It’s Saturday afternoon, 2p.m. The sidewalk along Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard in Harlem is pretty quiet. People are making their way to the hair salons, boutiques, and other businesses that line the street, enjoying a casual afternoon. Then you hit Bed of Nails, the new nail salon that’s opening up between 133rd and 134th street, and there’s a riot of activity — a step-and-repeat with purple balloons out front; a DJ pumping music inside, the tunes drifting onto the sidewalk; a young man in a suit serving cocktails; and a line snaking toward the door, customers waiting for an opening day complimentary manicure.
The grand opening of Bed of Nails brings to the avenue a new nail salon to join the handful scattered around the neighborhood. Providing manicures, pedicures, waxing, and other salon services, the owner of Bed of Nails is 25-year-old Candice Idehen.
“I went to Catholic school where nails were the main form of expression,” Idehen told MadameNoire Business. While in college, she took an entrepreneurship course where she was asked to come up with a business idea. Outside of her regular course of study, Idehen took manicure courses at night.
After graduation, her first jobs were working on photo shoots where she prepared the hands of celebrities and models for their close up shots in magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue Paris. For some clients with busy schedules, she’d show up at their homes and provide services while they were in bed, hence the name of the salon.
Her travel experience and work with trendsetters and the media isn’t something she wants to give up. But Idehen says she has always wanted to work in a salon, and has in the past. In fact, it’s that work that informed many of the decisions she made for Bed of Nails.
“I didn’t like the point of view of the owners,” she said. “Many didn’t do nails so they didn’t know about the chairs and tools.” For example, the manicurist chairs in Bed of Nails pivot and move so salon workers can comfortably maneuver.