Taking a Leap: How the Founder of Olive & June Was Inspired to Start Her Groundbreaking Nail Salon

Before opening a Beverly Hills flagship nail salon in August 2013, Sarah Gibson Tuttle worked for ten years as an equity sales trader at JP Morgan & Morgan Stanley in New York City covering hedge funds and mutual funds. But quality of life wooed her out west. 

When she arrived, she realized Los Angeles had everything she wanted except for the perfect nail salon. Seeing the opportunity to create a pretty space where women could expect and enjoy expert nail care on a regular basis and spend time with their friends, Sarah opened Olive & June.

Sarah named the nail salon after her great-grandmother and grandmother, the Gibson women who taught her the importance of having high standards and a big heart. Known as a destination for nail art and top-notch care, thanks to a loyal client base and extensive press coverage including Vogue, Elle and Allure, Olive & June has been fortunate enough to become the trusted go-to for Los Angeles’ dynamic women of all ages. 

Let’s learn more about Sarah, shall we? 

Q: What prompted you to open Olive & June?
I really wanted an elevated nail experience versus what was currently available. LA had such a thriving affordable luxury market and nail salons weren't participating in that moment.

Q: What has been your biggest challenges as a small business owner?
So many! But every challenge paves the way for us to be better so I welcome them.

Q. What has been the most unexpected experience about starting and owning Olive & June?
I had no idea nail art would define our offering so heavily. It's now something we are really known for.

Q: What advice would you give to other people looking to make the jump to entrepreneurship?
If you feel passionately about what you want to create, and you are willing to dedicate your life to it: DO IT. If you hesitate even a little, the idea isn't just right yet.

Q. Where do you get inspiration for how you run Olive & June?
Our team makes me better every day. I came from a very different type of daily grind (finance) and I had to adjust heavily to being in the beauty industry. I am so thankful for their dedication to what we're building.

Q. How do you learn what your customers want? How do you get their feedback? Has there been any insight from customers that helped you meet their needs better?
I was a devoted nail salon client before Olive & June so a lot of the initial ideas were determined by what I wanted with heavy input from friends and family. Now we get daily input from the salon clientele and we put a lot of that valuable insight to work.

Q. What role has technology played in the success of Olive & June?
Huge! Our Instagram is the number one driver of our business. And we love having an online booking system (y'all!) and our app to give clients such an easy way to set their appointments.

Q. What do you see for the future of Olive & June, and the nail industry generally?
Hopefully a continued rise of nail salons with a considered approach and exciting new innovations via products.

 

About the Author

Denise Prichard

With over seven years of experience, Denise Prichard is an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy and content within the health, wellness and beauty industries. She graduated with a degree in English from Arizona State University in 2010 and currently runs her own blog, Fueled by Vegetables, a project that stems from her passion of living a healthy, joyful life and encouraging others to do the same. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes throughout the valley, inventing yummy recipes and hanging out with her rescue pups, Eleanor and Stevie. She currently serves as the Content + Copy Editor at Booker Software.

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