Natural nail specialist & mother of two toddlers, Sophia Stanley, reveals her child-friendly nail space and why adding a play area has enticed a greater clientele.

Affectionately titled ‘Mama Mani Nails’, Sophia Stanley’s business operates from her home in Walsall, with a focus on services that can be enjoyed by clients while their children are occupied.

Following her nail qualification in the summer of 2021, after the birth of her second child, Sophia was keen to start a business that would offer avenues for communication. “I was diagnosed with post-natal depression after the birth of my first child, and had to leave my job,” she reveals. “This made me feel isolated and cut off from the world, so I set up my nail business as it afforded flexibility, and because I was seeking some company.”

Mama Mani Nails offers gel polish mani and pedis, builder gel services, spa pedicures and facials. The setup allows her to work around the needs of her toddlers, and be accommodating to clients with similar needs. “Many clients value the personal service they receive, as social anxiety has prevented them from going to busy salon spaces,” Sophia reveals. “Some of my clients have expressed that they love getting their treatments done in a real family home, as it cosy and feels as if they’re visiting a friend.”

The home space features a nail desk, treatment bed and play area for children. “Having a child-friendly space wasn’t a decision I made consciously,” she continues. “I’m a mum, I just did it! I’m very family focused so wanted a safe place for clients to visit, without the worry of childcare.

“Being a parent can be incredibly lonely for some, so I do my best by providing a welcoming space for a chat and treatment. I have all the provisions of a clients’ own home available; there are toys galore, streaming services, two toddlers to play with, and if a client’s child needs nappies, wipes, snacks, or juice, then I have plenty!”

“I’ve had clients who were unaware of my child-friendly setup asking if they can rearrange their appointment due to childcare issues, and they have been thrilled when I say that I can bring them along,” Sophia beams. “Children can’t be paused, so as parents we must schedule our lives around them and their needs. Being able to bring them to Mama Mani Nails to play adds some ease to their day.”

Sophia acknowledges that offering child-friendly appointments doesn’t suit every tech. “Some days can be very stressful, as my children want my full attention. They have temper tantrums, as do my clients’ children, so it can get loud. There are always toys and crumbs to clean up after on top of the usual post-appointment clean up routine,” she shares. “However, it works for me and my clients and if you’ve got the space, time and patience, then I’d recommend child-friendly appointments as it has allowed so many of my clients to practice self-care regularly.

“Routine is imperative to make a child-friendly business work. Some days are harder than others, and while I offer a variety of appointment times, my children come first – and they can be very unpredictable! I’m lucky that most of my clients are either parents or retired, so they understand and are flexible,” Sophia notes. “My husband has been so supportive and is a very hands-on parent, which makes my work life a lot easier, I’m so grateful to him and the clients who have supported me so far.”

Looking to the future, Sophia would like to upgrade my workspace and further promote the child-friendly salon concept. “I think parents deserve something special and I love being able to provide a great experience.”

Follow Mama Mani Nails on Instagram and Facebook.

By Editor