Beverly Hills resident Kendra Geralt, 41, has been painting nails since she was a little girl. She shares why she opened the Color Box in Birmingham to give women a luxury nail experience that’s even safe for cancer patients and diabetics.
By Rachel Schostak
Photography by Viviana Pernot
1. Tell us about yourself. I have been in the business since I was 19. I love what I do and it has given me the opportunity to travel throughout the country visiting different salons and spa — not only for inspiration but to also figure out what needed change and how to implement that.
2. Can you share how you got started in the beauty industry? My mother was a manicurist, so I have been painting nails since I can remember.
3. What inspired you to start Color Box? As I looked around in the industry, it became clear to me the standards for hygiene and customer service are, in general, very low. I take pride in what I do, and that pushed me to build a place that I would like to patronize. Really, a place like Color Box didn’t exist. It’s a clean, chic and open studio. We enrich the experience with lush, beautiful textiles, and cozy oversized furniture to make you feel right at home. The vibe is luxury; you can choose to drift away like you’re at a spa, or you can celebrate with your partner, family or girlfriends.
4. Our theme for the women’s May 2019 issue is all about innovation. Can you explain how Color Box and your business is innovating in the beauty industry? Innovation at Color Box is all about hygiene and safety. I have created a pedicure experience that is on another level. Our services consider the best way to provide treatment for everyone, even people with compromised immunities. In other words, if you are diabetic, or receiving treatment for cancer, you no longer have to shy away from pampering yourself with a manicure or pedicure. We use medical grade sterilization for all of our tools across the studio. Rather than soaking in tubs, which contain water-borne bacteria, we opt for steamed towels, with heat. All Color Box staff have been trained in spa oncology — a standard that goes way beyond outdated industry guidelines for cleanliness, safety and overall hygiene.
5. What do you love most about your job and being a business owner? I love mentoring other women and men. I have an apprenticeship program too that entails, learning everything in the business: the front desk, proper procedure, customer service and sanitation practices. What’s great about mentorship and apprenticeship is that I can help people achieve their professional licenses in an industry that is both exciting and nurturing. My other favorite thing is giving back to our community by donating time and services to charity.
6. Who inspires you in the beauty industry? My inspiration comes from successful women like Anna Buss whose company is setting the bar for taking toxins out of skin care and makeup products while still delivering results. Also, Detroit’s own Anna Warner who was inspired by her own experience with cancer to do the same with lipstick.
7. Who inspires you in the business world? In the business world I am inspired by all the small business owners I have worked for and small business owners that I know personally. They have a stick-to-it mentality that gets them through the though times. They are passionate about what they do — for most it’s not a job, it’s a vocation. I am grateful to every entrepreneur for whom I have worked, as she taught me to take care of clients and more; the foundational skills I learned encouraged me to take a leap out on my own.
8. What nail trends are you currently loving? Mixing different hues of the same color in the same manicure. Colors like Tumeric and Jester Red for spring 2019. New technology like Gel-X which offers Gel extensions that last three weeks, with no damage.
9. Who inspires you in the design world? Alexander McQueen. His passion, devotion and dedication. He came from nothing and literally built an empire. His collaborations were outstanding, and the respect he earned from fellow established designers was unheard of.
Your Local Love List…
11. Are you native Detroit? What do you love most about our community? Yes, I am a Detroit native. I love the tight-knit community. I also frequent the wonderful local shopping and restaurants.
12. Your go-to for breakfast, lunch and dinner? My go-to for any meal is always home. I love to cook, so I enjoy making wholesome healthy meals surrounded by my family and friends.
Now on to style…
14. Three words to describe your style? Chic, cozy, polished.
15. One item you can’t leave home without___? A great pair of sunglasses.
16. You’re never fully dressed without ____? My lip gloss, Bliss, from Fitglow Beauty.
17. Your current must-have item? Leopard stilettos.
18. Your go-to nail color? Glass Red from GelBottle.
19. Your most cherished item in your closet? My great black blouse.
20. Do you have a style icon? Erika Girardi, she does what she wants. She’s not afraid to play out her fantasies or be herself.
21. Who or what inspires your style? Season changes inspire my style for the most part.
22. Favorite quote or words to live by? “It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. When you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens.” — Jillian Michaels