together as Reese Witherspoon, on many days, I don't even get around to remembering to put my lipstick on until sometime after lunch (okay, maybe dinner . . .). But I've always felt self conscious about my raggedy hands. At business meetings, I've gone to great lengths to distract attention away from them, and my yucky (yes, sometimes even bloody) cuticles.

The Bare Double Up is the perfect answer for me (it's not really on the menu yet, but you can ask for it - it will drive our parlor hostesses Kate and Audrey batty trying to figure out how the heck to schedule it!)

I love it because:
It's fast. The same great attentive service, in just fifteen minutes because you have one vernisseur working on each hand.

It's effective! The treatment leaves my hands soft, neat, and lovely. No more flags of cuticles waving down random passers by.

It's the perfect (fast) pick me up. I hadn't expected how luxurious it would feel to have two vernisseurs paying attention to little ol' me at the same time.

No nail polish to chip! I am hard on my hands (mopping, paper shuffling, kid bathing), so I love to just buff my nails to a glossy shine.

I spend more time looking at my hands (on the keyboard, on the steering wheel, on my son and daughter) than any other part of me. It just makes me feel more together when they look great. And if I FEEL more together, then maybe just maybe I'll get by another day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mother Daughter Bonding

We had four sets of mothers and daughters in today - with all age groups represented.

One set with elementary school aged girls ate their sushi lunches during their pedicures. The younger girl emerged with sparkly legs (our chocolate sparkle lotion) and cheery purple toes.

I love creating a place where moms and daughters can come together. I hope they create great memories at Julep, and continue to come back together over the years as they grow up.

Watching all these mother daugher interactions made me miss my mom, and wonder about what shape my relationship with my daughter will take on over the coming years.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

At Long Last, Julep Nail Vernis

We love our friendly, helpful UPS guy, but we've never loved him more than the day he showed up with boxes and boxes of our very own Julep Nail Vernis.

They're in cute 1/4 oz bottles, because larger bottles of nail polish are never good after the first 1/2 bottle anyway - they get too thick. Many spas address this problem by adding some thinner to the bottle - but that weakens the polish and decreases the longevity when applied. Our small powerful bottles are going to help us give the best polish treatments in town.

We have twenty-five chic colors, including a range of pale pinks and dark reds that were developed to compliment the range of cool and warm skin tones. (We learned a thing or two from Bobbi Brown).

And they have fun names like "Halle" (smooth pale violet), "Jennifer" (soft pink), and "Susan" (sophisticated fire engine red).

But best of all, they are free of icky things like toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate.

We were almost giddy while upacking the boxes.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Toddlerdom? Puppyhood?

I think businesses grow up in dog years, because after our first month, we are certainly past our infancy and out testing new boundaries, beginning to form a pattern about the way our world works.

As a parent, I always missed all of the "firsts" that we were supposed to record in those fancy bound parenting diaries I never bought. And it wasn't all just because I was eating Doritos while watching The Office.

It's also because I never could figure out the exact moment when something happened. My son surely said "bah" for weeks on end before I finally realized that he meant "ball." I didn't know what date to record as the momentous occasion of him uttering his first word. He was doing what my husband affectionately called "The Flying Squirrel" - launching from one piece of furniture to another for quite some time, when one day he started just running. He always had the velocity, though. It turns out you CAN lean to run before you learn to walk.

Sometimes, when we're trying out a new event (e.g. July 13th, our first Eighties Friday), a new pillow (round lumbar pillows, introduced sometime over the past two weeks) or a new service (the "Busy Bee" twice as fast treatment), I'm not sure if we're hurling ourselves from the coffee table to the ottoman or if we're actually running.

But just think what we'll be doing next week!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Manicures and Pedicures in the Tropics

Everyday is an adventure!

Today's excitement was that our air conditioner decided to malfunction - of course on the hottest day so far.

So we swung open our doors to the fresh air, and tried to make the best of it.

Living in Seattle, my zone of comfort has significantly reduced to between 70 degrees and 72 degrees. Anything colder is too cold, anything warmer is too warm.

But it felt like the deck of the Love Boat today (did they do manicures and pedicures? or just shuffleboard?).

I think there should have been an additional member of the Love Boat team - the manicurist. She would have been more sophisticated than Julie - and more understanding, less cluelessly bossy.

As fun as this was, I won't be sad to have the problem fixed by Thursday, when we get back (we open to a 40th birthday party for six!). Although one of our guests mentioned that she thought the temperature fit well with our Southern "Julep" name.

In other exciting news, we're getting the new, lower bases to our ergonomic chairs for our vernisseurs this week, as well as our vernisseur lockers.

And we got our new lumbar pillows today!