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A Strong Team Is the Polish on Manicube’s Success

For many working women, finding the time for a manicure used to be a chore — having to duck out at lunch, rush home before the corner nail salon closed or spending an hour of hard-earned free time on a Saturday. Not anymore.

Katina Mountanos and Liz Whitman had the great idea to bring manicures to the workplace. Manicube, the business they created, fits right in at a time when groceries and drug store items can be ordered on demand. Clients (women and men) book appointments online, and then manicurists come right to the office, turning conference rooms into makeshift salons. Many corporate customers even foot the bill, offering manicures as an employee perk.

Manicube launched in New York in 2012 and expanded into its second city, Boston, a year later. That’s when Annie Ode joined the team. We caught up with Ode, who serves as the company’s Boston City Manager, to learn more about the business and how it makes more happen for customers.

Other than through sales, how does Manicube measure its success?

We believe we are truly accomplishing our mission of making women’s lives easier, so we measure our success, in part, through customer feedback. As one customer told us, “Before I had my son (22 months ago) I could dedicate time to maintaining my nails. Once I became a working mom, I had far less time in the day to get things done and certain things had to go; first on the list for sure was frequent manicures. I couldn't find the time, and frankly, on the weekend, it was hard to get a manicure and then come home to diapers, etc., with wet nails. Manicube has solved all of this for me. The convenience is fabulous, the price is right, and I can continue to dry my nails as I click away on my keyboard or attend meetings. And, best of all, it feels like such a nice treat!”

What’s the best thing about managing a small business?

It’s really amazing to see something grow from the ground up and truly have your hand in all the buckets, so to speak. The level of responsibility every member of our team has is somewhat staggering. We all know that on any given day, we’re wholly responsible for the overall success of this company.

And what challenges you the most? How do you handle it?

We spend a lot of time and energy building technology to ensure we get the right people to the right place at the right time. And it's hard to fit everything we need into a light and easily transportable kit!

But also, one of the major things a small business like Manicube struggles with is branding. You have to balance the need to get your name out there quickly, while at the same time stressing that the image and message associated with your brand be professional and consistent. For our marketing assets, we rely heavily on Staples® Copy & Print Centers. It’s an efficient channel that helps us be more successful.

Have you ever been surprised to find something at Staples that you wouldn’t expect us to carry?

Nail files! I saw cotton balls and I thought, well, sure, I guess you could put those in a corporate bathroom or use them to clean up spilled toner on a copy machine. But you have nail files, polish remover, cuticle sticks — everything!

Sounds like Manicube has all it needs to succeed.

We do. But most importantly, we have an excellent team. Everyone knows her own individual responsibilities, but everyone is willing to step up when needed.

How does your business make more happen? We want to know! Share your story with us in the Comments section below, and we might contact you for a future article.

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