Bernard Smiley recently bought himself a new pair of sandals because his recent pedicures have refreshed his feet to the standard he wants them to be.
He has been going to a nail salon called Just For Hym, which provides manicures, pedicures and facials, but with a twist — services are only for men. The list of services also includes beard trimming, eyebrow arching and dermaplaning (gets rid of facial “peach fuzz”), all performed with complimentary wine and water.
The salon’s goal is to provide a judgment-free space for men who want to partake in these services. The space is owned by married couple Joanne and Roderick Byrd, of Canton. It is located at 28422 Five Mile Road, and it has been operating since May 26. So far, it is bringing in about 30 customers a week, including Smiley, who is on his third visit.
“Mrs. Joanne is attentive,” said Smiley, 55, of Detroit. “I’ve never been to another salon that she puts the socks on your feet, moisturizes them — she gives you a hot rock massage with it. It’s so much for the money that you pay.”
The space is full of TVs with sports on screen, an NBA arcade game in the corner and a couple of chess boards. And Joanne Byrd tries to make sure to get a photo of the customer before they leave.
She said she wants her customers to come in “and be able to sit back and relax, and get the experience of a hot rock manicure or nice relaxing steam facial or relaxing exfoliating pedicure, and leave out saying, ‘Oh, wow, that was wonderful.’ ”
Eventually, she wants the business to become a one-stop shop for men. Employees are women who make customers feel catered to. The salon is in the process of finding a barber that is a woman as well.
“Now, we can have a spot for ourselves,” Roderick Byrd said, “ And we could talk about things like sports, and things of that nature, that men talk about, and it’ll be all just men. So we can all throw the ship together as men and speak the same language.”
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He wants hesitant customers to come visit the space.
“Some men that have never had pedicures and manicures and things of that nature — they come in here, they won’t have to be judged,” Roderick Byrd said. “The only (person) that’s gonna see their hands and their feet is gonna be the people that work in here.”
All about customer experience
Roderick Byrd said he would go get a manicure and pedicure at other spaces and always brought up to his wife that the environment was mostly serving women. At the same time, Joanne Byrd had a goal to find a business that would support the couple through retirement.
“So I just said, ‘What if we do something pertaining to men only,’ ” Joanne Byrd said. “He said, ‘That’s an excellent idea and I’m going to help you get it going.’ ”
Roderick Byrd said some customers come in with problems that need fixing over time. Smiley can attest to this.
Smiley is a husband and father of two who works at Michigan Dairy, where they make cottage cheese, milk and water for Kroger stores. He’s been working there for 30 years. He also works as a security guard at Ford Field. So Smiley is constantly on his feet. He wears rubber boots while he works at his dairy job.
He grew up in a house full of women, and he said he learned early on to take care of his nails and feet. He stopped going to his prior salon about three years ago because the services weren’t up to par. But he is now confident and ready to wear sandals again.
“I’m not a guy that wears sandals, and so I told her (his pedicurist), if she gets these dogs together by the time for me to go to Myrtle Beach, which is in a couple of weeks, she’s got a client for life,” Smiley said. “And she has succeeded in that.”
Roderick Byrd said the couple wants to open another location and possibly franchise the business in other states.
“This is our first experimental type of shop, so me and my wife have talked about other ideas for another location and doing some things a little different,” he said. “And getting a much larger location and kind of tweaking this one and taking what we learned from this one and putting it into the other one.”
Contact staff writer Chanel Stitt on Twitter: @ByChanelStitt. Become a subscriber or gift a subscription.