Salon in the Spotlight: Crystal Tips, Kenfig Hill, Wales

By Carter Rogers | 01 November 2023 | Feature, Salon & Spas

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For Welsh salon, Crystal Tips, 2023 has been a year of recognition and success. 

In May 2023, the team at Crystal Tips were delighted to be announced as the winners of Nail Salon of the Year at the Welsh Hair & Beauty Awards.

From this, creative director, Sarah Nicholls was then notified that the salon had been shortlisted again in the National UK finals for the Hair & Beauty Awards.

“I absolutely love my job and I feel so exceptionally lucky to have our achievements recognised; this has really helped us put our recent period of stress behind us and look forward to the future,” comments Sarah Nicholls, creative director of Crystal Tips.

“I have always strived to provide a safe, welcoming environment for my clients to relax in and enjoy their experience. Reading my client’s messages as well as the messages I received when we won the Welsh awards demonstrates that I’ve managed to remain professional and give my clients the service they deserve – even on days when I haven’t felt it.”

With 2023 marking Sarah’s 20 year anniversary in the nail industry and Crystal Tips 12th birthday, Sarah shares that she knows with absolute certainty that quality will always beat quantity. With the future of Crystal Tips looking bright with diaries booked out well into 2024, Sarah will continue to put her people before profits.

“I could’ve employed more people over the years but why would I? I’ve always loved being hands on,” Sarah shares.

“Employing more people would only take me away from being involved. It’s always been about nail care, not just fashion and if that meant I had to refuse a full set due to nail damage, I would and I’d offer an alternative treatment plan instead. I would rather a client appreciate me in the long run than risk causing extra damage.”

Sarah and her colleague Rachel Pook are always training and trying new techniques to offer to clients with new styles and inspiration but ultimately, it is the close community they have built that keeps their customers returning.

Rachel joined the team over two years ago after completing her training. Since then, Rachel has developed her strength under the tutelage of Sarah with her confidence continuing to grow.

“I’ve been so lucky to find someone that was prepared to invest in my development and give me the guidance I hadn’t been able to have in college,” comments Rachel.

“Sarah has been clear from day one that quality is more important than quantity and if it took me two hours to do it right, then she’d rather that, than me rush and end up with bad nails and unhappy clients”.

Despite a successful year in business, it hasn’t always been easy for Crystal Tips. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, due to the forced closures, like all nail salons, Crystal Tips was affected.

In 2022, when the rental contract was due for reneweal, Sarah made the decision to combine with her husband’s tattoo studio. With this massive move being impactful to both businesses, Sarah’s husbands support was immaculate to have now allowed Crystal Tips to rebuild their client support.

Along with striving for the best client care, Sarah also works to support the local community as much as possible.

“Over the years, we have provides vouchers and prizes for local charities and projects as well as collection boxes and fundraising events. We have supported numerous charities including Sandville, KPC Youth and The Daniel Humphries Tribute Fund.”

Crystal Tips has been nominated as a finalist again for this year in the Welsh Hair & Beauty Awards and voting is currently open.

Check out Crystal Tips on Facebook