By Danielle Stoppelmann, Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 14, 2013
As spring break and formals season approaches, students can take advantage of a new beauty business on South University Avenue.
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Polished is in its fifth week of operation at 1115 S. University Ave. Owner Connie Howard, who has two daughters at the University, said she left her 10-year-long career of managing a doctor’s office to begin the new venture.
Howard said the idea for the business began after one of her daughters mentioned that the nearest nail salon was at least a cab ride away — out of range for most students without cars.
Since opening, Howard said business has increased each week. The store has focused its marketing on local sorority houses, where Howard sees a demand from girls looking to prepare for formals and professional events.
“It’s going really well, and there’s definitely a need,” Howard said. “The girls are happy about it, and we are too, so it’s working out great.”
Howard said in addition to sorority girls, some of her customers have also included University faculty members. Polished aims to charge “student pricing for everybody.”
Howard added that she does not want to interfere with any of the other businesses by offering competing services, such as waxing.
“There are waxers down the street, and I don’t want anyone to feel like we’re threatening them or anything,” Howard said. “Right now we’re just doing manicures and pedicures — we’re trying to make the best we can do with that. We’re trying to help each other’s businesses out.”
Rebecca Sharp, co-owner of The Wax Loft, said having Polished as a new business on the street will help her own business in the long run.
The Wax Loft and Polished have also engaged in cross-marketing to sell both of the business’s services.
“It’s nice to have another woman-owned business on South University just a few doors down — we’re really excited about that,” Sharp said. “It is complementing our business, and we can help each other grow; it’s great.”
Nursing freshman Melanie Janson said though she enjoys getting her nails manicured by a professional, she usually does it herself because saving money is a priority for her. Polished charges about $35 for a combined manicure and pedicure.
Rackham student Emma Kaufman rewarded herself a nail treatment at Polished after taking an exam. When she attended the University as an undergraduate, she said other nail salons were inconsistent or unreliable, which she said was frustrating.
“I was really excited that they were opening a nail salon right on campus because it has definitely been missing,” Kaufman said.
Kaufman added that she was referred to Polished after visiting The Wax Loft.
Engineering senior Alison Horn found out about Polished from a brochure that was delivered to her sorority house. She said she intends to use the services, adding that the stores on South University, including Polished, Big House Tanning and The Wax Loft, are a “one-stop shop.”
—Follow Danielle Stoppelmann on Twitter at @dstoppelmann.
—Lisa Schlosberg contributed reporting