The clean, bright, calming atmosphere of Paloma’s two Houston nail salon locations is no accident; founder Maryam Naderi says she had a clear vision of the aesthetic she wanted from the start. “Our aim was to bring clean nails to people in a warm, inviting, relaxing, aesthetically pleasing space, so that’s exactly what you
see when you come into Paloma,” she says. The modern salons feature polished concrete floors, white Neolith surfaces, ombré Calico wallpaper and eye-catching blue Eero Saarinen Womb Chairs that serve as pedicure chairs atop wood platforms. “The salons are intentionally not overwhelming with anything on the walls or abrasive design elements, such as chandeliers, or a lot of decor,” Naderi says of the two spaces, the first of which opened in 2016 and the second opened earlier this year.
To bring her vision to life and ensure continuity between the locations, Naderi hired local architecture firm Content, as well as a lighting consultant, but made interior design and materials decisions herself. While she found hiring an architecture firm incredibly valuable for generating buzz and excitement surrounding her business—Paloma even won a 2017 AIA Houston Design Award—she acknowledges that this option is not financially viable for every business owner. Regardless of whether you hire a pro or design your nail salon space yourself though, Naderi cautions, it’s important to be prepared for bumps in the road. “What you can count on no matter what is that things will not go according to plan,” she says. “My best advice to current or aspiring entrepreneurs is to overcapitalize; you’re always going to need more money than you think, and the worst thing you can do is run out of money when you’re in the middle of a project.”