Manos Nail Lounge: More Than Just Manicures
By Carissa Mangubat
It was never just about manicures and pedicures at Manos. One of our goals at Manos is to reinvent the spa experience by building and promoting social and environmental consciousness through our products and services. When we were conceptualizing Manos some six years ago, we knew that we wanted to go against the typical model for a nail spa. We wanted a place that was homey and not “kikay”, one that served a bigger purpose other than just being a place to groom oneself, and one that would serve as a platform to empower women.
We knew that we wanted to be identified as a Filipino establishment, so we spent a lot of time researching local suppliers and artisans to supply the products used in our spa. For example, the bespoke lotions and scrubs we use are made by local suppliers and use local scents like calamansi and ylang-ylang. The furniture in the spa is also sourced locally, such as Pampanga and Marinduque. We also have regular tie-ups with other social enterprises to help promote social responsibility to both our customers and ourselves.
By being in the service industry, we are able to provide jobs and train employees with necessary skills that they can use to help uplift their lives. Admittedly being in the service industry also has its challenges in terms of managing people, but we at Manos always encourage proper work ethic and try to instill discipline. As a matter of policy, we hire women who previously have little or no skill in nail care or personal care services because we believe that by doing so, we are able to create value in the workforce. It feels bittersweet when our girls leave us to seek greener pastures, but we know that their time spent at Manos empowered them and became an integral part of their personal growth.
The amazing ladies of Manos that share in Manos’ Mission day in and day out. (Photo courtesy of Ynez Alcid)
Manos is a “passion project” of sorts for me and my partners as we have our own corporate day jobs that keep us busy. The Manos journey has had its ups and downs, but I believe that the dynamic of our partnership has proven to be one of the core strengths of our brand. My partners and I have been friends since our high school days, and going into this, we were warned many times about friends breaking up from doing business together. Despite our differences, we have learned over the years to build on our strengths and complement each other in our weaknesses.
(L-R:)Ynez, Felice and Carissa. One week before the soft opening in August 2011. (Photo courtesy of Ynez Alcid)
The Trio. Celebrating our 5th Christmas together as partners. (Photo Source: Ynez Alcid)
We always get asked – why “manos”? It is the spanish word for “hands” and it stands for the hands that make the Manos experience what it is. It is the root word for the Filipino gesture of “pagmamano”, which is a sign of respect. More than just taking care of our hands (and feet), the name “Manos” pays tribute to the hands of our nail technicians, the hands of those who make our products, and the hand that we extend help in nation-building.
Book your next appointment at Manos through 478-4057 | 0917-315-6627 or by visiting their website.