Townhouse founder Juanita Huber-Millet is a self-described nail devotee—in this beauty entrepreneur responsible for London’s most sought-after manicures we’ve found a genius collaborator for an exclusive beauty ritual at Harrods.
Can you tell us the story of how you founded Townhouse? What is the philosophy behind the brand?
I have been a nail devotee pretty much my whole life, but I always found the salons around me uninspiring—the service wasn’t particularly professional, they were often messy and disorganised and the treatment quality was really variable. The more I looked into it, the more frustrated it made me that this whole sector seemed to have been left behind—and none more so than for the staff who deserved better. So that is what I decided to build: beautiful surroundings, reliable high-quality treatments, the latest technology and modern, stylish nail art looks.
It is often overlooked how skilled you have to be to become a top nail technician—we create an environment that first and foremost showcases those skills and offers meaningful career prospects for our employees.
Tell us about your exciting launch with Harrods! What made you decide to take this next step?
Townhouse had a great reception from customers and press when we opened our first location in Fitzrovia and I had always planned to open more stores. In the early days we wanted to take things slowly to make sure everything was just right before growing but when Harrods approached us to take over their nail offering the timing was perfect. I couldn’t be more excited to embark on this new chapter for Townhouse.
What treatments will you be offering at Harrods?
Townhouse at Harrods features our core menu—everything from a quick colour refresh through to luxury options—but of course, being in Harrods, it had to have an elevated twist! Exclusively in partnership with Chantecaille, we have introduced two luxurious treatments which we call ‘The Manicure’ and ‘The Pedicure’, featuring Rose de Mai Body Oil, Retinol Hand Cream and Pure Rosewater. They were designed to be the absolute last word in luxury nail care!
What colour trends are you seeing in terms of shape, colour and nail art this year?
This year we have seen an evolution of the traditional French manicure. Forget the typical thick white tip and instead think fashionable, chic colour tones, bright colour pops, gradient ombres and my personal favourite: the new Micro French, a very small chic French manicure line on mid to short nails.
For the stylish crowd, we are seeing low-key pastels and muted tones of pink, greens and blues becoming a popular choice. For the more daring fashionistas, bright-toned colours, clashing prints and zebra themes are on the rise!
In reality, a lot of trends have been on hold during COVID so we can’t wait to see where things go now we are all starting to head back out into the world!
Why do you think it's important for women to support each other in business?
Being a woman in business remains a challenge—even in a predominately female industry. Over the last few years I have learnt the importance of networking and learning from and supporting those around you. I have the utmost respect for anyone who ventures out on that journey.
The Manicure treatment and treatment stations
What are your Chantecaille must-haves?
I absolutely adore the Rose de Mai Face Cream and Oil! London pollution is such a challenge for my skin and I have seen such a difference since using it. I also love the Frangipani fragrance—it’s such a mood booster and makes an appearance whenever I have a particularly important day at work!
Do you have three must-do hand care tips that everyone should always follow?
My three top tips to keep your hands looking their best:
- The hands are one of the first areas to show signs of age so it’s important to protect the skin. Like you would with your face, when in the sun for an extended period I would always recommend using a factor 50 SPF on your hands to keep the skin youthful and protect from sun damage.
- Moisturise your nails and cuticles daily to keep them healthy—I keep a hand cream and cuticle oil next to my bed. I seem to never have time in the day but use them religiously every night before I go to sleep.
- Finally—always, always, always wear gloves to protect your hands from dehydration when washing up or using household cleaning products.
“I absolutely adore the Rose de Mai Face Cream and Oil!”
Mixing beauty and business isn't always easy—what's been the most challenging part of your entrepreneurial journey? And, conversely, what have you enjoyed the most?
Without a doubt the most challenging thing is time management. As a founder, there are always a hundred things you could work on—the trick is to prioritise and focus. Surrounding myself with great people who are specialists in their fields has been huge in moving us forward and it’s great to see success and achievements when the team are all heading in the right direction.
What’s next for you?
2021 is going to be a big year for Townhouse. With the lockdowns lifting we cannot wait to get back out there and spend time with our customers. We are focusing on our growth strategy, and we couldn’t be more excited for the future!