Luxury in it’s finest form, Lala’s Salon and Spa is nothing short of an extravagant experience for Pittsburgh’s most pristine patrons.
As with most stories of glitz and glamour, Lauren Long, owner of the top-notch beauty establishment, says her business was born from very humble beginnings.
“The first physical location opened up in August of 2018, but prior to that I did nails out of the trunk of my car and I would go to my clients’ houses and do their nails that way as a way of building my clientele,” said Long.
Her drive, she says, came from the wise words of encouragement she received from a trusted elder.
“I always wanted to pursue a career in beauty and fashion in New York, but my grandmother very much so encouraged me to have a backup plan and to have something to fall back on in the case that what you want doesn’t work out,” said Long. “It was really my grandmother who encouraged me to go to beauty school and explore that avenue.”
Long’s Plan B has certainly had its high points. Since opening spots in Monroeville and Pittsburgh, Long has garnered thousands of supporters who are attracted to the stylish, professionally designed nails and upscale services provided at her establishments. The salon is also a Valentino Beauty Pure brand ambassador.
While the success of her business brings great pride and joy, it is the opportunity to encourage other talented artists and technicians that drives Long forward.
“Having a grandmother that was there to enlighten me about the ways of the world and give me guidance is why I’m where I am. That’s what I want to give to my technicians,” said Long. “I want to show my technicians that they can accomplish their dreams, despite how long it’s taken for this industry to be taken seriously.”
Long and her technicians provide a number of different services to clients such as polish changes and shape-ups, nail art, overlay, and artificial and natural nail services. Long also offers classes via her Nail Academy, a program that specializes in teaching interested technicians how to accomplish a variety of nail trends and techniques.
With all of the accomplishments Long is presently experiencing, she says the hardships in her past are a great reminder of her personal mission to encourage diversity and inclusion in the shop.
“I am multiracial and growing up I never really felt accepted with a single Black mother and a White father who left when I was younger,” said Long. “Watching that experience was rough and for me, I never wanted anyone in my [salon] space to ever feel out of place.”