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New nail salon opens to rush of clients

When Kei-Shea Fubler and Kaylaya Pendleton opened their new nail salon, TopKoat Lounge, earlier this month, there was a rush of clients.

“After lockdown, women couldn't wait to get into the salon, especially for their feet,” Ms Fubler said. “They just couldn't take their toe nails any more.”

After the initial surge they had a slow week, then things steadied out. TopKoat Lounge is located next to Raynor's Rubis Service Station on Middle Road in Southampton, and offers manicures, pedicures, nail extensions, acrylic nails and hard gel treatments.

The pair had been renting booths in another salon in the same location for over a year.

When the salon owner moved to Hamilton, they wanted to stay. “We felt more comfortable in this area,” Ms Pendleton said. “Most of our clients live in Southampton. We decided that if we could, we would take over and make this our own place.”

One advantage is that clients do not have to pay for parking.

Ms Pendleton acknowledged that they are both young business owners. Ms Fubler is 20, and Ms Pendleton 23.

“It kind of was unnerving to go out on our own, but we have a real strong support system behind us,” Ms Fubler said. “I want to thank my mother, Wendy Fubler. Decorating wise, she really helped us.”

Ms Pendleton said, so far, things have not been too challenging.

“The only hard part was not being able to work since March,” she said. “Now we are getting back on track and working our butts off to continue.”

Ms Fubler loves meeting new people. “There are so many different personalities,” she said. “Everyone jokes around. There is so much fun and humour in the salon.”

Ms Pendleton said some clients will come in whatever the struggles going on in their lives.

“They make sure they come and get the one thing done, because it relaxes them,” she said.

Ms Fubler said clients who were in a good financial position before the pandemic are dealing with it and are generally all right.

“A few clients have not been able to come in,” she said. “We have said we will be here for you when you are ready to come in.”

Ms Pendleton said the vibe at TopKoat Lounge is friendly and open. She said sometimes very deep conversations happen in the salon between themselves and clients, and between the clients themselves.

They have seen customers strike up friendships and then schedule their next appointments to come in at the same time, so they can chat again.

“You can't find this vibe anywhere else,” Ms Pendleton said. “We are different people with different personalities.”

“She is the joker and I am the more quiet one,” Ms Fubler said.

During this time of Covid-19 they are working hard to keep the salon clean and sanitised.

“We put plastic covers over the chairs,” Ms Fubler said. “We have hand sanitiser for the clients. We still get them to wash their hands.

“It is a small space so we limit the amount of people in here. Everything is extra clean.”

The women are largely self-taught in nail art.

“I was planning on going away to school in September coming,” Ms Fubler said. “I decided to stay here and do the business instead. That worked out in my favour. Due to the pandemic, I probably wouldn't have been going anywhere.”

“I did a Tammy Taylor brand course,” Ms Fubler said. “There is a Tammy Taylor educator here. The course was a good help. I am still learning from the teacher. I think this is a business where there is always something to learn.”

For more information see topkoatlounge.oursalononline.com or Facebook and Instagram, call 261-5432 or e-mail topkoatlounge@gmail.com

Strong support: co-owner and nail technician Kaylaya Pendleton working on a client at the new TopKoat Lounge

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Published July 03, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated July 03, 2020 at 9:16 am)

New nail salon opens to rush of clients

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