Local entrepreneur is paying it forward, one nailbed at a time
September 9, 2011 · 9:27 AM
LANGLEY — Stephanie Coulon loves her customers.
“I’m blessed to do what I do,” she said, “I love people, I love to talk to people and I love to laugh with people.”
She named her new Langley nail salon “Live, Laugh and Lacquer,” because, she said, she wanted a name that would reflect what her business stands for: A place to relax, have your nails done and catch up with friends.
“I want people to feel like they are at a friend’s house when they come here,” she said.
Indeed, the place has the inviting and comfortable feel of a friend’s apartment.
“Live, Laugh and Lacquer” is located upstairs at Camano Center on Camano Avenue across the street from Langley Middle School.
Coulon was a nail tech in her hometown of Las Vegas, Nev. for
15 years before she arrived with her family on Whidbey in December. She offers everything to do with manicures and pedicures, as well as spray tanning. Coulon already has a small loyal following for the magic she works on nails (“My nails always stayed on during tiling, grouting, painting, yard work, etc.” said one happy customer of her acrylic set), but her services to the community extend beyond the realm of the hands and feet.
The tagline for her business is “Beauty with a purpose.” Coulon’s purpose is to pay it forward.
She donates $1 to a chosen charity-of-the-month for every service she provides to each customer. This month she chose Good Cheer, surprised as she was by the number of people who use the foodbank.
In August the proceeds went to the Lymphoma Research Foundation. A young friend of hers recently died of the disease, and several other people in her life have either died or struggled with cancer.
“I’ve always felt there’s somebody who needs it more than me,” Coulon said.
“It’s important to give back. There’s not a person in the world who hasn’t been touched in some way by cancer and it’s just really important to me — especially on the cancer front — to contribute in some way,” she added.
This is Coulon’s first business. Previously she worked out of other salons as an independent contractor. She was unsure about opening a business in the current economic climate, but was encouraged by her husband, who helped her renovate the light and airy space. Back in Las Vegas, her mom was also supportive.
“I think you are meant to do this and I think it’ll be fabulous,” her mom told her.
Fabulous is right. As she talks, Coulon administers a thorough foot massage and pumice, taking her guest through the process of an attentive pedicure.
“Live, Laugh and Lacquer” is a pleasant and roomy salon that currently houses Coulon’s pedicure chair and manicure table and has a small waiting room with a reception desk. She hopes to add another chair for another nail technician in the future.
Coulon said her motto follows the old rule: It’s all about the customer. She believes that is the key to good business.
“After so much time in the industry, I have learned that above all, you have to have a passion for people. My clients are not just a dollar sign to me. I enjoy building relationships, hearing about their lives and seeing their faces,” she said.
One customer recently brought her five pounds of salmon that her husband had caught. Apparently, that family doesn’t care to eat salmon, but Coulon was thrilled. Having a gift of fresh salmon in her office fridge to bring home is just the sort of thing she said she loves about her new home and community on Whidbey Island.
“My clients are awesome,” she said.
When asked how she came up with the unusual name for her salon, Coulon said that laughing with people is a big part of who she is.
“I think it’s important to laugh. And even if you don’t want to get your nails done, just come in and say, ‘Hi,’” she said.
The salon is holding grand opening specials for three more weeks including a mani, pedi combo for $35, a full set of acrylic or gels for $25 and acrylic or gel fills for $20.
Live, Laugh and Lacquer is at 772 Camano Ave., Suite 204 B. Call 221-7282 or visit www.livelaughlacquer.com for more information.