Local Business Spotlight interviews Natalie Rynard, owner of Tangles Hair & Nail Salon in Carlisle, Pa.
Tangles has been Carlisle’s hometown hair salon & nail salon for 37 years, spanning three generations of family working in the business, as well as three generations of clients enjoying their high quality, professional services.
Natalie: Yes, we are a family owned and operated business. We consider ourselves a full service hair salon & nail salon, we are not a spa. We don’t do wet treatments, but we are full service in the sense that we offer all types of hair services, highlights, haircuts, perms and special occasion styling. We are very well know for our special occasion styling.We are also a full service nail salon, we do a lot with nails, manicures and pedicures.
Plus, we offer skin care and makeup, facial waxing, and body waxing. One of the biggest things to hit the nail salon industry in a while is the soak-off gel polish shellac. We were the first in town to have that.
We also have a full range of retail products that range from a lower end scale, all the way up to a higher end type of product, because we have so many different types of clientèle.
LBS: So, would weddings be a big part of your special occasion services?
Natalie: Yes they are, and we partnered with a place that does wedding receptions, called the “Park Inn”, in Mechanicsburg. We partnered with them about a year ago to offer bridal services and we do their bridal shows twice a year.
We do the backstage work for them, and then in turn they recommend us as their exclusive hair & nail salon for the bridal services we offer. Since we partnered with them we have really boosted our bridal business because we’ve become so well known for that kind of work.
Also, we post our before, and after, pictures on our social media. The fantastic thing about that is, even girls that are going to proms, homecomings or father-daughter dances, can see the kind of work we do with hair and nails. It has really helped us branch out that part of our service.
LBS: How long have you been in business?
Natalie: The Salon has been here for about 37 years. The building we are currently in used to be my home when I was a little girl. I was about 8 years old when my family purchased the property where we are now, and my mother opened the hair salon upstairs in the late 70’s. It’s been a salon ever since, my mom had it for a long period of time.
My older sister got into the business and worked for mom for a while, then she opened a hair salon across town so that there were two salons. When my mother decided to retire my sister then moved her whole staff into the building where we are currently located and then we all just worked together. Then about 8 years ago my sister decided to retire so I purchased the business from her. So all in all, between my mother, my sister and myself Tangles Hair and Nail Salon has been here about 37 years.
LBS: How many people do you currently have on your staff?
Natalie: We have 13. A really good thing to add is that another generation has just started working at the salon. My daughter just got her license as a nail technician so she makes the third generation to be involved in the business.
LBS: Who are your current customers?
Natalie: We cover all ages. We have 3 generations of customers as well. People that have been coming in since the 70’s & 80’s, and now we see their children and their children’s children. So we do cover all ages, from teenagers to women in their 80’s & 90’s and men as well that still come to Tangles.
LBS: Are your clients primarily from the Carlisle area, or do you get people from far away?
Natalie: We do get people from far away. We definitely service people from Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg and Camp Hill. I think something else unique for us is that we are directly across the street from the War College and a lot of those families are here for one year and then they leave.
But over the 40 years, I’ve certainly been able to see that women who move to the DC area, or the Baltimore area, rather that finding a new stylist, come back here cause they may only be coming every 5 or 6 weeks or 8 weeks. They will make a point of having their hair done and visit friends that they have made in the year they lived here. So, we really do get people from all over.
LBS: Is that male and female or mostly female?
Natalie: We get both male and female hair and nail salon clients, as far as the War College is concerned. It’s mostly the females that are coming back, not the men, because they typically go to their barber on post. But, we do have a rather large male clientèle that come in for a lot of the services we offer.
We have men that get facials, men that get manicures and pedicures, men that color their hair and get perms. I think it’s interesting that when my mother had it, men wouldn’t be caught dead in here. Now they’re sitting and hobnobbing with the other people that are in here, getting color on their hair, they wouldn’t be caught dead doing that 30-40 years ago.
LBS: What makes your business unique?
Natalie: The family part is definitely unique. One thing I hear from a number of people in the industry, from distributors, representatives, and such, is that we do not have a high turnover of help. We add new people, like the younger girls that are just graduating, that way we can mentor them. But the industry standard is that a stylist will stay at a salon for about 3 years and we don’t have that kind of a turn over.
