Grand New: Polished to Perfection



Polished Nail Bar and Spa just launched in the Kentwood area this past January and has transformed a once cell phone store into an oasis for nail art and girl talk.

Polished, a Grand Rapids Area Black Business (GRABB 5 Business Accelerator Program a partnership between Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses, The City Of Grand Rapids, & Start Garden), saw a need to represent their culture in the area and took up shop at 4301 Kalamazoo Ave in the Towne and Country Plaza by Kalamazoo and 44th. Owners, Candace “Candy” Sumrell and Greg Morris wanted to bring back nail art and the art of conversation. The business mission is simple, create that barber shop feel but for the ladies –  a place to relax and just hangout.

Candy, a fashion lover, explains herself as a “girly girl” and enjoys all things “blingy and pretty”. But it’s not all about the fashion for Candy, it’s about true talent and a love for art. Candy has started “bringing back nail art” by hiring a staff that can free hand images onto nails and the salon, as a whole,  pushes the envelope with new trends – like encapsulated and holographic nails as well as crystal designs. Glitter inside nails, gem stones, pictures, Glacier nails (think snowglobe on your finger), and glow in the dark nails are only a few options. From traditional gel to celebrity inspired nail art, the design possibilities are endless and Polished is excited to create these designs alongside their customers. Candy explains that “we can offer the things that they see on celebrities…They can find this now in their neighborhood”. Polished also offers a wide variety of services outside of nails which include: lashes, scent bar, makeup, and more.

But Candy isn’t just about the beauty and trends, she is extremely business minded and hyper-focused. This drive made her push aside her fears and open Polished. “It was time” Candy said about finally pursuing her dream of owning a business. Looking back, she said “I see it, I want it, how do I get there” and she did get there.

The growth over the last 8 months has been more than Candy and Greg could have hoped for – she has added 3 new techs, a lash bar, and product line made specially for Polished. Polished wouldn’t be this amazing without their staff –  Karissa Simpson (Makeup Artist), Nadya Taylor (Nail Tech), Brandy Tara (Nail Tech), Nicole Brown ( Nicki B’s scent bar). “We’ve been blessed all the way around” explained Greg when talking about the outpouring of support they’ve received from the community and their wonderful staff.

(Candace Sumrell, Karissa Simpson, Nadya Taylor, Brandy Tara)

Even though Polished is set for success, it wasn’t an easy ride. Candy explained that anxiety and worry were always present because she “wanted everything to be perfect and it wasn’t” but it has all been worth it to see her dream take flight. Both owners understand that keeping a business moving forward needs inspiration. Greg was quick to flash a smile at Candy while saying, “She’s my inspiration. She’s so talented, smart, encouraging…and a wonderful mother.” Candy pulls her daily inspiration from being a mother of 3 daughters. She wanted showcase to them that “You can have your own if you work hard”.

Nail art and vibrant colors aren’t the extent of their business, Polished offers fun events like Manis and Margaritas and Pink Panties and Pedis (August 26th – see flyer at bottom of this post). Candy and Greg understand that patrons want an experience and to feel at home so they offer packages for salon takeovers for bachelorette parties, prom groups, and wedding parties. They also support the local community and sponsor events around the area such as the Galaxy Pageant.

Polished even supports other businesses WITHIN their salon. On the walls, you can find artwork from Art Exchange and in the next couple of weeks they will be offering signature products. These lotions and fragrances in various forms are perfect self purchases or gifts for special occasions. Candy and Greg also understand that other businesses have helped them to get where they are today: GRABB, Load a Spud, The Barber Shop, Platinum Pleasures , 97.3 The Beat, Daddy Pete’s BBQ, Reinvention Fitness, J.R. Gray Designs & Entertainment, GR USA, and TWELVXII. 

(Art Exchange)

The future looks bright for this young business and Candy even explained that we could be seeing a line of polishes in the future called Candy Coated Cosmetics. Besides the amazing nail art and event ideas, we were really impressed with how humble both Candy and Greg were about their business. “I don’t look at what I do as a big thing, I have a lot more improving to do,” explained Candy. Well, we think you’re a big deal, Polished, and look forward to getting our nail art on!

(Top row: Nicole Brown and Karissa Simpson Bottom row: Candace Sumrell and Gregory Morris)

Want to learn more about Polished Nail Bar and Spa? Check out their Website, Instagram, Facebook, book an appointment and don’t hesitate to stop in and just say hi! Also, learn more about Grand Rapids Area of Black Businesses and how to support.