Mani Pedi Cutie in Hermosa Beach is one of those places you have to visit in order to appreciate. When I walked in, I was both impressed and curious. At first I thought MPC was just a gorgeous salon. Then, I noticed an area designed with young girls in mind and learned that the salon uses non-toxic beauty products. When I heard the proprietor was I mom of two kids, I knew that I had to interview her for my website.
Fearless, intelligent, determined are just a few adjectives that I would use to describe Ally Conley, the owner of Mani Pedi Cutie. With two children ages 3 and 6 she created an upscale nail salon that is both eco-friendly and child friendly. When you read her story, you will understand why I chose the adjectives above to describe her.
The concept of an eco-friendly, child friendly salon came to Ally when she had her first child. After being home for three months with her first child, the fog of motherhood lifted and she discovered she needed a pedicure for an event that her husband wanted her to attend. She had no babysitters in her rolodex (being a first time mom) and no family in the immediate vicinity. The idea of taking a 3-month old baby to a salon with the overwhelming odor of polish, acrylic and acetone didn’t seem like a great idea. That’s when the idea of a family friendly spa first came to her.
Six years later, Ally has taken her idea from concept to reality. When Ally and I sat down to talk I got an in-depth glimpse of what she went through to create her spa oasis. I wish there was time and space to share the entire story. The highlights of her journey from start to finish included writing a comprehensive business plan, obtaining financing, finding a location, gutting and rebuilding the location, hiring employees and finally, opening the doors! Her biggest challenge was creating a business dwelling that met the rigid standards of city planners. This also added tens of thousands onto her initial planned budget.
Imagine the disappointment that Ally felt on the day that she learned she would have to completely rebuild her restrooms. Just when she thought she had accounted for every unseen expense, another one would pop up. Ally didn’t let any of these obstacles deter her. She has a mantra that she repeats to herself, “ You have to jump into the deep end if you want to find the treasure.” She persevered and has created a spa where mothers and daughters can enjoy spa services together.
Ally was very honest with me. She said there are days when she feels like the sacrifices she and her family have made were greater than she expected. And, there are days when the rewards of following through with her goal exceed the sacrifice.
Grab your girlfriends, daughters and nieces and visit Mani Pedi Cutie to show your support for the incredible effort of this inspired mom. I guarantee, you will want to tell your friends about it too! The phone number for appointments: 310-376-9988 or visit: www.manipedicutie.com
PS A great website that Ally wanted to share with all aspiring small business owners: www.sba.org