Small town, big dreams: Small Town Nail Spa holds ribbon cutting ceremony in LaFayette

Published 10:30 am Saturday, June 8, 2024

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On Thursday, a crowd of community members bit their nails in excitement at the ribbon cutting for LaFayette’s newest business, Small Town Nail Spa. The packed-out nail spa has been a dream 30 years in the making for owner Weltha Elaine Smith and her co-owner and husband Wallace Smith. 

Though her passion has been present for years, it wasn’t until recently that the financial advisor decided to take the leap of faith. 

After her mother, father and grandmother passed away in quick succession, Smith felt lost in her grief. By taking on her dream of opening a “small town” nail spa, she was able to channel her love for her departed family members into a passion project.

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“The Lord said I’m not done with you,” Smith recalled. 

“What a beautiful facility this is,” said Carrie Wood, director of the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce. “I can’t wait to see where this goes.”

Smith said that she knew she wanted to find a small town where she could make a big impact, and after meeting Merilyn Vines, owner of Vines Funeral Home, LaFayette went to the top of her list. 

“There are no words to describe,” Smith said. “This is perfect.”

Another reason that the interior of the spa is especially warm and inviting, Smith said, is because it is almost entirely decorated with furniture from her late parents’ and grandmother’s homes. 

“So I know that even though mom, dad and grandma could not be here in person with me, the spirit lives on,” Smith said.

The historic building was renovated to its current state by local business owner David Howard. The aptly named spa inhabits a small historic storefront on First Street in LaFayette. Once inside, the quiet space and low lighting give the perfect ambiance of a soothing spa day.

Several city and county officials spoke about the great need this business has filled for citizens including LaFayette Mayor Kenneth Vines. The mayor said Smith is saving him from all the citizens bugging him about the absence of a nail spa. 

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Vines thanked Smith for choosing LaFayette, saying, “When we have someone to come in and invest into our city, let’s support them. Let’s be the first ones to support them.”

The spa, a return to natural nail practice, will offer manicures, pedicures and gel products. Smith said her long-term goal is to expand the spa to include a massage therapist and esthetician. 

“This is just the start,” she said. “It’s ‘Small Town’ but I have big dreams.”

LaFayette Main Street (LMS) Director DeAnna Hand added that the Main Street Alabama group conducted a market analysis for the city of LaFayette, and a nail spa was in the participants’ top three most desired businesses. 

LaFayette became designated as a Main Street community last year. The organization is dedicated to stimulating economic growth and beautification efforts around downtown.

Hand said that since its open house, the spa, which is a member of LMS, has been booked up with appointments. 

“I hope that definitely continues,” Hand said. “I hope you will continue to support her. And on behalf of LaFayette Main Street, our board of directors and all of our volunteers, we’re just very, very, very thrilled to have a nail spa in LaFayette, Alabama.”

“A great thanks to Mr. David Howard,” Hand added. “This building and this renovation is immaculate. I hope to see more of these historic buildings renovated and be able to embrace new entrepreneurs, new businesses, and new people coming into Alabama.”

Smith thanked Wallace, a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy, as well as her support team, her cousins, for all their help in pulling together the spa.