For most, manicures and pedicures are a simple luxury -- an act of indulgence -- but for some, expert foot care can be a lifesaving investment.
To better serve the clients she has maintained for much of her career, Payne followed her entrepreneurial dream and opened Pinky Toe's Nail Salon and Boutique.
"I've been doing nails for 20 years and it's something I really love and enjoy doing," Payne said. "Over the years, I've had a lot of clients that are diabetic -- have health concerns -- and when they go into a nail salon if they're not careful, they're at risk of infection.
"So, I wanted to create a safe, sanitary environment, a place where people can come and relax knowing that what we do here is going to be safe."
Many of her longtime customers are couples, both men and women, living with diabetes and trusting Payne for safe, clean nail care. At Pinky Toe's, utensils are either disposable or well-sanitized including the use of disposable liners in foot spas.
"We are very comparable to other salons but we're giving them so much more -- the customer service, the cleanliness, the experience alone. We have three licensed nail techs here and between the three of us there's probably over 40 years of experience in here," Payne said. "I just want to provide a clean, sanitary environment. I want people to come in and feel like they can stay as long as they like, relax. We offer them tea, coffee and water when they walk in the door. ... "I think if everyone would just give us a shot, they'd see the difference and fall in love."
Since the grand opening on Oct. 1, Pinky Toe's has already gained regular customers, like Cartersville resident Marcia Dillard receiving a manicure and pedicure Wednesday, her second visit to the 120 D. S. Gilmer St. salon.
"The main thing I enjoy are the girls that work here and the jobs they do. It's very professional and very clean. It's just a really nice atmosphere," Dillard said. "They just make you feel very welcome, they make you feel important. They have great customer service skills and it's just a nice place to be."
Payne completely remodeled the location before moving in. She replaced walls, flooring, plumbing and electrical in order to ready the space for business. With a freshly renovated salon, Pinky Toe's looks to soon offer special events, including ladies nights in the evening, princess parties, teen spa parties and "pedicure and a movie" nights.
Pinky Toe's Nail Salon and Boutique is open Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The salon also is available for special spa parties after hours by appointment.
For more information, call 678-882-5337 or visit the Pinky Toe's Nail Salon and Boutique Facebook page.