Nestled on the bustling street of Ventura Boulevard in the heart of Studio City is an oasis called Namaste Nail Sanctuary offering not only top of the line nail care treatments but also all the makings for a perfectly zenned out treatment. Power couple Michael and Mecca Elliot founded this peaceful and innovative nail spa after realizing that there was a way to marry the concept of getting your nails done while providing an escape from the day-to-day bustle. For the ultimate experience, clients can opt to use the Deepak Chopra DreamMaster audio-visual system which includes a guided meditation while utilizing light and sound pulses to get you into the ultimate meditative space or meditate in The Cocoon Room.
We sat down with Elliots to chat about what inspired them to create a meditational nail spa, how meditation helped save their marriage, and where these zen pros go to destress in LA.
How many locations do you have? MICHAEL ELLIOT: This is the first and only Namaste, as of today. We have one opening in Rancho Cucamonga in September. We’re on track to have five open this year. Our goal is to have at least 25 open in the next 18 months.
How do you manage it all? MICHAEL: I founded Hammer & Nails | Grooming Shop for Guys, which I also franchised.We took what we know about franchising and systems and applying it to Namaste. This idea really came out of my wife who is a meditation instructor and we were literally one day last year just thinking about finding a way so that more people could take a break and decompress. Before we even had a location, we were thinking about how cool it would be if you walked into a nail salon and didn’t hear chatter. What if there was this atmosphere that you really felt like you were escaping off the street.
MECCA ELLIOT: Yea, it’s just combining the outer beauty with the inner beauty. Just weaving them together.
You kind of already described the concept behind Namaste. Nail care and self care? MECCA: For me, it really is a passion project because meditation plays a very important part in my life. I always say this – it saved my life because I was very ill about three years ago. I had an autoimmune disease that basically was attacking my body and was on a lot of different medications. I was searching for something outside of what I was familiar with or what I was taught and was introduced to meditation.
MICHAEL: And in addition, you were going through some personal stuff.
MECCA: Yea, I was going through a lot of personal issues and even going through a divorce…with my husband [Michael].
MECCA: Our first year, it was like a moment in your life where there was so much…just a lot of unsettling things [happening]. It was a lot. I was searching for something. Someone told me about the Oprah/Deepak Chopra 21-day meditation. Within one week and I was like, okay, something’s happening. My sleep started to change. I started to feel better. I just felt like I had some power source that I was connected to which was me that I had forgot and lost.
Going through that process healed me. I removed myself from all the medications against my doctor’s wishes and I have gone in complete remission. There is no such thing as rheumatoid arthritis throughout my body. Long story short, we stayed together. We were in the thick of it, splitting assets at that point. We have been together almost three years now. We’ve been inseparable. But it’s because we made really big shifts. And it started with just me finding this new practice, this new tool.
How is it to run a business together? MICHAEL: I thought it was going to be really difficult but I would say, for us, it’s been amazing. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we’re also best friends, we respect each other.
MECCA: You have to create a balance, so we work at that. And it’s still a work in progress because my husband is working all day, everyday. He doesn’t stop.
What do you guys like to do in LA to de-stress? MICHAEL: The Hollywood Bowl.
MECCA: I love the Hollywood Bowl. Anytime I can catch a concert there. We love concerts. We love dining out. I do take time out for self. I have a membership at Burke Williams. Other than that, we are homebodies. I love being home watching Netflix and ordering pizza.