Stephanie Coulston


When Stephanie worked a desk job in her early 20s, she often treated herself to a manicure or pedicure after a long day at the office. She noticed a need in the market for a nail salon that offered luxury services at a reasonable price, and in September 2007, Phoenix-based Sundrops Nail Spot was born. The salon features an upscale nail boutique and a shop filled with beauty products, apparel, accessories and more. 

College major: Retailing and Consumer Sciences

Profession: Owner and Operator of Sundrops Nail Spot

Why did you decide to start your own company? I was working a desk job in my early 20s. Frequently after work, I would treat myself to a manicure or pedicure. At the time there were two options for nail salon services: resort spas or discount salons. I couldn't afford the resort prices and the discount nail salons honestly scared me. It was then that I noticed a need in the market for a nail salon that offered luxury services at reasonable prices. 

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Sundrops Nail Spot was featured in InStyle magazine in October 2010. I didn't pay a publicity firm for that recognition. A magazine representative found us and passed our name along. It proved that recognition will always follow with hard work.

What beauty product could you not live without? La Mer face crème. 

You're a business owner, wife, mom and friend. How do you balance your professional and personal life? It is hard to find the balance. I surround myself with an amazing group of women who can pick me up when I am feeling down. I also have a great staff at work. You have to learn to trust and delegate and you have to be very organized. 

What spring style trends are you most excited about? I am really excited about the nail art movement that is happening right now. It's exciting to see people express themselves through their nails. As for clothing, I am excited for the subtle '70s trend. I always love the free-flowing organic vibe, which in turn means a neutral palette for nails.

What's your "quick pick-me-up"? Working out. It gives me an hour to re-center myself and re-gain focus.

What's always in your purse? Besides the essentials: Aquaphor lip balm and Deborah Lippmann (Gamma Pi-Arizona) Rich Girl hand cream.

How do you define success? For me, it is simply being happy. If you are happy in whatever you do, good things and good vibes follow.

What advice do you have for collegians with an entrepreneurial spirit? I always think about what advice I would give my collegiate self. I encourage people to pursue their passions. It's hard work but always worth it; it's longer hours than you anticipate; and tears are not always tears of joy. But providing a workplace for people who share your same ideas is one of the greatest things. Receiving an email from a customer, thanking you because you offered them a unique and inspiring experience always brings me back to why I started this entire journey. 

What's a quote you live by? I reference this Maya Angelou quote a lot:  "Do you best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." To successfully run a business you are always learning and finding a new, better and more unique ways to do things.