ERIKA LONDON of cityMANI

cityMANI

As far as bad habits go, frequently frequenting nail salons must rank among the rather benign. My bank account might tell a slightly different story, but we’ll conveniently ignore that little nugget for now. For quite some time, I was borderline obsessed with gel manicures because really, the insta-dry thing is kind of magical. But a few months ago, I decided to switch back to a traditional manicure and I’ve been loving it. The only thing that could make the experience better is if the manicure came to me. And guess what? Thanks to cityMANI, we don’t have to wait until pigs have wings. Erika London and Cari DeCoons have taken manicures to a new level by affording women the luxury of convenience. Completely genius, right? I cannot wait for cityMANI to bring this gloriousness to the West Coast!

 

NAME Erika London
AGE 28
LOCATION NYC
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND Economics major at NYU
COMPANY cityMANI
ESTABLISHED June 2014
WEBSITE www.citymani.com
INSTAGRAM @citymaninyc

 

Tell me a bit about yourself & what sparked the idea for cityMANI. I come from an event production and hospitality background and am no stranger to abnormal hours and long days that stretch into long nights. A fresh manicure was absolutely a must going into client meetings and events and I would have a bottle of nail polish in my bag at all times for emergency touch-ups. My partner and I have been working together for almost nine years and would constantly face these manicure emergencies together until we realized that we were not alone!

As a woman who goes to (lives at?) the nail salon a little too much, I absolutely love the convenience aspect of your company. How have people responded to the mobile manicure? People absolutely LOVE it! They are shocked that no one has come up with this idea yet and are finding uses for the convenience of this service that we haven’t even thought of yet!

The philanthropic arm of cityMANI is very special. Tell me about ManisforCures & how it began. At cityMANI, we truly believe in good karma and making people happy. Manicures are a super simple way to put a smile on the face of someone who really needs a little extra color in their life.

How did you gain exposure when the company first launched? Have you relied on your own marketing know-how or chosen to outsource that service? We actually just launched about a month and a half ago and have gotten exposure in many ways. Marketing is actually a strength of ours but the novelty and versatility of this service definitely helped spread the word even faster with word of mouth, people posting pictures on their social media pages, etc.

Between pricing, marketing, labor & material costs – just to name a few – there are a lot of things to tackle before launching a business. How did you learn the ins and outs of running your own company? It’s definitely an evolving process but I’ve worked in a start-up environment for many, many years and took a lot of mental notes along the way : )Where do you hope to see yourself & cityMANI a year from now? A year from now, we’ll be operating in 3 cities!

As you well know, being an entrepreneur requires a serious time commitment. How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance? You have to accept that there is no such thing as a 9 to 5 anymore. Sleep becomes a hot commodity and thinking about ways to make your business more exciting and more successful becomes as natural as breathing.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you first started out? That I could’ve done this a few years before I did.

As a self-proclaimed manicure fanatic, what is your go-to shade? If you decided to do something a little more daring in terms of the color/design, what would it look like? RED! Nothing gets more daring than red but if I’m feeling really crazy, some nail art always gets me there!

Cake or pie? Depends on what is more accessible!
Guilty pleasure? $1 Menu Cheeseburger + Strawberry Milkshake from McDonalds
Song you can’t help but dance to? I Love It by Icona Pop
Favorite NYC eatery? Lure Fishbar
Item you can’t leave home without? My phone charger.

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