Hey ladies, it’s Anna again from Fash Boulevard, bringing you another edition of my interview series, Ladies Who Laptop. This month’s spotlight is a former financier turned owner and visionary behind one of the most stylish nail salons on the West Coast. Mani obsessed Sarah Gibson Tuttle knew a thing or two about pleasing clients. New York was her home and finance was her game. But when the blue skies and swaying palms of good ol’ California wooed her across the country, Sarah switched gears and set out to launch a new kind of neighborhood nail salon. With three booming locations, Olive & June has become a favorite destination for nail-obsessed ladies and celebrities looking to get pampered by experts in a one-of-a-kind environment. Today, Sarah opens up about her favorite winter nail trends and what her family thinks about her leap from Wall Street to Beverly Hills. Let’s dive in…
Let’s start from the beginning! After working in finance for over a decade you decided to redirect and open your own nail salon. How did this new career path come about?
Even though I loved my clients, I grew tired of working in finance after a while. I have always felt the pull to do something different, something entrepreneurial but I went back and forth on what exactly to do with that feeling. While I was visiting LA, I realized it was missing a nail salon that really made getting a manicure feel like less of a chore and more of a delight.
Beverly Hills is a long way from Wall Street. How did your friends and family take the news?
It was a huge change, and I had never done anything like it before. But also I received a ton of support. My support system really believes in my ability to will things into action, and I’m very grateful for their love. There are tough moments, and I have leaned on that support and generosity more than once!
What was the inspiration behind the design and aesthetic of Olive & June?
Capturing the look of your stylish best friend’s house, with a familial warmth that makes you feel like you immediately belong.
How did the name Olive & June come about?
Olive is my great-grandmother and June is my grandmother. They are strong, amazing women who have inspired the women after them greatly.
I love that! Let’s talk about location. How did you decide on the perfect spot for your first salon?
I searched for a home, and the restaurants that surround us there (La Scala and Porta Via) are truly homes for their patrons. It felt perfect from the minute my broker told me it was available. It was exactly what the block needed.
What sets Olive & June apart from other nail salons?
Hopefully everything! But truly it comes down to offering an amazing nail experience consistently; wonderful client service and some rad nail art when you’re in the mood.
Has your finance background helped in your entrepreneurial endeavors?
I have always been very focused on making the business solvent. I want all the fancy stuff too, but I know when to draw the line. I also serviced clients for ten years in one of the toughest businesses there is, and I think that has helped a lot in shaping how we treat our clients at Olive & June.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned since becoming an entrepreneur?
To listen way more than you speak. And that people are your biggest asset, always.
Now that you’ve conquered both coasts, what do you love most about LA and what do you miss most about New York?
I love everything about LA! I’m a die hard Angeleno, which I know is funny coming from a New Yorker. But the weather, the people, the entrepreneurial spirit, it all makes me so happy. I miss the Yankees, having a real fall season, and the Hamptons. Thank goodness for Malibu!
What is your go-to nail color?
It’s always changing. Right now I love Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around by OPI.
We’re all about healthy living here at LaurenConrad.com. What does a typical healthy day of eating consist of for you?
I am currently working with Kelly LeVeque (@bewellbykelly) and she has me eating protein, fats, greens and fiber, and cutting out sugar, etc. It’s been life changing—I’m really never hungry and my body feels so good. Her shakes are my fave!
As a successful business owner and a mommy, how do you find a healthy and productive balance?
It’s so hard, but I try to map out my days on my calendar really strategically so I get enough time with my daughter Noah and with Olive & June. Luckily I can work late and spend time with her at ballet class when I need to. I feel so grateful for my flexible schedule.
We’re all about creating a digital footprint here at LaurenConrad.com. How has social media helped you grow your brand? Do you have any social media tips?
Instagram has been instrumental in growing our business. We constantly have clients coming in solely because they saw it on a friend’s feed. The biggest advice is: be yourself. People want to feel connected.
What’s your favorite social media platform and why?
Insta. It’s so visual and fun. And now with stories, I’m on it 24/7.
What is your favorite part about owning your own company?
I love the team. They inspire me daily. I have become such a better listener, cheerleader and all around person because my team has pushed me to be.
What are some nail trends that you’re loving for Fall/Winter?
Half and half manis, white nails, brick reds, and healthy, clean bare nails (sometimes you’ve got to give your nails a break!).
For all of the dreamers out there, the fresh-out-of-college future entrepreneurs, what advice would you give them?
Get real work experience first—in any field! And learn how to work hard and long. Once you know how to do that, you won’t stop. Feeling like you should have a work/life balance immediately is unrealistic I think. You have to learn how to be a kickass worker bee so you can always naturally be one.
Who would you like to see me interview for my next Ladies Who Laptop?
Let me know in the comments below!