After an awkward pedicure in 2013, Michael Elliot swore off nail salons indefinitely. Something about the experience made him uncomfortable, and he began to analyze it.
“From the predominantly female clients to the paint color on the wall, that place was clearly designed to appeal to women,” he says. “I thought to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place that would appeal to a guy when he needed this type of service?’”
That was Elliot’s “Aha!” moment, and the birth of Hammer & Nails Grooming Shop for Guys. After an unsuccessful appearance on Shark Tank in 2014, Hammer & Nails is now a successful franchise with locations in Miami and Los Angeles, and a new location coming to Metro Centre at Owings Mills this month.
Elliot has created the ultimate “man cave nirvana” with big bison leather chairs, personal TVs, noise- cancelling headphones, and a complimentary frosty beverage for each client who enters the shop. “From the moment you walk in, you feel like you’re in a different place,” says Elliot. “You’re leaving the world outside.”
While all the hand- and foot-care services include nail trimming, a soak, cuticle care, a hot towel, and a massage—that’s where the similarities to traditional nail salons end. Some of the premium treatments include a Citrus White Ale Pedicure with a Dead Sea salt scrub, the “Jack and Hammer Experience” with a whiskey-spiked soak and scrub, and a Guinness-laced hand and foot repair. Men’s hair and shaving services will also be available at the Metro Centre location.
“I saw an opportunity to create a place that wasn’t just going to be about getting a service you could get anywhere else,” says Elliot. “I wanted it to be experiential—the kind of place a guy would want to be for an hour or more and get a manicure and pedicure in a comfortable and relaxing state.”