Spruce Natural Nail Shop opened in 2016 by Molly Nagle. You’ll find her working away in the shop day in and day out with the objective of providing clients a space with good, clean fun. It focuses on making yourself feel good while doing something relaxing for yourself. Being eco-friendly is also part of her vision.
The shop has a relaxing atmosphere with plenty of poufs and pillows instead of desks and rolling chairs. There are no smells of harmful toxins, as all products are “local, all natural, toxic-free, vegan, and cruelty free.” An important concept for Molly was to be sure the working conditions were just as safe and healthy for her team as they were to her guests.
There are three pillars to the business: art, health, and employees. Cincinnati is a wonderful city for art, and they wanted to incorporate that into the way clients could express themselves artistically. Their talented nail technicians create tiny pieces of art on nails. Clients will even bring in examples of artistic inspiration so the technician can recreate it on their nails.
When it comes to health, one of the services that makes hands happy and healthy is the cuticle treatment that benefits your skin for days after the service. Aside from just offering nail treatments, Molly has expanded the service menu to include facials. So often we're advised to essentially put chemicals on our faces that can burn off layers of skin. The philosophy at Spruce is all about nourishing your skin and protecting it. Each product they use for facials are natural, toxin free, and filled with botanicals and essential oils.
Additional healthy services offered at Spruce are cacao-based spray tans, lash and brow maintenance, and waxing. An alternative to waxing is the sugaring service, which is a natural substitute and can be less painful than waxing—count me in!
According to Matthew T. Desjardins, M.D. Sports Medicine with OrthoCincy, "When you reach a short term goal—even a little one—give yourself a small reward." Spruce has the added bonus of being both good for the body while also being that reward.
I sat down with Molly and asked her to give me a rundown of health and wellness services and the significant roles they play in Spruce.
Jeni Houser: I am passionate about working out, and I love to run. However, my foot and toes take a beating. Can you tell me what you offer that can help with this?
Molly Nagle: This is such a huge part of what we do. So many people think getting their nails done as an indulgence, but it’s an important part of your health as well. First and foremost—foot care is so important. Cutting nails correctly and cleaning the toe nail can prevent toenails from growing inward while also helping to prevent infection. The foot and leg massage not only feel nice, but it's also helping to improve blood flow, relax tight muscles, and help to reduce inflammation and pain. Monthly pedicures are great, but every 6-8 weeks is a good balance. When toenails become too long, it can cause too much pressure against your shoe and can lead to lifting of the toenails and ingrown nails.
JH: I want to add some kind of maintenance, but don’t want to come in weekly, what service do you recommend to help me keep my hands looking nice?
MN: A product I would recommend would be cuticle oil for sure! The most common suggestion we offer our clients after manicures is to keep their cuticles and skin hydrated. We make all of our products that we use in nail services at Spruce. Our cuticle oil is made with jojoba oil, which is very hydrating. A service I would recommend would be either our gel polish which can last several weeks, or a buff and shine. Many of our clients come in for the nail care, the polish is just the icing on the cake, and definitely not needed. A staple manicure with a buff and shine comes with full cuticle care, hand and arm massage, and lightly buffing nails to a perfect healthy shine. If you love nail art, but are worried about chips with polish, I would always recommend negative space—we can create these amazing abstract designs over a clear base coat, it looks awesome, and if there’s a bit of a chip it’s not noticeable.
JH: I’ve heard our hands are a true way to tell someone’s age (wrinkles). Can you tell us why a SPF is important to use on our hands or any kind of product you sell to help with anti-aging and hand care?
MN: I definitely feel like our hands tell a story about our lives, and the aging process shouldn't be something to fear. But I do think that our hands are often forgotten when it comes to SPF and lotions. We always recommend SPF to clients, not only on your face, but hands as well, as they are often unprotected. We use our hands to apply the SPF and moisturizers, it’s so easy to flip them over and rub the remaining excess lotion on the tops of your hands as well. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF of 30 or higher.
JH: How do you balance owning a business and your own health and fitness, and what is your workout go to?
MN: That's still definitely a work in progress, but I have realized (especially this year) that I feel best when I have a workout routine. I am a morning workout person for sure. I like to do it first thing in the morning, before I can convince myself out of it as the day goes on, or something comes up with work. My favorite workouts are Rev cycling class at Define Oakley and 12th Street Pilates. I'm still working on the work/life balance, but I think every small business owner has this problem though. There is not an off switch, you're always working or thinking about work, but I love what I do, so it doesn't feel like work.
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Spruce Natural Nail Shop is located at 1235 Vine Street (45202).