Launched late last year, an exclusively male nail salon is seeing booming business, thanks to recognising a niche growth market, writes Nadia Stennett.
When exclusively male nail salon, Hammer & Nails, launched this time last year, there were some snickers and eye rolls.
But 12 months on, the only one laughing is its founder, Michael Elliot, who’s struggling to keep up with demand, thanks to a booming niche market. And before you get any ideas about the sort of clientele frequenting Elliot’s salon, and what it might look like, think again.
Hammer & Nails is as far removed from the traditional nail salon environment as you can get. If it weren’t for the hum of the nail equipment, you’d forget you were in one altogether. Think a man cave on steroids: leather armchairs, flat-screen TVs and free-flowing beer abound, and the continuous murmur of gossiping twenty-somethings has been replaced by sporadic grunts at the footy game on TV.
Hammer & Nails is as far removed from the traditional nail salon environment as you can get. If it weren’t for the hum of the nail equipment, you’d forget you were in one altogether.
It all started when Hollywood screenwriter and entrepreneur, Elliot, decided to treat himself to a manicure. While he enjoyed the pamper and groom, Elliot found himself extremely uncomfortable with the awkward glances shot his way from regulars at the traditional, female-centric nail salon, so decided to take matters into his own hands.
Now a reality, Hammer & Nails is thriving in its Melrose Avenue shopfront in in Los Angeles, with other locations throughout the country and the world already in the works. And Australia could be next.
If Johnny Depp and Bradley Cooper can wear nail polish and be sex symbols, then the average bloke can too.
Australian businesses are already realising the potential in the male nail market, with salon brands like Faby launching nail lacquer ranges entirely dedicated to men.
General manager for Faby Australia, Karon McKendrick Taylor, says male manicures have become more socially acceptable since celebrities started showing them off.
“Ever since Seal wore yellow nail polish on TV, nail polish on men has become more acceptable. There’s also an awareness campaign at the moment called The Polished Man, where male actors and AFL players wear nail polish to raise awareness to end violence against children. If Johnny Depp and Bradley Cooper can wear nail polish and be sex symbols, then the average bloke can too.”
Have your say: Do you think Australia’s ready for a male nail salon?