In-Office Manicure Business Launches In Boston
Tending to personal hygiene on the MBTA is a sin, but those in a rush can now wait until they get to work in order to get certain tasks done, thanks to a new in-office beautifying service.
Those crunched for time who still want to keep up on their appearance can now do so in the comfort of their office with the help of Manicube—a New York-based startup that launched in Boston Tuesday.
Manicube founders Katerina Mountanos and Elizabeth Whitman came up with the concept for their business while working together in the beauty industry. Calling the task of getting a manicure a “weekly chore,”—they would need to leave early for lunch to squeeze in some beauty time, or rush out the door after work to get to a nail salon before it closed—the duo wanted to offer an alternative service where the salon would come to customers, instead. “The mission of our company is to make the lives of working women easier. Our customers have many demands but little time,” said Whitman via email. “Aside from their full time jobs, they have spouses, children, aging parents, households, health and fitness responsibilities to tend to. Often times, personal care chores fall to the bottom of the list, so we want to create easy ways [people] can stay polished and confident, a professional appearance standard that’s been shown to lead to workplace advancement.”
Already, Mountanos and Whitman are working with 15 reoccurring clients in the city, bringing the in-office salon service to workers. Manicube offers customers 15-minute, $15 manicures on the spot.
On the day of their debut in Boston, we caught up with the beauty-business entrepreneurs, to find out how they plan on bringing the success they have seen in New York to a brand new market:
So, you’ve launched in Boston. What have some of the challenges been while getting ready to target a new city?
Our expansion planning for Boston has been tremendously seamless thus far. We’ve gotten an overwhelmingly positive response from Boston-based companies and end-customers alike. We will be launching with approximately 15 local companies across a variety of industries including consulting, legal services, retail, technology, advertising and hospitality. Additionally, the local tech start up community has been very supportive of our market launch and licensed nail technicians are recognizing the great value prop we offer them.
People get weird about other people clipping their nails on the train—how have people reacted to in-office nail clipping and manicures?
Public areas are very uncleanly and packed with crowds so yes, we can appreciate that clipping nails—and really, any personal care routine—on a train would be very off-putting! Rest assured, our services typically take place in discreet conference rooms at our client sites, away from any prying or sensitive eyes. Additionally, our protocols go above and beyond on hygiene— all of our buffers and files are single use only and our metal implements are sterilized in an autoclave machine in our office and packaged individually in heat-sealable medical grade pouches: each customer gets a fresh set!
So when someone calls on Manicube for service, what can they expect?
Manicube offers 15-minute, $15 manicures to working professionals at the office— the first in-office service focused on making working women’s lives easier. We partner with the HR managers of corporate clients to set up our plug-and-play weekly service that increases both employee satisfaction and productivity— eliminating the need to “duck out” for an hour to stay professionally polished. Employees book appointments and make payments directly on our website. Our high-quality service uses salon products and protocols, as well as iPad stands at every station.
How much time and money can people save by using your service during the workday, instead of say, carving out time after work?
We estimate that our customers can save an hour each week by using Manicube during the workday. A 15-minute signature Everyday Manicube manicure down the hall is way more efficient that walking to the nail salon, waiting in line, sitting through a service and then under a drying machine for an additional 10-15 minutes. We are pleased that our customer can save an hour a week, an hour she can now spend working, spending time with her family or doing something she truly enjoys. We really believe that small lifestyle improvements— like an hour back each week– can add up.
Do you have an app where people can make quick appointments? Or is everything done on your website?
All bookings and payments are made on [our website]. Customers also tip at the time of booking which allows for a completely cashless experience at the point of service. Our site is mobile friendly so customers can quickly book, change, or cancel appointments from their smartphones in 60 seconds or less.
You’re also targeting the gentlemen demographic as well. What’s being done to get guys interested in this sort of service?
We offer a men’s Clip & Clean service for $12: developed uniquely for men, it includes shaping, cleaning, cuticle work, hand massage and buffing. Male grooming is a growing category in personal care and we definitely do serve a good number of male customers.