Canada Lytle is a woman on a mission. That mission? — to provide a quality salon experience that goes beyond a quick manicure.
Welcome to A Perfect 10 Nail & Beauty Bar.
Lytle has opened five salons in the five years since starting A Perfect 10 in 2011, two in Sioux Falls and three in Rapid City.
With her promise of a hygienic salon experience and adherence to natural nail care, Lytle has proved to be just the beauty entrepreneur South Dakota needs. But it’s not just the uptown vibe, high tech amenities and bar concept that set A Perfect 10 apart.
A licensed cosmetologist since 1994, Lytle stepped away from the industry when she started a family. But what she saw as a customer prompted her to return.
“I would take my daughter out for a manicure or pedicure and I would come home furious at the experience,” Lytle said. “Just the illegitimacy, the uncleanliness, I would go to different places and get the same service for varying prices.”
Within 60 days Lytle opened her first A Perfect 10 location in Rapid City—developing the salon’s services, including nails, hair and massage, from her own personal need for natural care and cleanliness.
“It’s all designed from a cosmetologist’s standpoint,” Lytle said.
That cosmetologist perspective also influenced the inclusion of a bar in each of A Perfect 10’s locations. Built so the cosmetologist can stand instead of sit during a manicure, the bar design is beneficial both for the one giving the manicure, and the one getting pampered (especially for those wanting a beverage to sip on).
Lytle said each of her salons are licensed to serve alcohol to patrons receiving a service. Complete with a full beer and wine list, not to mention malts and a monthly drink special, Lytle said the beauty bar concept has driven customers to her business, some simply out of curiosity.
“Adding the bar concept to a nail and beauty salon has definitely set us apart in these cities that have a lot of salons,” she said. “It adds intrigue. People ask ‘what is this,’ and want to come in to experience this new concept for themselves.”
Getting people through the doors of any of A Perfect 10’s locations has never been much of a problem. In fact, it’s the opposite.
“One of our biggest challenges as a business is not having a large enough staff to fit people in,” Lytle said. “We literally can’t keep up with the demand. I guess it’s a good problem to have.”
Lytle said she and her staff are hoping to streamline the appointment process through a mobile app, making the experience more user friendly. A sixth location is also in the works, Lytle considering Nebraska, Colorado and Arizona as potential places for expansion.
But for now this beauty maven is focused on quality rather than quantity. That’s why properly training stylists and implementing hygienic practices are at the top of Lytle’s list for keeping A Perfect 10 just that, a 10.
“We really try to simplify the pedicure process by putting cleanliness first,” she said. “We use our own liners and properly disinfect the tubs after every customer.”
But for Lytle, one of the best parts of being a stylist has been watching the trends in hair and nails go from highly stylized to natural.
“The evolution of the natural nail has been something I’ve noticed recently,” she said. “Acrylics have been fading, and I’m seeing a return to embracing natural nails. That, along with nail art and all the crazy designs people do, has been one of the biggest trends.”
Though nail and hair trends go in and out of style with the release of the latest magazine, Lytle’s commitment to her customers at A Perfect 10 is timeless.
“I want people to leave feeling like they got to temporarily check out mentally,” she said. “I hope they have a relaxing time, and a clean, fun, legit and uplifting experience.”
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