KINGSTON, ON -- One Kingston nail salon is thinking outside the box in an effort to drum up business and keep clients safe.

Cher-Mère Day Spa has set up manicure stations outside of their downtown store.

Owner Aba Mortley says that when the city announced patios would allow businesses to expand she started to get creative.

“We thought it would be a good way to show ‘hey there’s a spa’ here’s something we could do, so why not do some manicures outside,” she explains.

Mortley says the outside services simply include basic manicures, and will be offered throughout the summer.

There are two small tables, a tent and some trees for ambiance.

“So you get that relaxing, breezy, palm-like feeling and it gives you a little bit of an air,” says Mortley. “Feeling like you’re in a spa, even though you’re not in a spa.”

Following a nail salon outbreak in June, making clients feel comfortable and safe has been more important than ever, according to Mortley.

The city saw a rise in cases, and three nail salons were forced to close, including Bihn’s, which was the main centre of the outbreak, according to health officials.

All three reopened last week, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health confirmed. 

Other businesses have faced fines for violations like not cleaning or disposing of equipment properly.

While Cher-Mere has not been among those fined, she says the business is learning the lessons of others.

“We’re all learning and continuing to do our due diligence,” explains Mortley. “The rules are changing, we’re all evolving, we’re all trying to keep up with the change in deadlines and supersede those guidelines.”

Mortley has owned Cher-Mère's downtown location at 68 Brock St. for seven years and she says this pandemic has been tough as nails.

“It allowed us to be more creative and find ways to give us more exposure in different ways, and to be able to utilize that, so that’s sort of the silver lining to all of this too,” says Mortley.