If you still believe that manicures and pedicures are only restricted to women, you’re probably still living in the past. In this modern day and age, males getting groomed at the salon should come as no surprise to you.
The founder of Hammer & Nails took advantage of the growing popularity of salons for men and the demand for various skin and hair treatments that were once only confined to women. At first, the business did not start out with an aim to generate profits or become a billion dollar industry. In fact, it was created to fill the obvious gap in the market for mani and padi services for men.
In 2013, Michael Elliot, the founder of Hammer & Nails was looking for a good nail salon in his neighborhood only to find subpar services and a poor atmosphere. What made everything worse was that he received curious looks and uncomfortable stares from people around him. Unfortunately, Michael had to walk out the doors without a satisfactory service. He then proceeded to form his own company – Hammer & Nails.
The Founder of Hammer & Nails
Hollywood screenwriter Michael Elliot turned his head towards the prevalent gap in the salon market for men. He wanted to provide a solution to the problem for males who place a high value on beauty and skin care. Therefore, this famous screenwriter and producer decided to open up his own mani, paid, and hair salon. So, if you’re a guy and want to get a lavish, comfortable, hygienic, relaxing and stylish treatment for your hands, feet, and hair, Hammer & Nails is the perfect spot for you!
The very first store was opened in Los Angeles on Melrose Avenue. His store had a really masculine atmosphere to it with whiskey, flat-screen TVs, dark lighting, and large leather chairs. In 2013, the cost of the shop was worth $250,000. In an effort to reach the profit margin and break even, Hammer & Nail provided premium services. While a milk and honey soak treatment cost $120, a standard manicure was only $23 back then.
Michael Elliot’s Hammer & Nails achieved a record-breaking $150,000 in sales within the first seven months. By 2016, he had reached a new record high of $2 million, thanks to his continued performance. The Hammer & Nail franchise concept soon gained immense popularity and started to emerge. Michael decided to gather money to fund the project’s next stage.
Hammer & Nails on Shark Tank
Elliot had the notion to try out for the reality show Shark Tank for a 20 percent equity stake in the brand in order to raise $200,000 in total. On September 26, 2014, Michael Elliot of Hammer and Nails made an appearance on Shark Tank. He received a refutation from Kelvin O’ Leary rather than funding from the Sharks. Kelvin believed the plan would never succeed.
Did the audience concur with Kelvin O’ Leary? No! Michael received eight investors in response. These investors, who were not sharks, loved the idea and strategy and believed in the success of the company. Shark Tank eventually paid off! As Michael was able to secure the funding he needed, the exposure had an inestimable value. But that’s not all!
At least 800 people emailed and contacted him through his website to express their interest in investing in Hammer & Nails. Seven of the eight candidates were chosen by Michael to be angel investors. Six of the seven investors each contributed $25,000 in exchange for a 2.5% profit share. A $50,000 payment was made by the seventh investor in exchange for a 5% Return on Investment (ROI).
Elliot entered Shark Tank with no prior franchise experience. However, as the company grew, the investors finally ended up owning Hammer & Nails franchises. When John Choi and Michael Fluegge joined, the number of investors grew.
The rights to 25 Hammer & Nails stores were purchased by franchise idea developer John Choi in Northern California. Michael Fluegge reached a deal to acquire the Southeast development rights to Hammer & Nails.
According to Michael, a number of factors contributed to the success of Hammer & Nails on such a massive scale. The first was that men take great pride in their appearance (it’s true; they really do!). So, for the best nail and hair services, they won’t mind spending a little bit extra.
Additionally, the salon offered a private space for men to feel relaxed and pampered without feeling pressured or scrutinized. This eventually made the business thrive even more. The grooming salon incorporates the “guy factor” into its layout and style. However, there are no restrictions based on gender.
Our Review of Hammer & Nails
Hammer & Nails now stands for more than just a salon for manicures and pedicures. It is a full-fledged male grooming salon. The hands and feet treatment along with other services will leave you speechless (and of course, relaxed). The salon also provides shaving and haircut services in the most comfortable chairs and atmosphere you’ll ever experience.
Hammer & Nails offers a wide range of services for men and has a welcoming environment. Perhaps even most female salons don’t offer such luxury. For example, you’ll find Bose headphones, a large private TV screen with a remote, just for you at the facility in San Francisco, California. Plus, they also offer free beverages to their clients during the service. Now isn’t that a cherry on top or what?
The salon is not just a place to relax and rejuvenate, but also offers various health benefits. The qualified professionals at Hammer & Nails inspect the hands and feet before starting any treatment and provide expert health-related advice to clients. Before treating the nails as part of the service, the team wraps the client’s hands in hot towels infused with fragrant oils, allowing them to be soft and ready for treatment.
Over 300 authorized stores presently include Hammer & Nails as an outlet. Everyone who enters the building is given a warm welcome as part of the Hammer & Nail brand’s traditions. You enter a calm setting, where a cheerful service member leads you to a large leather chair. You can choose the type of tea, iced tea, IPA, or bourbon you want to drink.
Hammer & Nails is often referred to as a “Man Cave Nirvana.” Since Shark Tank’s debut, the salon has added haircuts and straight razor shaves to its menu of services. Despite claiming to have numerous franchisees, Michael is still pursuing the franchising model for his company.
As of 2022, there are a total of 32 franchises along with the original store. There are 10 in California, two each in North Carolina, Texas, Connecticut, Ohio (with two more on the way), Florida, Arizona, three in Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Shark Tank was definitely mistaken about this business. Hammer & Nail’s revenue increased by 270 percent in 2021!
Pros of Hammer & Nails
- Lavish treatment
- Relaxing ambiance
- Privacy for men
Cons of Hammer & Nails
- High competition
Are there Any Alternatives?
- American Male Hair Salon
Our Final Thoughts
As of right now, Hammer & Nails has sold franchise licenses in eight states totaling more than 183. The Hammer & Nails franchise can be purchased for between $234,700 and $531,400. A 6 percent royalty fee and a 20 percent franchise fee are also included in the terms and conditions.
The brand is available to both men and women without any restrictions. New York, West Hollywood, California, Midtown Miami, Florida, Folsom, Frisco, Texas, Cypress, Portland, Oregon, South Bay, and other cities have franchise sites.
Hammer and Nails established a market niche for itself as the first franchise of its kind in the male grooming industry. Although Michael Elliot made a risky investment, it did pay off handsomely. The business is on a revolutionary route and is looking for experts for the following leg of the journey.