Atlanta-based medical and holistic nail technician, Letisha Royster, focuses on healthy, cosmetic foot-care and maintenance 365 days a year, believing this should be an available service open to all, especially women and men suffering from high-risk health conditions. As the owner of Waterless MediPedi Spa and owner of Pedi-cured, Letisha is providing those specific services. Pedicure is a product line for the client, which allows them to maintain healthy foot care at home between visits. Letisha is a certified advanced nail technician, master pedicurist, and holistic health educator. She’s also the owner of Atlanta’s own Waterless Medi-Pedi & Nail Spa, an exclusive oasis for women and men seeking the ultimate relaxation experience.
Fancy: Please tell us a little bit about where you are from. (try to be a little descriptive about your city or state as we focus on the beauty of living in the South).
Letisha: I reside in Atlanta. Some used to call it the "Black Mecca" or as of now the "Black Hollywood." Atlanta allows you to be a person from a big metropolitan city and live cheaper with more land. There are a lot of different backgrounds of people migrating from the west coast, mid-west, and North. It's a bit slower than most big metropolitans, but the traffic is neck-and-neck with the big metropolitan areas. It used to be a city where you could find a native ATLien a.k.a a person born and raised in Atlanta. However, now it's hard to find.
Many are proud to state their native because it's few that you run into. There are arts, music, and restaurants. Definitely, if you don't know anything else to do in Atlanta you definitely can reside on someone's balcony, bar, or rooftop for drinks and food. There's beauty in seeing you can live the city life or the suburbs to make Atlanta your home. It's the city for Black entrepreneurs to create and build a business. You can own from real estate, salons, clubs, parking lots, restaurants, etc. It's a city of grinding to be successful and it's attainable. It's smaller than you think, somebody knows somebody that you may know.
Fancy: I must admit, I was new to the waterless spa concept, so I had to educate myself on it, but how would you describe a waterless spa, and what are the benefits of this method?
Letisha: A waterless nail spa is a spa that removes soaking water out of its manicures and pedicure services. It's compensated with steam towels or steam hydration during pampering services. The benefit of the service helps reduce cross-contamination, allows high-risk clients to get a manicure and/or pedicure without being subjected to the risk of bacteria, viral, or fungal infections, hydrates the skin without initially drying out the skin from soaking a long period of time, and longer polish wear. You may wonder, ‘do you lose maintenance for the care of the hands and feet?’. That's short of the truth. The care for the hands and feet remains the same as in the traditional concept. The waterless concept is eco-friendly, reserving the water for the earth. A manicure reserves 10-12 gallons, and a pedicure reserves 12-15 gallons per service. The most hygienic service for manicures and pedicures.
Fancy: How common are these types of spas?
Letisha: These services are not as common as traditional soaking services. They're becoming known slowly by nail professionals or cosmetologists that are taking advanced nail technology training to service clients with more sanitary techniques in order to increase safety in their beauty service environment.
Fancy: At what point did you decide to go waterless and how did you know it would be successful?
Letisha: I decided to go waterless after learning about it in advanced nail technology training, and becoming a certified advanced nail technician. I noticed these services are a big help to the community for high-risk clients, such as diabetics. Diabetes has a huge impact on the Black culture, so I wanted high-risk clients to have a safe haven and no longer experience neglect from the essentials in nail care and foot care due to the lack of resources that can provide a more sterile environment.
Therefore, after leaving nail school I became a licensed nail technician and opened a waterless nail spa for high-risk clients, and for women and men that are seeking a more sanitary service in a nail salon. I knew it would be a success because there was not a place that focused on hygiene in the local salons, and diabetics were in need of a sterile environment outside of the doctors' office for foot care, and nail infections are on the rise in a salon. Because of that, clients are looking for an alternative for nail care and foot care without having to worry about sanitation and care.
Fancy: So, would you say you work in the beauty industry or the medical industry, or are you a hybrid of both?
