Entrepreneur Polishes Business Acumen With Joy In Her Heart

By Beth Treffeisen Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) After the state passed new regulations in 2015 permitting mobile nail salons, Sarah Mason got to work, promoting her venture through Facebook and by word of mouth. Within the first two years, the company more than doubled in size.

MASHPEE

Cape Cod Nail Co. founder and owner Sarah Mason often can be found celebrating with a group of friends before a big wedding day, or at birthday parties or fundraisers across the Cape, spreading fun and enjoyment by polishing nails.

"The people that we meet, it's just really cool," said Mason, who has traveled across the Cape with her mobile nail salon company. Since her clients usually are celebrating something, she said, "It's really, really fun."

Founded in February 2016, Mason's business continues to grow. She launched a pop-up retail store at Mashpee Commons, and she continues to expand her nail polish line.

Mason, a nail technician for 13 years, was looking for a job that allowed for flexible hours and the opportunity to care for her two young sons. Child care was expensive, so long hours working at a salon wouldn't do.

Mason began to do nails out of a women's fitness center in Mashpee, along with at friends' weddings and parties. "It was so fun," she said. "I started to think maybe this could be a thing."

After the state passed new regulations in 2015 permitting mobile nail salons, Mason got to work, promoting her venture through Facebook and by word of mouth, she said.

Within the first two years, the company more than doubled in size. "It's just been growing from there," she said. In October 2017 she launched a line of polish, sporting unique names and colors, such as Olive the Tourists are Gone, Aw Shucks and Washashore.

Along with being vegan-friendly and made in the United States, she said her product is "9-free," meaning it doesn't contain the nine harsh chemicals typically found in nail polish.

The polish side of the business came about when Mason's clients began turning away from traditional nail polishing in favor of methods that lasted longer. After some research, she discovered she could create a cleaner, better product for them that would last. "(I) essentially started a second business without realizing it," Mason said.

This year, Cape Cod Nail Co. was the first to be selected for a pop-up store at Mashpee Commons. The storefront is a collaboration between Mashpee Commons and Entrepreneurship For All (EforAll) Cape Cod.

Entrepreneurs who have graduated from the EforAll program can apply to occupy the location, said Christin Marshall, executive director of the Cape Cod chapter. About every six months, a new business will take over the store, she said.

Mason took part in EforAll South Coast last summer and will be in the pop-up store until February.

Entrepreneurs' rent for the pop-up is based on sales, rather than the going rate of about $1,700 a month, Marshall said.

Mary Derr, marketing director for Mashpee Commons, said she loves the EforAll mission and how the pop-up store helps local entrepreneurs get on their feet.

"We see it as a great opportunity for these emerging entrepreneurs to spread awareness of their up-and-coming mission and business model and connect with the potential customer base and local community as well," Derr said. "It's been great, we love having them here."

Half the pop-up is set up as a retail store for Mason's polish line, while the other half is an open-concept living room.

As a mobile business, Mason said she is allowed by the state to do pop-up hours and wanted to create an environment where her clients can experience her services in a space that feels like home.

Mason said many customers have asked whether she plans to open a brick-and-mortar location.

"It's just been like the pop-up shop has really thrown a wrench in my whole outlook" of flexible hours and working around her children's schedule, Mason said, adding that she's not sure what her next steps will be.

Roxanne Craft, events manager for Cape Cod Nail Co., said Mason's mom-friendly business philosophy has helped her and others navigate their own busy schedules.

"There are so many moms out there," Craft said. Not only has Mason created job opportunities for them, she has created a new wave of working online and having flexible hours, she said. And all the staff and nail technicians appreciate it.

"I'm really proud of her," said Craft, who has known Mason since she was doing nails out of that fitness center six years ago.

"I'm excited to be part of that growth." ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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