Today we’d like to introduce you to Kinga Basinska.
Hi Kinga, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was raised with European standards of beauty and after moving to LA over seven years ago, I was on a search to find a salon with high standards. I wanted something that feels familiar, has a great atmosphere, and will make your nail dreams come true. After failing to find, I decided to take matters into my own hands and created one!
I was raised in Poland and went to college in London to pursue a career in fashion, which I thought was my true passion. For a decade I work for various fashion brands however I never felt like was my calling; I wasn’t made for the corporate world.
Over the years, I became fascinated with nails. After going to Tokyo and having a Japanese nail artist do my nails, I knew this is what I want to do! Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger … it took a few more years and encouragement from my boyfriend.
Finally, in 2019 I decided to sign up for a nail school and I loved every day spent in there. For the next 2 years, I tried to learn everything about the industry and work on my skills and my business plan.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I opened Paint Bar in the spring of 2021 – it wasn’t a smooth road … I opened during the pandemic which was a huge risk but I had a good gut feeling. Paint Bar is not your standard salon – we focus on European techniques, high-quality manicures, and pedicures. Our services take longer as our work is very detailed, and the effect lasts longer. Some customers didn’t understand what Paint Bar was about, they were used to fast services and lower prices. In the beginning, there was a lot of expelling and convincing but most customers were sold after seeing the Paint Bar difference.
Hiring was another obstacle – as mentioned, our technique isn’t the standard taught at the nail school – a lot of potential candidates had doubts if the concept is going to work. Not the mention that no one ever tells you that being a small business owner is a 24/7 job! You want to leave the 9-5 so badly only to work 24/7 – but I have no regrets.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Paint Bar is a boutique and intimate nail salon which specializes in high-quality manicures and pedicures. We focus on nail care and our goal is to keep your nails strong and healthy. I noticed a few years ago that no nail salons use the techniques popular in Europe – like dry/e-file manicures and structured manicures. In the USA, it is often referred to as “Russian manicure” due to mainly Russian-speaking technicians practicing it. I wanted to bring a higher level of service to LA – I knew it will be challenging as the industry here operates at the same low-quality level. However, the response from customers was very encouraging – most of our customers were referrals and I’m extremely proud of the excellent work we do at Paint Bar.
The second very important issue for me was health and safety – we use a medical-grade sanitation system. I’m also very keen on environmental issues which is why I decided on dry pedicures. It is a more sanitized and effective way but almost nonexistent in the US – not to mention it is very environmentally friendly, especially in a draught-ridden region. As our customers say, “the best pedicure they had”.
Lastly, nail art – I have a wonderful team of nail artists that can really make your nail dreams come true. I was very important to me to create a place where customers feel comfortable bringing any kind of inspiration for their nails. No jobs too big or too small for us.
How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Come and get your nails done!
- Gel Manicure $65
- Gel Pedicure $75
- Gel Manicure + art – starts at $80