Meet Kirsten Hazell, the lady behind the nail bar with a social agenda
When you get an email from Kirsten Hazell at London Grace asking if you want to pop over for a little gel mani/pedi session and a glass of champagne after work, you don’t say no. This is a no nonsense London nail bar equipped with a cute café AND one very indulgent wine and fizz menu in the charming neighbourhood of Putney. Life no longer has to be a dream at this chic one-stop haven.
The birth of London Grace came one year after Kirsten had the business concept for a high-quality nail bar that solely created clean thinking treatments; no excess cuticle cutting, abrasive filling or false impressions such as extensions.
We met up with the beautiful blonde London native to talk about her business, nails and all things beauty.
After living in New York for four years in her art school days, Kirsten often frequented nail salons with friends. The easy access salons was something that resided with Kirsten on her return to London.
“I think it is easier for women in New York to get a manicure; the nail bars open later and you can go with groups of friends. For me, it was a way of life when I lived there, a little treat with girlfriends after a long week and I wanted to bring that to London.”
Once Kirsten committed to the idea of bringing a little dose of New York chicness to London and undertook sufficient research to ensure her business plan was viable, all other factors were taken into account for the creation of her very own cafe-come-nail bar.
“The stages fell into qualifying as a nail technician, searching for the right location, developing the right product and then bringing it all together with trained staff.”
The name London Grace triggers thoughts of serenity; Kirsten wished for the concept of her nail bar to describe a graceful, stylish environment but still reflect the sense of fun and excitement that is synonymous with her favourite city – London!
So why Putney? We wanted to know.
Settling on Putney as London Grace’s neighbourhood came after Kirsten’s initial desire for Fulham. She soon realised location hunting wasn’t as easy as it would first appear so opened her spectrum to neighbouring areas.
“Putney has a great sense of community and a great mix of residents; from young professionals to young families to generations of the same family,” she says. “Together with my commercial neighbours they gave me a lovely welcome and have continued to support me.”
London Grace is unique for many reasons but one more personal than others; their named nail polishes. And the colours are amazing! The naming of the products after people came from those who were instrumental in helping Kirsten achieve London Grace. As previously noted Kirsten wanted London Grace to stock products which were free from nasties. In order to do so, Kirsten had to tirelessly work in finding a manufacturer that would adhere to her wishes. Through perseverance she found her idea partner.
“I could not have started London Grace without the help of a few wonderful people; some gave me the confidence to leave my job, some helped to find the right store and many sat through endless nail treatments as I perfected the products. I wanted to show my appreciation to them and I also wanted to allow my customers a glimpse of what it takes to open a business and how personal it was to me.”
Kirsten wishes for customers to leave London Grace feeling like they have had an experience.
“I have tried to think through each detail so that every customer always has something to take away. From the planning of the music list, the changing cocktail menu to the seasonal nail colours.”
It is imperative to those behind the design of London Grace that people who cross their door feel like ‘they have found somewhere they enjoy being.’ Whether ladies are coming to London Grace for a pedicure and a glass of Prosecco after work on a Thursday, Saturday night cocktails and a manicure with friends, a girly time to share with your Mum or even just a quiet spot for a cup of joe and the paper, the team at London Grace hope each women has some much needed ‘me-time.’
Will London Grace spread its glamorous wings to other neighbourhoods in the capital?
“London Grace should be shared with as many women as possible and London is a great place to start. As I have said it, it takes time to find the right locations but I am beginning to look. Watch this space!”
To check out London Grace’s wide scoop of treatments and products, flutter over to their website for more info London Grace.