We have a gentleman stylist that’s been working here for 25 years. We have girls that have been here anywhere from 15-22 years, and then we have our new girls. It’s not to say that we haven’t had people come and go, because maybe for some reason it didn’t work for them, they decided to retire, or not be in the industry anymore.
Many of the representatives say that whatever we are doing, we are doing it right. It helps to sustain a business as well when you have people that have been here that long. People can count of the fact that their stylist is here and knows their hair, so they don’t have to worry about having a new person every time they come in.
With that, we do so much continuing education. We do in-salon education because we have such a large staff. We do send people out for education, but because we have enough people they will often send an educator to us. That keeps us on target with what’s on trend.
We get extra certifications as we need them for some of the newer services that are out in the industry. People really like to see, and to follow, the education that we’re doing, and the extra certifications that the girls receive.
LBS: What are some of the reasons you like living and doing business in the Carlisle area?
Natalie: I think this is such an up and coming area, you can see a lot of restaurants and the different things we have going in here.
I love the many generations that are coming in. Like maybe we cut someones hair when they were in grade school, and now we’re doing their hair for their wedding, or doing their hair for proms.
I even have an ex-client that sent me something that said she would really like to mention Tangles Hair and Nail Salon in her blog, because her blog post this week was about going to local businesses that have a hometown feel. So her saying “coming to Tangles is like home”, is something you don’t get unless you’re coming from a small town.
So, seeing all these generations of people, and really getting to know your clients is a big reason I like living and doing business here.
LBS: Can you tell us more about your own story?
Natalie: I pretty much covered that with my mom and my sister. I actually went to college for Business Law. But the last 2 years before I graduated, I wanted to come back home, not knowing what I really wanted to do.
I didn’t think I was going to go into the hair and nail salon industry. But then being around it a little bit more, after moving home and seeing the success my mom and my sister had, it really got me interested in it. The nice flexible hours, the flexible scheduling made it really conducive to being married and having a family, but still being able to have a career at the same time.
LBS: What have been some of your biggest challenges?
Natalie: I was a co-worker with a lot of these people for a lot of years, until I purchased the business 8 years ago. So the challenge came from being their co-worker, to then being the boss that signed their paychecks.
We had to do a lot of soul searching, all of us. A little bit of reworking to make that switch work, and to make it that I wasn’t just a co-worker any more, that I was actually the person in charge. It certainly went very smoothly because we have a really great team here.
The only other thing would be making big changes. In order to keep us current we’ve had to do a lot of big changes as far as administrative things, making our company better, moving into the 21st century. Making those changes are hard when you’ve been doing things a certain way for a long period of time.
Other than that there really hasn’t been a lot of challenges, because again, we have such a great team.
LBS: What are some of the defining moments that made Tangles Hair and Nail Salon grow to the level you are today?
Natalie: Certainly the influences from my mother and sister, watching them succeed, and watching the things they did that weren’t quite a success.
I do believe that within the past couple of years I’ve poured a lot of time and energy into social media like Facebook, websites, and things that can grow our business that way.
You could really see as a business person the shift, and how to keep attracting the younger clientèle to sustain your business through the years. I would say that between our website and the social media output, it has really changed how we are doing business, how people see us, and how people are viewing us.
LBS: Can you share some interesting, funny, or crazy things that have happened over the years at Tangles Hair and Nail Salon?
Natalie: We always have a saying in here that “What happens in the salon, or what is said in the salon, stays in the salon.” So, with that being said, because we like our clients to be able to tell us anything they want to tell us, and know that it’s going to stay right there, I won’t get to specific.
Although, we’ve had interesting things about people in drag that come to the salon, and we help them do their makeup or whatever. We’ve had men that are actually having surgery done to become women, and we’ve helped in that transformation from laser hair removal, to makeup, to hair.
Certainly we’re privy to information that people don’t like to share with other people. We learn about their husbands, wives or significant others. We probably know more about their children than their families do.
It’s always an interesting story in here, but, we don’t like to share. Someday I ought to write a book, I think. There is never a dull moment in the beauty salon, that’s for sure!
LBS: How has Tangles Hair and Nail Salon changed or evolved over the years?
