SALON IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Effy Nails, Berlin, Germany

By Kat Hill | 01 February 2018 | Feature, Salon & Spas

Tucked away in an artist’s studio loft in trendy Berlin, Rachel Foreman, of Effy Nails, has found the perfect space for her nail business.

“When I moved to Berlin, I started with home visits for nails as well as pop-up nail bars, editorials, experimental photo shoots and film” Rachel reveals. “I made friends with a few people in different creative fields. We were all freelance and working on the move or in single person studios for years before meeting. It was time to look for a space to call base and decided to join forces. We found the perfect studio for us in March 2016, and now share a beautiful studio loft with a costume designer, a teddy bear maker, a sculptural artist and a set designer.

“Berlin called for new adventures,” Rachel smiles. “I had been studying, living and working in Essex my whole adult life and needed to stretch my wings. I was invited to work in Berlin for two pop-up events and again for a 10-day immersive theatre art installation. I fell in love with the city, made good friends and moved there without really thinking about it too much.”

Adapting to her new nail life in Berlin has been a rollercoaster for Rachel; “I have noticed a real big difference with how people book. My clientele is much more spontaneous when pre-booking. In Essex, my diary was full for weeks in advance. It’s tested my nerves, but my weeks always fill up last minute!”

Rachel’s most requested service is a CND™ SHELLAC™ manicure. “Nude, red or black are my most requested nail shadea. I’ve lost count how many bottles I’ve gone through this year alone.”

True to the home of Rachel’s studio, nail art takes top billing. “Designs with negative space, especially at the cuticle, are often requested. From half-moons, triangles, flames to geometric shapes and straight lines. Monstera leaves are also still popular too, I love painting those.”

Rachel’s nail business is thriving in its artistic hub. “In my area of the studio, it’s just me and sometimes, another freelance nail tech. The other artists in the studio all have different working schedules. Sometimes they’ll be a costume fitting in one corner and the hum of a sewing machine in another.

“A wooden chipboard floor runs through the whole studio so I’ve continued the raw-material vibe into my area. I had shelves made from unused palettes for my polishes, palettes to create height for my pedicure throne, stacked wooden storage boxes to make a drinks area and lots and lots of plants. There’s a lot of wood, metal and cork amongst leaves! It’s not a traditional salon environment so I didn’t want to force it to look like one.

“The décor of the whole studio flows and changes slightly for each area, depending on the artist. I feel like the use of raw-materials and plants gives the sense of a continually evolving space and that hopefully makes clients feel like they’re somewhere special!

“I love to draw and paint and use my space in the studio to display my artwork. I recently organized an open day and turned it into a gallery space. There were nine artists showcasing their work alongside the nail bar with a DJ, drinks and snacks. They’ll be another one soon! My studio is different to traditional salons as it’s not just about salon services; we’re making and showing other art too.

“I have recently made an extra space in the studio for another nail tech to work along side me. There’s also a new private area for waxing, lash and brow services. I’ll see what these changes lead to in the future!”