Olive & June’s Founder on Creating the Dreamy Nail Salon You’ll Want to Live In
It’s been an epic year for women. In the realm of beauty and fashion, more female entrepreneurs than ever are developing companies that address their needs — and the desires of many other women along with them. Best friends Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky created the online jewelry shop BaubleBar after not being able to buy affordable costume jewelry. Jenn Kapahi, the co-founder of beauty brand trèStiQue, wanted a simplified beauty regimen and figured out how to perfect a five-minute makeup routine with her line of products. In this week’s How to Quit Your Day Job series, we chat with Sarah Gibson Tuttle, who founded the dreamy nail salon Olive & June in Los Angeles after she couldn’t find her ideal shop to relax and enjoy a mani & pedi with her friends.
Meet The Nail Salon Pro: Sarah Gibson Tuttle
Before Sarah Gibson Tuttle launched Olive & June, she worked for 10 years as an equity sales trader at JP Morgan & Morgan Stanley in New York City. But a big move to Los Angeles prompted her to go in an entirely different direction with her career. After a fruitless search to find the perfect boutique for a luxurious manicure and pedicure, she decided to establish the salon she wanted: a beautiful space for friends to gather and get expert nail care. Tuttle opened the doors to the first Olive & June location in Beverly Hills in 2013 and has since set up shop in two more spots in Los Angeles. In addition to her picturesque salons, the brand offers nail art stickers and beauty teas.
Brit + Co: What’s your morning routine?
Sarah Gibson Tuttle: Always breakfast with my daughter, sometimes the gym — and fighting the urge to respond to work emails until 8am. I’ve learned that I need a little time before I dive in, and so does my team.
B+C: What inspired you to start your company?
SGT: I love nails and had the hardest time finding a place in LA to get my nails done. I wanted to find an inviting space where nails feel like a wonderful experience, not just a chore to check off your list.
B+C: How do you challenge yourself as an entrepreneur?
SGT: By learning and growing every single day; each challenge has made me a better person along the way. I recently read Essentialism by Greg McKeown and fell in love with it. [The theme of the book is to] focus on the essential and let the rest fall away. Your mission is the only focus.
B+C: Tell us about how your family and friends help support your business.
SGT: Everyone in my life is blindly supportive of Olive & June, but I really force them to give me honest feedback. It’s imperative for every business to constantly keep growing.
B+C: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
SGT: Nothing is an overnight success. No matter what it seems like, everything takes work — really freaking hard work — so put in the work.
B+C: What do you love about your job?
SGT: I love our team. They inspire me daily. So much of what we’re building comes from the internal conversations around how our clients feel and what they want, in addition to how our team perceives the future of nails and thus Olive & June. We are a constant feedback loop in the most inspiring way.
B+C: Name two female heroes who you think should get a shout-out.
SGT: Heidi Zak (CEO of ThirdLove) recently took out an ad in the New York Times confronting the gender norms of Victoria’s Secret’s annual runway show. Seeing a powerful woman CEO really use her voice was beyond inspiring.
Eva Chen is the busiest human. She runs fashion partnerships for Instagram, is an author, and is active on her account all day, every day. She answers every question I have — from Olive & June to kid stuff. She is that friend who really shows up for you.
B+C: If you could tell aspiring creative women anything, what would it be?
SGT: Always think about how to innovate. Well branded is great, but innovation is next level.
What’s your dream career? Tweet us @BritandCo to let us know, and we could feature it in the next column.
(Photos via Olive & June)
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