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Interview with Local Entrepreneur and Founder of M3V Nail Bar

The most revolutionary nail experience opened in Phoenix on January 29th. I had the pleasure of sitting down with founder Tracy VanBibber before the opening to chat about the inspiration behind M3V Nail Bar.

As I listened to Tracy over cheese dip and a margarita, I couldn’t help but be inspired. She has reinvented the traditional nail salon and made her dream a reality.

I have to start with the name. Is there a meaning behind the name?
Yes, the original name was ‘My 3 Vices’ for Nails, Coffee and Wine. It was changed to M3V Nail Bar after doing some market research.

What is the inspiration behind M3V Nail Bar?
(chuckles) Well, I’ve been getting my nails done for about 27 years. I started getting them done because I bite my nails. I was an employee at Kraft Foods and would start biting my nails during important meetings… can you imagine?

Anyway, I didn’t like the experience of getting my nails done – it was more like a chore than a relaxing experience. With my role as an executive, I was always traveling for work and I moved over 10 times. Despite my exposure to nail salons across the country, I never found one I really enjoyed… I wanted to change that.

When did you decide you wanted to transform the nail experience?
About a year ago. I decided I wanted to create a relaxing experience in an elegant place that provided quality nail services – the place I could never find.

What was it that you couldn’t find that will be offered at M3V?
I wanted a place that did great nail work, had a refreshing smell, and had professionally dressed individuals. Other nail salons tend to be tight and small… M3V is spacious, smells heavenly and has a meeting place so you can relax, have wine or a mimosa and you leave with amazing nails.

Did you get a liquor license so you can serve wine & beer?
Yes, I’m pretty sure M3V is the first salon in Arizona, if not the US, to get a liquor license.

Besides serving mimosas, wine and beer, what else make M3V unique?
We are putting in a state of the art ventilation system… it creates a good working environment for employees and gets rid of the toxins you usually smell at nail salons.

I visited the website and noticed that parties were an option. How many people can have their nails done at once?
We have 23 nail stations. It’s the perfect spot for events like bridal showers, a girl’s night out, birthday parties, etc. I’ve designed the space so people can hangout and relax.

Would you say starting M3V was the natural next step for your career or was there something that propelled you into the entrepreneur space?
It was the natural next step. I started at Kraft Foods and worked my way up to be an executive. From Kraft Foods, I moved on to projects that allowed for more creativity and freedom to test ideas and business models.

What would you say has been crucial to the success of M3V so far?
Surrounding myself with people who know the industry and are good at what they do. I was able to find an amazing consultant, Liz Harvey, and a seasoned Salon Manager, April Santone & an upbeat/outgoing Assistant Manager named Katie Miceli.

Do you have business partners in this venture?
No. I decided to go alone because I believe in the concept so much.

Does it scare you to take such a big risk?
No. I think of it this way… I can take the amount of money I invested into the business and put it in the stock market but I would rather invest in my own venture; this one-of-a kind concept and my outstanding employees.

What are your short-term and long-term hopes for M3V?
Short-term? I hope to provide people with the ultimate nail experience and to provide a great workplace for my employees. Long-term? I hope to own a number of M3V locations and possibly franchise.

5450 East High Street Suite 109
Phoenix, Arizona 85045

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