Letisha: Great question to ask. I work in the beauty industry. The services of manicures and pedicures are cosmetic. In order to practice properly, and be healthy with care, I merge health and beauty for the nails and skin. Many focus on the beauty side of things, however, it's very important to understand the health conditions of the client to understand what's happening to the nails and skin, along with being educated on conditions and diseases of nails and skin. Once you know the medical conditions of the client, you will understand what service is best suited for them and how your services will provide solutions to their problems.
Fancy: While I know some of your clients may battle with diabetes, are there any other illnesses that people may suffer from who might benefit from your services?
Letisha: Yes. Anyone who has a compromised immune system or autoimmune disease making them an easy target to be at risk for infections will benefit from my services. For example, if you're suffering or know someone with lupus, Graves’ disease, rheumatoid arthritis, even someone going through chemotherapy or living with cancer will benefit from my services.
Fancy: What is one obstacle you’ve overcome whether it be personal or professional?
Letisha: I've overcome the obstacle of being hesitant to take risks. I come from a finance background. Typically, taking a risk can be a negative thing in the finance world. As an entrepreneur, the risk is part of the process of growth to reach success.
Fancy: I was looking at your hours and wondered if there was a reason they are set up mostly for the weekend and evenings?
Letisha: Oh yes! My business is run on the weekends as I work full-time in corporate America. However, I will be exiting out of corporate next year to fulfill working the business full-time to serve more people and employ operational staff. I wanted to create jobs for the next generation coming out of nail school, as I didn't have a place to work that was Black-owned and/or women-owned. We have to develop businesses to serve our communities. As well as give our children a future to develop a trade in order to have consistency in building our communities.
Fancy: How would you describe your swagher? What makes Letisha, Letisha?
Letisha: I love the word swagher because, in order to be successful, you must have confidence. You must believe in yourself that you can, and will be successful. I have those characteristics for myself. What makes Letisha confident is knowing that I'm a person that's humble, wise, forward-thinking, thoughtful, observant, and a giver. I understand that trusting in God and putting Him first is the only way I stay grounded in life, knowing where I come from in understanding my parents' background with their greats and flaws makes me an independent and lovable woman. I make what I want to see in my life without waiting on anyone, and I love to continue learning how to grow in my personal life and business. Lastly, knowing what I do is with good intentions to help someone else. The main reason for starting my business was the intention to bring back care into our community so we can receive what we deserve.
Fancy: What does it mean to you to be a Black woman in business?
Letisha: Wow! To be a Black woman in business means everything. A Black woman is capable of achieving because of the way we’re designed in life. We're leaders, nurturers, givers, dominant, bold, creators, innovators, mediators, and problem solvers by nature. Honestly, the list can go on and on. Being a Black woman in business means we're worthy to receive what we put our mind and heart to do for ourselves, our families, and our communities. It's a powerful thing to become. I don't take it for granted because it's not always easy. We wear many hats in the midst of it all. Most importantly, being a Black woman in business, we're able to show the next Black woman they can do the same and that they will be okay when taking the leap of faith.
Connect with Letisha and the Waterless Medi-Pedi & Nail Spa below.
Francheska “Fancy” Felder is a quiet Southern, media mogul in the making. In 2010, she launched SwagHer Magazine, an empowerment and lifestyle publication for the progressive Black community.
Fancy’s passion for all things creative combined with her love for writing, Black culture, and business guided her to also offer her public relations, creative, and branding services, making the magazine more of a media boutique having its own subscription clients as well as advertisers, hence why the name changed to SwagHer Magazine & Media.
SwagHer Magazine uses positive media and storytelling to create new narratives and mindsets around Black people, their communities, and the businesses and organizations they lead. Fancy executes campaigns for Black women-led businesses, coaches, authors, and girl bosses so that they receive more visibility and establish themselves as an authority.
The Mississippi native is also one half of Theories & Thoughts Podcast, a discussion-driven show that tackles Black issues and taboo subjects with a kitchen table talk feel, which she hosts with Arnya T.M. Davis. The two also co-produce and host Theories & Thoughts Deep Dive, a millennial talk show.
The former teen mom graduated from Southwest Mississippi Community College with her associate’s in marketing management and studied mass communications with a focus in public relations from Southern University A&M College.