She, Made Manicures as Popular as McDonald’s Burger Nails Inc founder, Thea Green, also regarded as ‘The Nail Queen’ has got her own bottle of magic. She feels that we all should embrace a little Americanism in ourselves, or at least act a bit like Americans do. Thea is the woman who imported the nail bar trend from high-end fashion streets of New York to elegant royal streets of London, making manicures as popular as a Starbuck latte or McDonald’s burger. She regards her nails as ‘Rainbow nails’ with major colours in her library being Orange, Peach, Neon Pink, Green, and Pale Blue. Most women we know balk at wearing such colours, but then Thea Green doesn’t arrive in a common category. Nail Queen’s Breakthrough Thea brilliantly turned her small idea to open a nail bar in London into a market leader worth £22m. After she left journalism to focus on her business Nails Inc, Thea’s commitment towards her work has never wavered. She has carved a niche in Industry by making women feel marvelous. Before launching her franchise at the age of 23, she used to work as Tatler’s fashion editor. This role required frequent travels to New York. This is where she discovered women clad in designer business suits or dresses would enter Manhattan in their plush cars and head straight to nail bars located at the Big Apple for a quick manicure. This gave her a brilliant idea. She brought the concept to London in 1999 by launching nail polishes and nail bars, with the financial assistance of £250,000 from private investors, family, and friends. Her vision for her own nail bar was a bit different than what she saw in New York. Her breakthrough was the product they produced rather than opting for some market selling product and providing manicure. In the United States they do not go for a product, she explains. There are lots of affordable nail bars, which provide decent manicure, but there is no customer experience, no brand, no recommendation, no image, nothing. This is what she tweaked in her business. The sales for her brand Nails Inc in the United Kingdom has been growing rapidly and accounts for almost 65% of the business, which does not include revenues generated from the online sales. Workplace Flexibility at Nail Queen’s Empire The workplace culture at Thea Green’s Nails Inc is quite flexible and refreshing. It’s a women-centric workplace, which focuses on giving a maximum employment to women. The company has a staff of more than 400 employees, out of which most are women, having a background in the retail side, not beauty. The company operates on a motto- Retention is the key. The culture at Green’s company believes in opportunities for growth of employees along with company’s growth. The entire culture here is made up of learnt-on-the-job, corporate savvy, and a mix of entrepreneurial employees. Each and every one of them is highly creative, self-managing, disciplined, and entrepreneurial. Green often quotes, most of her senior executives, if they weren’t working for her, would have ended up setting up their own enterprises. Brand excitement and a great innovation are the force, which keeps employees hold onto the company. Whether, the question is about international growth and product development, every employee works hard and brilliantly to make an impact. The growth, innovation, and thirst for success in employees in driving her business forward. There is no place for ego at Green’s place. The work hours are highly flexible for employees at the head office, as Thea Green understands the importance of maintaining a balance between work and life. The workers are extremely hard working as they never steal away from working late nights. Green herself, is a workaholic, she and her employees would prefer working tirelessly. Her company is always fishing to draw the best person, and this is the reason they provide flexible work timings. Thea feels her team of skilled and best infield employees, produce brilliant results whenever she wants them to, so rewarding them with flexible hours is the least she could do for making them feel like home. Thea Green prefers in engaging her employees in discussions related to the company, no matter on what position they are, from a marketing head to salesman, she involves them all. Every Friday she treats her employees with benefits like pizzas and drinks, and monthly she rewards free manicure sessions and some of her expensive nail paints to employees and their families. Employee engagement and employee benefits are the main criteria are considers keeping under constant observation, as this is the reason, which is responsible for driving her growth.
When questioned about her work she answers, “I don’t ever want to switch off, it’s a big extension of who I am and I thoroughly enjoy it. It can be difficult, of course, to find a work-life balance but when you’re running your own business it’s up to you to find that balance.“
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.