“Hey, paint my nails and I’ll give you a cup of ramen.”
Ellegra, also known as “Legs”, has come a long way from her boarding school days, when students would barter goods for her manicures. “My dorm room was basically a nail salon. [My roommate and I] would get into trouble for the hallway smelling like polish.” Today she’s the co-owner of Jewels a Nail Box within Roscoe Village’s Sola Salon concept, where her motto is Nails Are Jewels, Not Tools.
The décor is pink and black, girly, with beverages of the adult nature prominently placed in front of a sliding glass door entrance. While I sip a tall glass of loopy lemonade, a small flat screen television is placed high on the wall playing James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke. Justin Bieber is solving a Rubik’s Cube in record time.
I ask Legs if she plans on leaving the city once her lease is up. I too am a transplant, being born and raised in Milwaukee, but it can’t be easy transitioning from California to the often bitterly cold Midwest. “Nope. I love everything about Chicago. I even like the snow.”
She says the gnocchi at Volare is the most “amazing thing in the world” and Lakeview’s Gyro on a Spit restaurant too became a fast favorite. Her sincerity takes me down a notch. Do people actually eat at Volare? Also, why don’t I go to Volare anymore? It is amazing.
We bond over our shared interest in other people’s business. “If I was a superhero, I’d be able to fly or I’d be invisible… or both.” Presumptuously, I inform her that people who wish for invisibility are said to be nosey. “I am nosey.” “Yea, so am I,” I confess. Invisibility would be pretty cool. Definitely, it’d make for some juicy gossip.
Soon, we’re done and my fingers are decorated in the colors and movements of the ocean. The effect of water rushing over rock is achieved with iridescent polish on a few accent fingers, texture and sparkle on the others. I’m in love.
Celebrate the grand opening of the Sola Salon concept and Jewels a Nail Box March 5th from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at 3355 N Lincoln Ave, Suite 19, Chicago, IL. There will be drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and discounts!
Find your way to Legs by entering the building at the first level, take the elevator up to the second floor, and make a right.