Sleek furnishings and clean lines: tenoverten's NYC midtown location.
Manicures and pedicures are something of a religious experience. You enter the salon, hands riddled with chipped polish and disorderly cuticles, and after 60 minutes of service, your hands and feet are completely reborn.
But what happens when your nearby nail salon isn’t the relaxing sanctuary you’d hoped for?
You open your own salon, which is exactly what Houston native and NYC resident Nadine Abramcyk and partner Adair Ilyinsky did after being confronted with a shortage of quality nail salons in their Tribeca neighborhood. Thus, TenOverTen was born.
“It definitely never crossed my mind that I would be the proprietor of a nail salon,” Abramcyk says. “It more so came out of a necessity. I don’t have a big regimen of activities, but I love getting a manicure with girlfriends.”
“All of the places we would go were lacking in some area, whether it was the bathroom not being cleaned or we weren’t sure the tools were being sanitized correctly. Then sometimes there wasn’t a great selection of polish colors.”
Abramcyk and Ilyinsky opened TenOverTen in 2010, seeking a salon experience designed to make customers feel as if they are stepping into someone’s home, rather than a cookie-cutter nail salon.
That means you won’t find any massaging pedicure chairs or black-light nail dryers. What you will experience is an inviting, pristine space that reflects the personality of the neighborhood.
“We built [the salon] so all of the furniture can move around; that way it can turn into an event space, which is very important to us,” Abramcyk says. “We want to make you feel like you’re at home. We use some commonplace items like regular manicure tables, but other than that, everything is something new and unique.”
The co-owners’ selective nature isn’t just seen in the salon’s design, but also in the services offered. TenOverTen works with natural nails only, which means no acrylic or gel manicures — all for the sake of nail health. Nail art, however, is encouraged.
“We don’t want this to be a place where you go in and have no relationship with the technician you’re seeing. If you come in and your nails need time to breathe, we’ll let the customer know that they shouldn’t be putting any color on their nails. Our technicians are very well trained, and we provide ongoing training and meetings for all of our staff so they can speak to nail health issues,” Abramcyk says.
In 2011, the duo launched their own polish and nail care line under the direction of Nadine’s sister and creative director, Jaclyn Ferber (also a Houston native). The line is free of formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde resin and camphor, making them “5-free.”
Luckily, Texans can now experience TenOverTen’s brand as the team begins operating inside the newly opened South Congress Hotel in Austin. This is the company’s first venture outside of Manhattan, and the new digs exude a funkier design than its New York sister salons, a nod to the one-of-a-kind Austin culture.
Though it won’t be its own freestanding salon, the hotel location has a number of perks. For instance, the salon is connected to the hotel’s bar, so if you’re hungry during your service or are in need of a libation, food and drinks can be delivered straight to your chair.
Or say you’re having a relaxing girls’ weekend; on-demand hors d’oeuvres and wine delivery are a great complement to your salon service. Additonally, you can enjoy TenOverTen’s care in your room, or take advantage of Texas weather with a pedicure by the pool.
“One of big reasons why we decided to even try a Texas location is because right now all of our salons are in the northeast, and the climate is so different,” says Abramcyk. “Being in Texas, where it is warmer, there is a much longer sandal season so people are more aware of making sure their feet are looking good.”
To celebrate the Austin opening, TenOverTen has released a new nail-polish shade, appropriately named Austin. The blue hue pays homage to the denim culture across the Lone Star State. You can purchase the polish here.
As for what’s next for TenOverTen, they’re still on the expansion trail. There could even be another Texas location in the works.
“Obviously we love Texas,” explains Abramcyk. “Jaclyn and I are from Houston, and our parents and brother went to school there. We’re looking for spaces in Houston, so hopefully that happens for us shortly.”