Natalie: Definitely I’m going to tag the social media again. With that and the education, we strive to really stay current. Staying on top of the trends that are out there in fashion, makeup, and hair, but still maintaining that hometown feel in our salon.
We have so many people tell us the comfortable feeling they get when they walk through the doors. So, we are that little brick house that you’ve been coming to for 30 or 40 years, but you know that you’re still going to get current looks when you walk out.
LBS: What kind of trends are you noticing in the hair salon, or nail salon, industry that might affect your customers or even your local community?
Natalie: The biggest thing for us, two years ago we were the first salon to offer Shellac Nail Services. That is a soak-off polish. It quadrupled our business in under a year.
Our nail business was falling off a little bit, due to the economy. People were feeling like that was more of a luxury than a necessity. We brought that service in, feeling like it was going to keep us in the forefront in this industry. I now have 5 nail technicians that stay busy. So that would be the biggest thing.
But then we’re also staying on top of things like the newest trends in highlighting and coloring.
We offer Brazilian Keratin Treatments for the hair, that has been really phenomenal. And then we are getting certification, in July, for eyelash extensions, which is really hot for celebrities right now. It’s amazing what we can do to add to our beauty repertoire. The eyelash extensions are becoming a real big service, so were going to jump on that bandwagon as well.
LBS: If someone were looking to purchase hair salon services, or nail salon services, what advice could you give the for making the best decision as to where they should go?
Natalie: I definitely tell people to shop around on websites. I feel like our website is such a fantastic representation of who we are and what we offer. Using our website, and our Facebook, we post a lot of photo’s so as people are shopping around they can actually see the work that we do. It’s not just telling you that we do a great job, you can see it for yourself. We do a lot of before and after photo’s.
Another thing I would advise people is to ask around. We live in a small town. So if you are seeing people where you like their hair, their color, or their cut, ask questions.
I tell it to our war college families as they are leaving here and moving on to somewhere else. Ask around at your local mall or wherever you happen to be. When you start hearing the same name over and over again, you can pretty much tell that it’s a place where you can feel safe going.
LBS: What advice can you give someone who wants to start their own business, in general, or in the hair and nail salon business?
Natalie: It’s hard work, it takes a lot of time and effort in the hair and nail salon industry. You have to learn how to sell yourself, market yourself. If you want to start your own business, take risks.
Develop a really great team behind you because you can’t do it all by yourself. Having people that are willing to go the distance and work hard with you is phenomenal.
And I notice in my business I have to stay current, I have to be here. I can’t expect my business to run itself. I’m here representing Tangles Hair and Nail Salon all the time. I represent it, not only in the salon, but also out of the salon.
So if people are willing to work hard, put in the extra effort, and take risks, they can be successful.
LBS: What are some of the current events or promotions at Tangles Hair and Nail Salon?
Natalie: We are just now wrapping up some specials on pedicures, eye treatment, and skin care specials. It’s a great time of the year when people are starting to show their toes, putting their face forward, and liking to slough off some of the winter doldrums.
So those are promotions that we do, we always offer something different as far as promotions go.
One of the biggest events we’ve done at Tangles is a really large collaborative effort for a young girl in our community that has cancer. We held a haircut-athon last year to raise money for the family. And with everyone putting in a lot of time and effort we raised $6000 for her family.
That was our first run at doing something like that. We would really like to do something like that in the future. We have a number of clients who have children with medical issues, and financial issues as a result. So, we would like to try that again because we were so successful our first time out, and really had a great team effort with that.
LBS: Is there anything else you would like a potential customer to know about Tangle’s Hair and Nail Salon?
Natalie: We treat our clients like family. We have a lot of fun here. We’re all about business, but we do like to have a lot of fun. It really feels like a small town when you’re inside of our salon, but you get big city service.
We even do customer service training, not only for our stylists, but also for our front desk staff. We stay on top of education so when we are helping clients we’re very current. And, I like people to know that about us.
LBS: How can a potential customer learn more about Tangles Hair and Nail Salon?
Natalie: Visit our website: www.tangleshairsaloncarlisle.com, and our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/tangleshairandnailsalon
Local Business Spotlight thanks Natalie Rynard for allowing us the interview!