Green and Glamorous: Sisters Find Niche With Ferndale Business
Meet Cheryl Salinas-Tucker and Jeny Bulatovic, owners of ROUGE Makeup and Nail Studio.
There are many unique and interesting businesses that call Ferndale home, from retailers and restaurants to art galleries and even businesses you might not have known existed in your own backyard.
Each week, we'll feature a Ferndale business to learn about its roots, plans for the future and more.
This week we chat with sisters Cheryl Salinas-Tucker and Jeny Bulatovic, owners of ROUGE Makeup and Nail Studio. ROUGE specializes in organic, natural nail manicures and pedicures as well as healthy makeup and skincare.
Inside ROUGE's little red building at 23341 Woodward Avenue is a charming space filled with vintage, girly-chic decor. Salinas-Tucker and Bulatovic opened the business in the summer of 2010 and say they're thrilled to be in Ferndale - the "coolest little city."
Here are their responses in a recent Q&A with Patch.
How did your business get started?
My sister, Jeny Bulatovic and I had the idea of starting our own business years ago. It was a little dream of ours. In 2010, the opportunity presented itself for us to create our own little shop.
We wanted to do what we love. For me, it’s helping women find the right products to look their best, and feel confident. I do that through makeup and skincare consultation and application. For my sister Jeny, it’s about doing manicures and pedicures in a healthy and nurturing way. That’s why we focus on makeup, skincare and nails. We don’t do hair, but we do bring in stylists for special events or weddings.
We also saw a need in the Detroit area to approach beauty from a healthier viewpoint, especially the nail industry. That’s why we only use products that are better for you and never use enhancements or semi-permanent polishes. They might be all the rage, but we’ve seen significant damage from these products. Some of our clients are cancer survivors, and they are very knowledgeable about product ingredients. We pride ourselves in being able to offer healthy and affordable makeup and skincare options.
It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve built a niche.
Why did you choose this type of business?
I chose the beauty business at a very young age. I’ve been in the beauty industry in one way or another for over 20 years. I was originally drawn in by the fashion aspect of makeup. I got my start in Manhattan working free-lance for editorial shoots and working backstage at clubby fashion shows. Eventually, I grew into my career and went the corporate route.
After over a decade traveling the country in the name of professional beauty, I found myself laid off and a little burnt out. Travel no longer had the lure that it once did for me.
So, here I was in this beautiful little community of Ferndale. And, the “wacky idea” of ROUGE was born. My Sister and I had the full moral support of our families when we decided to build ourselves a comfy place to work. Little did we know how much we would be embraced by this community!
What was the hardest part of becoming a small business owner?
The hardest part of becoming a small business owner is overcoming the little voice that sometimes says, “You must be crazy, you can’t do this.” When the ups and downs of business hit, you have to be able to look at things objectively and not take it personally. It’s business.
The best part?
The best part of working for ourselves is that we call the shots. If business slows down, we can create something that will bring people in. We don’t have a quota. I only have to sell people what they need and want. And, the very best part of owning ROUGE? It’s the look on our clients faces when they see their pretty toes or their makeup application and they say, “Wow! Thank you! I feel so great!” That’s why we do this!
What are some of the things you offer or something about your business that people might not know about?
We offer a very different experience than most nail salons. And, the truth is that we had a lot of explaining to do when we first opened. Because, we use organic and vegan product and only offer natural nail services. We don’t do nail enhancements. We’re a different kind of nail salon. We’re here for you to feel healthy and look great. We’re super down-to-earth. Whether it’s your first time in to ROUGE, or you are a regular, we want you to feel welcome and taken care of.
Why Ferndale? Well, in all honesty, I am not sure if the kind of service we offer would have worked as a start-up in some other places. The Ferndale community is very loyal to their local businesses. I live in Ferndale, and I know that I don’t speak for everyone when I say this, but Ferndale folks love to shop local, we love to buy local. We love creativity and we love healthier products.
We hit the jackpot when it comes to a perfect community for us. Ferndale is the coolest little city. We’re so happy to be a part of it.
And, the Detroit area is on the upswing. I feel like we are in the center of it all. People come to us from all over the Detroit area.
What's your favorite thing about the Ferndale area/being part of the Ferndale business community?
We’re a network of small businesses who love to promote each other and work together. We’re pretty cool on our own, but together, we’re strong and mighty!
What's next for you/your business?
Expansion! We’re not sure where or how just yet. But we will get bigger in the next year or so. We will absolutely stay here in Ferndale. We’re excited about the future!
Do you have any advice for people who want to start a small business in the area?
There’s no time like the present. If you feel the pull of starting your own business, research your options, pool your resources. Be creative, be friendly, and be open to new ideas. This community will embrace you, and you’ll be amazed at the doors that will open for you. We certainly have been.
Anything else you want our readers to know?
If you haven’t experienced ROUGE, book your time soon!
Don’t bother to clean up your hands or feet before you come to ROUGE. We are happy to take care of you. If you are looking for healthier makeup and skincare options, come and see us. We’re open Tuesday through Saturday, by appointment. But, feel free to stop by anytime and check us out!
We’re having our Holiday Open House on December 6th in partnership with Naka and Green Daffodil. A portion of our proceeds will go to Ferncare! Check our website at www.rougemakeupandnails.com for more information.