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Meet Joy Terrell of Powder Beauty Co in Mid-Wilshire

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joy Terrell.

Joy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I studied entertainment/sports law and remained in that space for a while. Three years ago, I moved from Los Angeles to Atlanta to live closer to my husband. When I first moved to Atlanta, my nails looked like crap. I was a nail biter, gel had thinned them out and they were in horrible shape.

When we got engaged and the ring was something everyone asked to see, my nails were honestly really embarrassing! A nail technician in Atlanta suggested I try powder dip, which I hadn’t heard of at the time. I tried it and never looked back. My nails were long and strong within months.

We moved back to Los Angeles a year ago and I couldn’t find a great place for powder dip. My Dad is an entrepreneur, so I guess I have it in me, because I’ve always wanted to build a business/brand of my own. I thought this might be a good opportunity to open a salon that offers amazing powder dip and provides the type of customer service experience I’ve always wanted. My husband was super encouraging and helped tremendously with getting this thing going and my Mom had just retired, so it was perfect timing to get her on board as a partner as well.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wish the road had been smooth- but it has not at all! I think with every business comes growing pains, but with a brick and mortar, there are just so many unexpected issues. We have an old building. Beautiful, but dated, so our initial construction was a much longer process than anticipated, which pushed our opening date back.

Once our build out was done, the design itself rolled out smoothly. Aesthetically, we achieved exactly what we wanted to. I designed the space with the help of an amazing fabricator. It’s a place that now feels very detailed and globally inspired.

After the design stage was where we experienced our most difficult challenge, and that’s staffing. The last thing you think about when opening a salon is that staffing it would be almost an impossibility. Finding great nail technicians in Los Angeles is extremely tough. Lots of them have gone mobile, have their own business or are very happy in their current positions. With that said, half of our original hires were not a great fit at all. Sleeping on salon furniture, walking out on clients, not showing up to work or just doing a poor job.

Luckily, that was during our soft opening stage. We opened to the public in November, and now have a core group of awesome nail technicians that are amazingly talented and really care about our clients. They show up and work hard, and love what they do. I wish I could say this was an issue of the past, but I know it’s not. This is a high turnover industry, so it will continue to be a struggle to staff up as quickly as we grow.

Since we focus on healthy beauty, another challenge is getting people to understand the harmful long-term effects of un-healthy product usage. When you get your nails painted, you don’t think about the fact that these harsh chemicals are going directly into your bloodstream through your nail bed. That toxicity doesn’t feel immediate. You just think about how beautiful your nails look in the moment. Our goal is to push the mantra that healthy beauty can be just as beautiful.

Our powder dip specialty is a healthier gel alternative, but for someone who’s been getting gel for years, that’s a tough transition. Our polishes are all non-toxic (meaning 5-free and up) but pulling someone away from their favorite brand or go-to color is challenging. I have to say this though, there are lots of people that get it. We’re getting more and more “health conscious” customers in every day that want a fresh start with their beauty routine. Most try us out and stick to it, which is great!

Please tell us about Powder Beauty Co.
Powder was created to be the perfect escape from standard options offered for nails and beauty. It used to be, you had to choose between cheap nail salons that skimped on hygiene and employment standards, exclusive costly spas or high-priced luxury salons offering a limited number of services.

Powder is a nail salon and facial bar that uses the full-service day spa/salon model to offer customers a luxury spa-like experience that is 100% healthy and affordable. We offer nails, facials, waxing, threading, full body massage, lashes and microblading.

I think a few specific things set us apart-

  1. We specialize in powder dip, which is a healthier alternative to gel. Same results, no UV lights, harsh primers or difficult removal. Right now, we are the only salon in Los Angeles proper that specializes in powder dip. Currently, we don’t offer gel at all.
  2. All our polish is non-toxic. The EPA classifies regular nail polish as hazardous household waste, which is why we don’t offer it. Our polishes are all 5-free and up, so no harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate are used, which can cause disease and internal toxicity over time.
  3. Our pedicures are heavenly. For those who know, they’ll remind you of the South. For those who don’t, they’re in for a treat! The scrub and the stick are just the beginning.
  4. We offer quality facials with seasoned estheticians at our upstairs facial bar, complete with add-on options like microdermabrasion, high frequency and facial cupping. Instead of treating facials as an unaffordable luxury, the expresses” and affordability of our facials allows for clients to keep up their skincare routines.
  5. Our environment sets us apart. When you walk into Powder, there’s no nail salon smell. Instead, it’s open and airy. There’s not a nail salon look. The copper pieces, spice souk bags, wallpaper, decor accents and modern design make it a place our clients want to be, so they relax. They sink in with a good book they grab off one of our shelves and they don’t want to leave.
  6. Because my Mom and I were always on the client side of things, customer service is so important to us because that’s what we felt was lacking at most of the salons we frequented. At Powder, we have a 12-day powder dip guarantee. We take the customer is always right approach (within reason of course) and give our staff the freedom to make informed decisions in that vein as well. We also bring a high level of personalization to each customer’s experience. We offer a wide variety of refreshments, we remember names and colors, likes and dislikes, all to make the experience that much more special.
  7. Powder to the People is the “for good” arm of Powder Beauty Co. My husband and I do home builds and wanted to bring some aspect of that into our business. Currently, our clients get loyalty points each time they check out. They’re given the option to use their points to do good in the world, and even to stack up points to join in on an international build. They love this. We call it, “doing good beautifully.”

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
When I was a child, my Mom often took me on awesome weekend mini-vacations. I was also a competitive gymnast, which was my whole world for a very long time, so some of those trips were days added on to the end of a competition. Either way, she made sure we experienced the local culture on each trip. We would eat at unique restaurants, check out every museum, shop and get Manis and pedis. This gave me a serious travel bug as a grown up. It also inspired the salon partnership we have now. It’s funny to be a client with your Mom your entire life, and then suddenly, to both be on the opposite side, seeing things from a totally different perspective.


  • Signature Powder Dip Manicure- $44
  • Signature Organic Polish Manicure- $25
  • Signature Organic Polish Pedicure- $35
  • Luxury Organic Polish Pedicure- $45
  • Bliss Organic Polish Pedicure- $55
  • Signature Powder Dip Pedicure- $50
  • Customized 40 minute Facial- $45
  • 1 hour Full Body Massage- $60

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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