If I am planning on going out to town, I always look for the black owned businesses in the city I’m headed to. My search for a nail salon to visit after an informative YouTube conference in Washington D.C. lead me to Studio Chique. Prior to my visit to the nation’s capital, I made an appointment to have a mani and pedi at the full service salon. Let me tell you, this was one of the best salon experiences I have had in a long time.
(STORY TIME) As a teenager, my mom dropped me off at a salon for a bun and some finger waves. After being left under the drier for what felt like hours as my stylist argued on the phone with her boyfriend, left me to pick her kids up from school, returned… ate an Italian sub, THEN she proceeded to finish my hair. Soon after my stylist's return, the salon owner walked in looking like a the 4th member of SVW, caring a white fluffy dog. This heifer decided the middle of my hair appointment was the perfect time to start rehearsing for an upcoming hair show. It was at that moment, I decided cosmetology was the most unprofessional profession. I vowed to never have my hair done again. Boo, that was 6 hours of my life all these years later that I still want back.
But I digress.
The lovely Studio Chique is located in north west D.C., which is described as the business district of our nation's capital with major universities scattered about this section of the city. This part of D.C. is also home to many sports arena as well as the White House.
Studio Chique can be found on a main strip, no back alley or auntie’s cousin’s neighbors kitchen make shift salon. Despite being located above an Ethiopian restaurant, this welcoming hair haven is a two-story facility with services for men and women of all ages. The décor is inviting. Turquois and brown is one of my favorite color combinations (ask anyone who has been in my living room or my bedroom) so it’s no wonder upon entering in, I felt right at home.
No offensive loud music was blarring. The service stations were all clean and organized as they could be for a full service salon. I had general conversation with almost all of the stylists even though I was not there to have my hair done; I was immediately well-received and included in general conversation until the resident nail tech was ready to serve me. Ladies were hot curling hair. A male stylist was busy lining up a brotha with dreads. Other customers were waiting for their appointments. It was a typical salon experience. Or so you would think…
Even scheduling my appointment was exceptional. I contacted Studio Chique via email to inform them I was coming in from out of town and was interested in having them help me “salon test” a nail polish from Cure by Aleesha B. (check out my previous blog post to learn more about that amazing product). The receptionist called to confirm my appointment and advised me my manicurist would be Sevilla. I had seen some of her nail art on Instagram and was sure I was in good hands. BBBUUTTTT, WAYMINIT - while I was learning how to grow my YouTube channel, who go an email to say that I my business was appreciated and my service was being upgraded free of charge? Yes. Me! Ya girl was a hype jawn (jawn, RHYMES WITH YAWN – pronoun, literally used in place of a person, location or object).
Sevilla was amazing!
She provided excellent customer service and imparted some nail care tips while showing my cuticles the tender loving care they so desperately needed. Sevilla performed a waterless manicure. What is that exactly? It’s like a facial, but for your fingers. Sevilla explained to me how water can expand the nail, weakening nail polish's ability to stay on longer. She gave me tips for my feet, my toes, and ways to get better circulation in my legs. This is called the “Spa Chique" service which includes a mint foot soak, an exfoliating sugar scrub, a mud mask with hot towel wrap. Just before she painted my toes with my polish from Cure by Aleesha B, Sevilla gave me the most relaxing paraffin wax treatment. It softens the roughest skin but also relieves stiff joints, sore feet, and muscular pain.
What more can I say about Studio Chique? The esthetics were pleasing to the eye. It is an upscale and luxiourious salon, yet still felt inviting. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and courteous. The customer service was 5 star and I felt like my business had been earned. The location was in the heart of night life, museums, theaters and good food. It truly was a day well spent in D.C. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Studio Chique! This is one for the history books. My faith in the beauty service industry has been restored. All thanks to Sevilla and everyone at Studio Chique. If you are anywhere near the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia) area, make in your business to stop by Studio Chique!
Make sure you join the mailing list so you don’t miss the Q&A with Ngina Thomas, owner of Studio Chique. She has more than 15 years of experience and she share some great advice and who her celebrity dream client would be! Until next time, #BeBlack #ThinkBlack #BuyBlack.