Anyone who visits a typical neighborhood nail salon may gather that the industry needs a makeover.
There's the scheduling, questionable hygiene and little ventilation to dissipate the acrylic nail fumes.
But demand for a professional manicure and pedicure is still strong.
Enter Twila True, a businesswoman and philanthropist, had an idea to reshape the nail business that was born out of her frustrations.
True is Native American and founded the nonprofit True Sioux Hope Foundation, an organization providing education and infrastructure funding for the Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. While living in Hong Kong she founded Love Without Boundaries — True Children's Home based in China that offers aid to children with terminal birth defects.
After living in Asia for almost 15 years, True returned to California and wanted to meet up with girlfriends over a manicure.
"When I came back, I was not impressed by the services," True said in late March. "There were a few good places but they weren't great."
True, who is co-founder and president of True Investments, an Irvine-based real estate private equity firm, thought about opening one nail studio and shared her vision with her husband. They saw potential to roll out a new concept in a nail salon services industry that generated approximately 8.54 billion dollars in 2014.
True said she wanted her nail salon to become a destination for the discriminating Orange County customers, with its spotlessly clean, professional, air-drying and aesthetically inclined nail-salon environment.
"Getting your nails done should be a great experience," True said. "We want to raise the expectation and make it modern, fresh and enticing to visit."
Her company, Polished Perfect by Twila True recently opened its first studio off Baker Street in Costa Mesa, hopes to open another soon on E. 17th St.and the company plans to expand to Scottsdale, Ariz. and Dallas, Texas next year.
The first thing she wanted to tackle was hygiene.
There won't be jetted pedicure tubs at Polished Perfect studios.
True said the piping and internal components within a whirlpool foot spa could contain hidden bacteria that isn't all disinfected. Foot baths are difficult to sterilize quickly and are a breeding ground for mycobacterium which can produce warts, athlete's foot, toenail fungus and other viruses that thrive in a warm and wet environment.
True said the studio will have a pipeless drainage system tub to prevent bacteria building in pipes.
Surgical stainless steel instruments will be packaged in one color for sanitized tools and another for dirty that will be make it easier for staff and clients to determine which to use. It was important, True said, to let customers know of the sterilized tools used on hands and feet since contaminated instruments are the leading cause of salon infections.
Another step was to provide customer service by offering expertise of the nail industry's top artists. Latest nail techniques, education and inspiration will be shared in books available in the studio.
The special treatment, she said, will begin once a customer walks to the reception desk. An employee will provide a client with a look book showcasing various nail designs. One chapter will spotlight the top 10 colors each season and other pages will feature a selection of nail shapes, popular nail polishes and nail art, from glitter and geometrics to Swarovski crystals.
The goal, True said, is for a customer to walk in and flip through the creative material delivering the latest fashion trends.
Polished Perfect has its own line of toxin-free polish which includes colors and titles like "Suit and Tie," "Yacht Club" and "Pick Me Up."
The Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce said it was happy the new business was starting in the community.
"We're excited they chose Costa Mesa as their initial location and we're looking forward to them growing their unique concept," said Kyle Woosley, chamber of commerce president.
Polished Perfect said it is seeking to help establish aspiring nail artists, technicians and students' careers.
IF YOU GO
What: Polished Perfect
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: 801 Baker St., Costa Mesa