Last week, the New York Times published an important exposé that quickly went viral. Sarah Maslin Nir's investigative article on the deplorable, illegal, and heartbreaking working conditions of many nail salon employees in New York City struck a major chord with us. If you have read the article, we want to share with you how Paintbox is different than the salons you may have read about (and why we're so proud of that). And if you haven't yet seen the piece, we urge you to read it here.
From the start, we set out to do things differently at Paintbox. We wanted to transform the manicure experience—for you as clients—but just as importantly, for our employees. We wanted to create a home for artists that celebrates and respects their creative work in an industry that was plagued by poor working conditions, lax sanitation, and uncomfortable customer service. We conducted extensive research on wages—not just in nail salons, but in beauty businesses around the city. We used this research to inform our compensation structure, and we're pleased to tell you our manicurists are among the most (if not the most) highly compensated in the country.
In the same way ethical supply chains have become important to us as consumers when it comes to what we wear and what we eat, we know how important it is to our clients that the establishments (including salons) they frequent take care of their employees. We're proud to tell you that we're entirely woman-owned and operated, and a significant portion of our employees actually own shares in our company. We not only pay the highest hourly wages and salaries in the city from day one (we believe in investing in our employees by paying them to train for several weeks before taking their first clients), we offer paid vacation to full-time employees, as well as health insurance, which we cover in full.
Paintbox is every bit as much about transforming an industry as it is about the beautiful nail art our manicurists create and our clients love. It may not be perceived as glamorous to address the darker sides of this industry, but we're proud to be part of the vanguard changing the way business is done. Though the truth may be hard to hear, we're glad journalists like Nir are shedding light on these issues and telling the previously untold stories. And we're grateful to you—our clients—for supporting us in our first year of business. We see this as just the beginning of a revolution in the way an industry is run, and we're looking forward to the future.
See you in the studio,
The Paintbox Team