People’s Champion finalist 2018: London Grace
Merging cocktails, coffee and nails, London Grace is creating a social beauty experience to rival the Big Apple. Is the chain polished enough to be your People's Champion 2018?
Start-up name: London Grace
Founder: Kirsten Hazell
Started in: 2015
Based in: London
Business description: Chain of nail bars offering coffee, cocktails and nail treatments
The London Grace story:
Some of the UK’s best early-stage businesses were inspired by travel and London Grace is no exception…
It was during her time studying in the Big Apple that Kirsten Hazell fell in love with the mani-pedi experiences on offer. In New York, she found there was affordable prices, group bookings, and late night closing.
Yet, on her return to London, Hazell was dismayed by what the capital had to offer in comparison. In her words, “there was a limited choice of nail bars, luxury spa environments were too pricey, while the budget, high street options lacked style and service” and so she set about creating London Grace.
Launched in January 2015, London Grace combines a nail bar, cocktail bar and coffee shop to create a social beauty experience, with the added benefit of increased spend per head and increased customer dwell time. What’s more, nail treatments are carried out using its own brand of ‘no nasties’ nail polish and nail treatments.
Late night openings until 10pm are the norm, friends can book treatment tables together and ‘Grace Space’ private party rooms are provided in its larger stores to host celebrations with pizza and prosecco for up to 20 people on offer.
With no prior experience in the beauty industry, Hazell has scaled the multi-use space concept to eight locations across London and Essex with over 100 employees and 50,000 clients served.
The brand has also secured partnerships with brands including Capital FM and Accenture and has appeared on the Instagram feeds of celebrities such as Little Mix star Jade Thirwall.
Hazell – named among Management Today’s 35 under 35 – credits her team for much of London Grace’s early success. With only four team members in head office, Hazell says their “all hands on deck” approach has enabled them to get involved in various areas of the business for their own personal development.
Regular training and and progression opportunities are provided to the entire team of 100 and Hazell proudly asserts that over 70% of their current management positions have been promoted from within.
Why London Grace made our shortlist:
Out of a lightbulb moment comes London Grace with all the ingredients required for start-up success: A strong USP, hard-working team, range of top-quality products, a significant customer base, great client feedback (a recent satisfaction survey of 3,000 customers saw average scores of 4.4 for treatments and customer service), alongside a solid financial performance.
Reminiscent of the early days of Thea Green with Nails Inc., Hazell is building London Grace to become the city’s leading nailcare brand with a culture that makes it a great place to work.
Where to find out more about London Grace:
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