I’m embarking on a mission to try to “shop local” – not an easy task when my friends live anywhere from around the corner to forty miles away. Realizing I was in need of nail care late on a Sunday afternoon, I searched for a nail salon that was open and found C & D Nails.
Location: C & D Nails is tucked deep into a small shopping center at the busy corner of Route 202 (Wilmington Pike) and Route 926 (Street Road) in West Chester, Pennsylvania. While the shopping center itself is noticeable, it is difficult to notice all of the stores that are in the strip just from driving by. Consequently, I realized I have driven past this nail salon hundreds of times and never noticed it. The strip is anchored by a Walgreens and a Concord Pets store.
Facility: Like many store-front nail salons, C & D nails uses the general layout common to most stores. Upon entering, there are a few chairs available in case one needs to wait for a technician to be available. Nail Drying stations are located a few steps further in, but still close enough to the storefront so that customers can look outside (and prospective customers can see customers waiting for their nails to dry). On the walls are several racks of nail polishes. While I have seen facilities with a wider selection, there still seemed to be a sufficient selection of colors available. Passing the drying station and polish racks, there are two rows of manicurist stations, followed by a row of pedicure chairs. Further in the back is a waxing station. In the front lobby area, a small dorm-sized refrigerator has cans of soda available for customers.
Staff: On my visit, the staff consisted of the owner and her two daughters (both in high school). Both of the high school girls had homework available for them to work on in case there was a lull in customers. A third daughter, approximately eight years old, was present. I found the two high-school aged daughters quite articulate.
Service Offering: I had come in planning for a manicure, pedicure and waxing. There was some confusion when I asked what the difference was between their three levels of manicure/pedicure; the girls were not as well-versed in the difference between the services and had to question the owner. The three levels are Basic, Spa and Deluxe. The deluxe version apparently offers the same services as the basic service, but uses all-natural scrubs, rather than chemical-based scrubs. The Spa version of the pedicure includes hot stone massage for the calves. The salon also offers acrylic nails, gel nails and waxing services.
Service Review: The girl who did my nails did a reasonably good job. There was some confusion in that I had opted for the Spa pedicure, but mid-way through the service, the girl announced she didn’t know if she would be able to provide the hot stone part of the service, because she didn’t know if the stones had been heated in the heating unit. After some consultation with the owner, the situation was resolved and I was able to receive all of the service I had selected. Still, the uncertainty took away from being able to relax, which I typically associate with having a pedicure done. When the technician was ready to begin applying polish to my nails, the polish I had selected and handed to her was nowhere to be found. Neither of us had noticed, but the little girl had picked up the polish and couldn’t remember where she had put it. They didn’t have another bottle of the same color, so I had to go select a different color, adding to my annoyance. The waxing was handled by the owner, and she took care to ensure she did a good job.
Final: I would try C & D nails again, but perhaps when they are a bit busier – so that I would know that everything that needs to be available and on is actually available. The actual experience could have been better, but work itself was done well. If you are particular about the nail color(s) you want, I would recommend that once you select your color, hold onto the bottle until the technician is ready. For a Spa Pedicure, basic manicure, and waxing services, I was charged $62 – in line with other storefront nail salons, so the price was reasonable and fair.