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Brookings nail technician makes house calls

Michelle Connolly gives a pedicure in a home. The Pilot/Lorna Rodriguez
Michelle Connolly gives a pedicure in a home. The Pilot/Lorna Rodriguez
Door to Door Nails is just as it sounds — a door-to-door nail service in which owner Michelle Connolly travels to people’s homes with all of her gear to serve their nail needs.

Connolly offers manicures, pedicures, gel nails, basic reflexology and massage. She started the business in Brookings in October after being a nail tech in Washington state for more than 20 years. 

“I did it this way in Washington, and it was such a success,” Connolly said. “It just seems as though so many people want to have the same things as someone who is mobile.”

At first, Connolly was inspired by new moms who found it difficult to get out of the house, but has since realized there are so many people who are home bound and can’t get out, so she decided to serve them, too. 

It’s for “anybody who can’t get out. Anybody who is wanting to have a spa experience in their house,” she said.

Connolly’s hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but she is willing to make exceptions. 

When asked how business is going, Connolly responded “Pretty good. All new things take time to get worked out.”

Door to Door Nails also isn’t gender specific; it is open to men as well. 

“It’s about removing stigmas,” Connolly said. “Salons represent a place for women to go. We’re erasing stigmas and getting rid of boundaries. It’s about health and erasing stigmas about things people are embarrassed to go get help with in public.”

So far, people mostly hear about her services through word of mouth; she receives phone calls from hospice care patients and senior homes. But people can also visit her website, www.doortodoornails.com, or call her at 541-251-1915  to schedule an appointment.  

Before Connolly visits a client, she calls them up and asks them about their specific concerns or needs. She also uses the consultation to make sure she is not walking into an unsafe situation. Once she has finished a consultation, she schedules an appointment. 

The appointment lasts about an hour, and the price depends on the client and their needs. 

“It’s really about accommodating the person,” Connolly said. “I’m not going to charge someone low income $40 or $50. It’s just about being specific to that person’s needs. Everyone is treated individually; they’re not lumped into one category.”

Betty Daugherty and Jeff Earl are two clients who Connolly sees on a regular basis.

“I like to have her come,” Daugherty said. “She’s a lovely person. … I did it because I can’t bend over and I can’t see my toenails let alone reach them, so it’s a wonderful answer for me.

“The fact is I’m almost 84-years-old, and it’s a little difficult to drive, and this way she comes to my house instead of me looking for her, and that’s always a plus. She’s very qualified, and has gone to school and knows what she’s doing.”

Jeff Earl has enjoyed his visits with Connolly, too.

“I think she does a fantastic job,” he said. “I’ve been injured for the last couple of years where I can’t bend over and do my own toenails and stuff like that. … Being a man, I’ve always stayed back from having a pedicure, but she does a fantastic job. She’s a very cheerful, polite woman that I think is going to do fantastic in the business she’s in. For any man that’s afraid to have a pedicure: step up and do it because you will enjoy it.”

Earl said he likes how bubbly, polite and kind Connolly is. 

“She’s a very delightful person to be around,” he said. “She’s a very easy person to get along with.”

Earl also likes that Connolly is willing to travel to people’s homes. 

“That’s one thing I didn’t want to do was go into a beauty shop,” he said. “It made it that much easier because I’m pretty much bound to a wheelchair right now. It was more personal than going to a nail shop and getting them done there. It just wasn’t as stressful. I would recommend (Connolly) to anybody.”

In addition to her nail technician’s licenses and certificates, Connolly also has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Portland State University and a Rural Services certification. 

“Living in a rural community, I wanted to do something that fit the rural area,” Connolly said. “I wanted to do something coupled with my degrees. I want to help people, and if I have a skill or a gift, I can share with people, I will give them what they need.”

While in school, Connolly thought she was done with nails, but said God kept leading her back to nails. 

Connolly said she enjoys the one-on-one time with a client and being able to focus on what they need, and the design and art elements.

Currently, Connolly serves the Brookings-Harbor community. She will consider traveling outside of the area, but the costs will be higher due to mileage. 

In the future, Connolly would like to expand; she would like to be able to travel to Gold Beach or Smith River. She is duly licensed in Oregon and Washington, but not in California yet; she also hopes to offer group rates and acrylic nails. 

“I just hope I’m doing what someone would do for me,” Connolly said. “I just want to help people.”

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