Lisa Hintgen believes in silver linings. If it hadn’t been for the forced closure of her popular Cherry Creek North nail salon by developers, she wouldn’t be opening Polished Hair & Nail Studio in Stapleton’s Eastbridge project in February. After investing in elegant décor and state-of-the-art fixtures, the former business, Polished Nail Boutique & Beauty Lounge, closed abruptly after 18 months in business. “During the whole awfulness that happened,” says Hintgen, “you can’t see the forest for the trees but there’s always a silver lining and this one seems to be rather fabulous.”
Polished Hair & Nail Studio will offer complete hair and nail services for men, women and children including a hair Braiding Bar that Hintgen feels will be very popular with teen girls. Offering services to men is not new for Hintgen, reflecting a change in the times. “What I find is men’s hair and women’s hair aren’t so different anymore because a lot of women have short hair and men have long hair,” she says. “Men want to look after themselves and come in and have a pedicure or whatever and relax.”
Born in South Africa, and after living in London, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Lowry resident has been firmly planted in Denver for eight years with her husband (who helped her design both salons) and their 4-year-old daughter. While looking for places to get manicures and pedicures for herself, her one indulgence, Hintgen was disappointed with the standards of sanitation and ventilation and felt there had to be a better way.
She went back to business school, wrote a business plan and started looking for locations, opening Polished in 2014. Customers appreciated one-time-use products such as buffer and emery boards, the ventilation system and egg-shaped, pipe-less pedicure chairs that use separate systems to add and remove water from foot basins, ensuring that none of the previous client’s water enters the basin.
Hintgen has been talking to people who have successful salons, and says, “Everyone’s been really kind in giving me advice and helping me along.” She has also been spending time in Stapleton. She knows the Stapleton community will require a different approach than her Cherry Creek clientele for whom the all-white décor with gilded mirrors and a massive chandelier were perfect. The popular egg chairs will still be there and she will continue her focus on more natural, formaldehyde-free and cruelty-free products. But Hintgen says the new location will have a warmer, woodsier, more approachable feeling with as many sustainable products as possible. “I really like that they’ve made this (Eastbridge Town Center) interesting and more Colorado-based. That’s really lovely.”
The Eastbridge Town Center is located just west of Havana on MLK Blvd.; businesses are expected to open between late 2016 and spring 2017.