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VOL. 129 | NO. 121 | Monday, June 23, 2014

Salon Owner Loves Neighborhood Feel of Cooper-Young

By Andy Meek

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If what they say is true about doing what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, then native New Yorker Felicia Scarpati-Lomax hasn’t worked in decades.

Native New Yorker Felicia Scarpati-Lomax owns a nail salon in Cooper-Young that she opened here after relocating to Memphis from New York City and falling in love with both the city and Cooper-Young.

(Submitted Photo)

She owns a nail salon in Cooper-Young that she opened here after relocating to Memphis from the Big Apple and falling in love with both the city and with Cooper-Young. She’s been doing nails since she was a kid – she’s always loved the creative expression associated with it – and she’s done it off and on in some formal capacity for about 10 years.

Eventually, though, she got the itch to make a go of it and hang out her own shingle, so to speak. And opening her business The Polish Bottle in Cooper-Young reminded her of the Brooklyn neighborhood where she grew up – where you wake up in the morning, go to work, lift the gate on your business and talk to fellow business owners until the first customers start strolling in.

“I eventually wanted to do my own thing and start my own business, because you get to a point where you want to run a business and have more creative freedom,” she said. “I fell in love with this city. Memphis is a lot more laid back and quieter. And Cooper-Young is one of those neighborhoods where everyone seems to know everybody. It’s nice to come to work where people tell you ‘Good morning,’ and it’s got that neighborhood feel in the area.”

Scarpati-Lomax, who was born and raised in New York, moved to Memphis 19 years ago. She raised her son here, and he graduated from Christian Brothers High School last month.

Her business is at 2163 Young Ave., across the street from Goner Records, and it celebrates its third year in business this October. The Polish Bottle specializes in natural nail services – no acrylics – eyebrow threading and full body waxing services.

The Polish Bottle, which is open Tuesday through Saturday, is a full-service nail and skin salon. In addition to the business’ natural nail care, waxing and other services, customers who want to brighten up their skin, can make an appointment for a signature Vita-C facial combined with a diamond micro-dermabrasion treatment to walk away with healthy, glowing skin. Parties and private events also are scheduled by appointment.

Scarpati-Lomax is partial to products like Zoya, because their polishes do not contain harmful chemicals that can damage the nail root.

“I’ve been doing this in a way since I was a kid and always had a creative side and loved working with nail polish,” she said. “There’s just something about when you’re getting dressed and you’ve got your makeup done – the completion is the manicure, which pulls the look together. And the people you meet doing this are so wonderful. I’ve had clients I’ve been with for over 10 years, so that makes it cool.”

Occasionally, groups of ladies will start a girls’ night out at The Polish Bottle, which also offers, as a treat to customers, wine, martinis and mimosas on certain days.

“Six or seven girls might start the night here, we’ll serve martinis and wine, then they’ll go on to the restaurants and walk from here, just as cute as they want to be,” Scarpati-Lomax said. “Somewhere like Alchemy is often the next stop.”

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