Originally posted April 3, 2019 in New Orleans Living Magazine
I have been working in New Orleans and hustling to keep my business alive for more than a decade now. Nothing is as relentless and unforgiving as being a small business owner, unless you are a mother as well. The combination of the two leaves you crazy exhausted or just crazy but with many countless small rewards and small moments of joy. I am not discrediting the work and efforts of a father who also provides for his family, as he is equally fatigued and still deserves countless accolades, but, because I am the aforementioned, I can relate more with the XX chromosome. I am unapologetic for my strong emotions, work ethic, innate need to care and comfort others, and my attraction to all the pretty things.
During the past six years, I have watched and admired Lauren Pratts of Hi-Brow grow her eyebrow pop-up into a full-service brick and mortar location for skin and brows. Now she and her business partner Danielle Greco have expanded into an Instagram-worthy location with full-service beauty salon called Palm Stone. It is the most exciting and inspirational place to walk into in the New Orleans area. According to the dynamic duo, the name Palm Stone, comes from their obsession with the architecture of the palm tree and hot stone pedicures. Palm Stone is a boutique nail salon that provides custom manicures, pedicures, massages and skin care for hands and feet. The duo’s lip brand, LipMix, is also located in Palm Stone and is a custom lipstick and lipgloss bar.
The Yin-Yang Twins
Pratts’ and Greco’s affection for each other grew over time, but it was apparent to each other that they shared the same passion for the beauty industry, and, on many occasions, the same fashion choices. “We literally would show up for work in the same outfits and did not even shop together,” Pratts says. Although they have a communal love for the business, clothing and each other, they have very different personalities but balance each other as a team. Pratts is a “creative tornado” Greco says, whereas she prefers order and structure. Like their namesake, Pratts is the palm that flows through the breeze and Greco is the strong and supportive stone.
Pratts has been an aesthetician for 15 years. Like she did for eyebrows in New Orleans with her Hi-Brow Boutique, she wanted to create an experience for nails that did not compromise quality or pampering and that was budget-friendly. She wanted to construct a nail-service space that encompassed everything she personally dreamed of if she was going to get a manicure. Palm Stone is a welcoming and whimsical beauty bar that feels like glitter-mixed cotton candy and happiness; the vibrant wallpaper, open glass shelves and neon emanate Pratts’ and Greco’s personalities. You cannot help but smile, laugh and sneak in a selfie while you are there.
Palm Stone has two of the owners’ favorite services. Their LipMix custom service and custom nail art. “The fun thing about nail art is the endless possibilities, and it’s not permanent,” Greco says. This season, look for geometric prints, color blocking, neutrals and tie-dyed inspired patterns. Customizing lipsticks and lipglosses is one of Greco’s preferred services. “There is nothing like it anywhere close to us; it’s such a cool process from start to finish,” she says. These two business-savvy ladies love to have a good time and love the creative outlet that Palm Stone provides its customers.
A Few of Our Favorite Things
Being in the business of beauty for more than a decade, the duo knows their products and they both are product addicts and junkies; it’s an occupational hazard. When asked what one product they would make certain they would have at all costs, dermatologists and fashionistas would be impressed. “Sunscreen is a must if stranded on a desert island along with a good moisturizer,” Greco says. “I would also make sure I have a lip balm that includes an SPF from LipMix.” Greco suggests Luksus Moisturizer and Sunscreen. Pratts, being the resourceful but not quite practical one explains, “If I were taking beauty products, it would be my Luksus vitamin C and toner; I would just borrow Danielle’s moisturizer and sunscreen.” However, if Pratts had a bigger bag, she would pack all her mules and a good foot cream. “I am addicted to a mule-style shoe and my feet are always dry and cracked,” she says.
This spring, get your nails pampered and festival ready at the effervescent nail beauty bar, and take a selfie — no filters necessary — and tag these beauty mavens.
Palm Stone Beauty Boutique
2565 Metairie Road
Photos by blackandgeauxld.com