On a visit to her wife’s native town of Portrush, Northern Ireland, in Easter 2022, an empty premises beside the sea caught Naoise McGeer-Letson’s eye.

Formerly a hairdressers, the original shop had closed due to the pandemic and remained empty since, until it was transformed into Nini’s salon.

Naoise Mcgeer Letson Headshot

Moving from London to Portrush with her wife and family, Naoise secured the premises and set up her new life in the coastal town. The couple were both teachers when Naoise trained in nails, offering services alongside teaching, but she decided to dedicate herself to the craft full-time.

“The salon is the perfect spot, and I feel so proud to be representing the LGBT community in a small seaside town like Portrush,” Naoise smiles. “I hope that my salon is a safe space for everyone, from all backgrounds.

Ninis Salon

“The town is full of amusements, and there’s hustle, bustle and excitement in the summer, then quiet and lots of rain in the winter. When the tourists have gone home and the weather has turned is my favourite time in Portrush.

“The weather is wild and the sea is furious. It reminds you just how small you are and really centres me,” she explains. “The town was also featured in the final episode of the last series of Derry Girls!”

Ninis Salon Reception

Decorating the salon was an easy task for Naoise, who secured much of the furniture in the space from her family collection. With mid-century accents accompanied by bold and quirky details, Naoise leaned into her creativity and artistry when creating the space.

“I studied fine art for four years, so I wanted my salon to feel similar to an artist’s studio. It’s decorated similarly to my home, and I’d say it looks more like the inside of my brain than a traditional salon.

Ninis Salon Display

“I wanted the salon to be a space where people from different backgrounds feel comfortable to come and ask for any service they require. I’d love to foster an environment where clients feel safe to question what is available, and chat or be completely silent to their preference without feeling strange or out of place.

“Everybody deserves to feel that they belong in spaces designed for beauty and that’s what I hope to achieve at Nini’s.

“It’s a nail space truly for everybody, inviting discussion, curiosity, creativity and excitement.”

With two other nail technicians, Molly Kelly and Lindsey, Nini’s offers a full treatment menu of nail and beauty services, including gel polish and builder gel overlays, manicures, hard gel extensions and specialism, nail art.

“I love the freedom that having my own salon allows me,” Naoise shares. “Creating something that truly reflects my identity and how I want people to feel is so empowering for me.”

Follow Nini’s on Instagram, here.

By Editor