Back in September, Richard Washington talked to us about a nail salon business he was dreaming up for the Bayview neighborhood. Now, his dreams have come to fruition.
After being inspired by Oxygen’s hit television show Boss Nails, which features nail technician Dana Cody, Richard gutted the 1700-square-foot salon location at 4138 Third St. (at Innes) and gave it a major makeover. The once completely bare, white space now features hardwood floors, red, black and gray walls covered in art, and decorative mirrors.
The new nail salon, dubbed Luxurious Nail Boutique and Spa, provides ample space for four manicure stations, five pedicure stations, and three nail bar stations. It'll have an esthetician on hand for full make-up and eyelash extensions, waxing, and facials, and includes an area for foot massages, as well as a hair-braiding station. Surrounding the salon's service stations are several cushy couches which seat up to 16 guests.
After staying up all night making finishing touches, Richard hosted a "friends and family" soft opening on December 29th to try out the space with licensed technicians William and Carolyn.
“I got a little teary-eyed once everything was done," said Richard of that first night. "This place looks exactly like how I envisioned it. I’m living proof that you can change your life even with a checkered past."
Richard says he's come a long way from his rebellious teen years in the Bayview, where he was raised by his grandmother, mother and aunt, but got distracted by criminal behavior. “They tried to keep me straightened out, but I was too much for them," Richard told us.
"The streets raised me. I had my shares of trials and tribulations experimenting with different things involving crime. I always thought I had it figured out, but you never do at that age."
"I had this fear of missing out," he continued. "Hunters Point is huge, like its own city. You could drive around the neighborhood and stop at West Point to see a dog fight. You could roll by Oakdale and folks would be shooting dice. You go towards Shoreview and there would be people outside rapping. You ride around each turf, and before you know it half the day was gone. There just always something to do even though it may not have been the right thing."
"It seemed like fun at the time," he recalled. "I was selling drugs, chasing women, but that’s all in my past. It’s not who I am today, but I will never forget that period of my life."
The big turning point for Richard came when he got arrested in Las Vegas in 2006. “That’s when I figured maybe I’m not as good at crime as I thought I was," he joked. “So I got away from it and got into the gym industry, working at World’s Gym when I came back to San Francisco. I went to college and got a new set of eyes and ears, and really started to see the world differently. I also worked at AT&T for three years, but I was so uncomfortable because I knew I wanted to do something different. I am a boss by nature.”
He has already received lots of support from the Bayview community. Antoinette Mobley of SF Art Everywhere frequently stops by the salon to check on the status of the grand opening. “I’m so excited," she told us. "This place is so beautiful and convenient for me. I live right up the street."
Mobley also connected Richard to Supervisor Malia Cohen, who recently stopped by the shop for a tour. "This is impressive," said Cohen. "I like the idea of locals opening businesses in their neighborhoods, and Richard is an inspiration to the youth and future business owners."
Richard is currently preparing for the grand opening of Luxurious Nail Boutique and Spa next Tuesday at 10am. It'll be open from 10am-6on on weekdays, 8am to 6pm on Saturdays, and 9am to 5pm on Sundays. For more information, visit the shop's website or Facebook page.
Never miss a story.
Subscribe today to get Hoodline delivered straight to your inbox.