The idea that pedicures aren’t just for the ladies was one that award-winning screenwriter Michael Elliot co-signed years ago. But after feeling like a “fish out of water” when getting pedicure at a female-geared nail salon a few years ago, he decided to open his own salon where the fellas could feel more at home while getting pampered.
So in 2013 with the help of Shark Tank money, he founded the Los Angeles-based Hammer & Nails, the first pedi salon dedicated to men. Located on the iconic Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, the salon boasts a vintage “man cave” feel with oversized leather chairs, personal televisions with premium channels, Beats by Dre headphones and complimentary beverages.
Sounds pretty amazing—and it’s caught on.
After two years of growing success, Elliot, who penned the films Brown Sugar and Just Wright, is ready to expand and bring his salon to a strip mall near you.
Elliot recently sat down with NBC News to talk about the future of his business and why more men should take care of their feet better.
On franchising Hammer & Nails:
“Yes. It’s all about growing the brand. We’re taking applications for franchise opportunities now. So far we’ve had interest from all over the country and the globe, really: San Antonio, Chicago, Miami, New York City and Atlanta. We’ve even had interest from as far away as India, Austria, Berlin, Mexico and Uruguay…Our goal is to award five (licenses) in the first year.”
On how uneducated men are when it comes to their feet:
Many guys, quite frankly, are embarrassed by their feet. Most men were never taught to take care of their feet; it’s just a part of the body that they don’t pay attention to. So they don’t understand things like fungus or how to prevent ingrown toenails.
On the types of treatments they offer:
“We offer a variety of treatments like the Sports Pedicure and The Citrus Ale Pedicure (which uses Blue Moon beer) and in our Jackhammer treatment we literally use a scrub made with Tennessee Whiskey. There are many health benefits from whiskey; it’s amazing.”
Elliot’s Hammer & Nails is an another example of innovative Black entrepreneurship at its best. What type of company would you want to create if given the opportunity?