Base Coat Nail Salon

When Tran Wills, Base Coat Founder, was pregnant with her fourth child, she swung by her local salon for a pedicure. While waiting for her treatment, she became nauseous from the harsh chemicals and her nose started bleeding. She immediately walked out, reflecting on everything that was wrong with the nail industry. Having grown up in nail salons, she witnessed her own family working in conditions that were hazardous to their health, while also being unfairly compensated. She understood that her family’s experience wasn’t unique—it was the industry standard. In her gut, Tran knew it was time for a better option: a salon that supported the health and well-being of everyone, customers and staff alike. That’s why in 2013 she founded Base Coat, the first non-toxic nail salon in Denver and one of only a few in the entire country. Today, Base Coat has 2 flagship locations, 13 Nordstrom shop-in-shops and over 100+ product retailers across the country including Whole Foods.


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Understanding the need for such a unique and forward thinking concept, Steven, while at his first hospitality brand, oversaw the inception and growth of Base Coat with Founder Tran Wills. Design, sourcing, construction and project management, corporate structure, and financing of Base Coat’s first permanent location were all under the purview.