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West Loop business owner creates inclusive salon  

Tips312 owner Meghan Young has been a nail enthusiast since she was 14 years old getting her nails done at Bottom Nail Salon on Chicago’s West Side. 

“That place was just filled with a bunch of different artists and girls who had different nail techniques and just a fun vibe that you never forget,” Young said. 

Her memories of Bottom Nail Salon stuck with her and inspired her own West Loop salon, Tips312, which opened in April 2023.

Young said she saw a need for a nail salon where Black and brown customers felt empowered. 

“When we talk about nails it really does all derive out of the Black community, so where it starts and where it ends is something that we as Black and brown women have a part in,” she said.  

This sense of empowerment is exactly what keeps 31-year-old Oak Park resident Kristen Morrison coming back to the salon.  

“A Black woman-owned salon is really awesome to see,” Morrison said. “It makes you feel more at home. It feels like we are speaking the same language.”  

Morrison said she appreciates the connection she has with the staff members at Tips312.

“I can chit-chat with the techs. I’m singing along to the music. It just feels very homey,” she said. “I have been getting to know the techs and we talk about life things. When I come back a month later, I am always able to follow up and ask ‘Oh, well how is that going?’” 

When visitors walk into Tips312, not only are they greeted with smiling faces, but also vivid colors, comfortable seating and unique wall art. This look was important to Young since she said she didn’t know of any other Chicago salons with vibrant decor and wanted to make the space enjoyable for her customers. 

Young finds that the experience her staff has working at the salon is just as important as her patron’s experience. 

“I’m trying to create a synergy of information and education — a sisterhood,” Young said. 

This is done by providing classes for her team to perfect their techniques and allowing novice artists to spend time in the salon learning from staff members. 

On the day that Tips312 opened in the West Loop, they were fully booked with appointments and had a packed house. Young said that the location has helped her business because there aren’t many nail salons nearby and that the neighborhood values Black-owned establishments. In the coming years, Young hopes to open additional locations, beginning with a salon in Washington, D.C. 

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