Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

A New Way Of Art: Graffiti Nail Bar



Graffiti Nail Bar looks like something I’ve only seen in the movies.  It’s modern, hip, and everywhere you turn there’s a pop of color.  The walls have graffitied art design on them, with a backstory that’s just wanting to be told.  Lauren Boyd, nail artist and owner, wants people to not only get their nails done here, but to create art here as well.  Boyd shares that this is not a salon, but something much more than that.  It’s a place for art, ideas, excitement.  It’s a conversation.

What made you want to start Graffiti Nail Bar?

“I think the start of every business starts off with a problem of what’s not available to people.  Trying to fill a void that you think is missing.  I just felt like not enough art and creativity were in salons in Memphis.  I felt like I couldn’t create in the environment that I was in, so I decided to create an environment that was easy for people to create in.  Or be created on.”

So you paint other things too, not just nails?

“Graffiti Nail Bar is not a salon, which is why I have never classified it as that.   It’s an art studio.  I think Memphis needs more artistic people in the beauty industry.  I think we just have people that curl hair and paint nails and send people on their way.  Graffiti Nail Bar is a studio, it’s a workshop.  You can’t have graffiti without art.”

You are known for your hand painted designs. What kind of designs do you do?

“All of my nail art is transformed into my earring addiction. A lot of paint drippings. I’m very big on colors.  The fusing and the mixing, I love it. I couldn’t image doing my life any other way.”

How do you feel about the whole art scene in Memphis? How does it differ from other cities?

“I think art is the binding factor in Memphis. If you ever go out to any art scene you are not going to see one race, one age, one culture.  Art is the binding culture in the South now.”

What is your favorite part about doing this?

“The fact that I have joined with my husband and that we are in art together now. We are creating together now. The best part about Graffiti Nail Bar is that it’s transformed into what it was always supposed to be. It’s been a good journey. I have reached Midtown officially and I am able to now create the way I have always wanted to. Now I have a partner in life to create with.”

On being married to another artist.

“If you take all of this, the paintings, the polish, the art, all of this goes and it flows right into that room. We have created the paint shop.  That is our store and that’s where me and my husband’s art collides.  I think that he is finishing the story to what Graffiti Nail Bar is.”

“Neither one of us had dated an artist before.  I’ve always been an artist but I had never reached my full potential.  I think that’s what he did for me.  He’s beyond amazing.”

What do you hope people walk away from when they leave here?

“I hope people walk away with a bag full of stuff first of all.” (laughs) “I would just like people to be inspired and maybe uplifted a little bit because art heals. Art is definitely a healer whether it’s visually or whether it’s music. Every woman loves to get her nails done whether they can afford it or not. She loves the pampering and she loves to feel pretty. There’s a lot of things I would love for people to walk away with other than merchandise.”

Boyd gave me the perfect quote to leave you with.

“It’s still being written, but this is the finish to my story.”

On January 3, Graffiti Nail Bar will host an event at their new location at 1985 Madison Ave, Suite 11. They will be showcasing their retail as well as launching their new website.  Muddy’s Bake Shop will be there, along with a DJ, and a massage therapist to give free 10-15 minute massages!  Come check out the art and grab a cupcake while you’re at it.

Follow Graffiti Nail Bar on Facebook for more updates.




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