• Brooklyn Business Owners

Right on the Nail: Brooklyn’s Girls Nights Out Gets More Clean

This week’s Brooklyn Business Owners Spotlight Series features Lili and Cata, a non-toxic nail salon that uses vegan and cruelty-free products.


Just last year, Lilly was a stay-at-home mom teaching Spanish to children part-time. For years, she had been searching for a salon where caring for your nails was more than an errand on your to-do list. She wanted a place where guests could escape from the everyday grind — a place where they didn't have to worry about catching an infection and would be able to unwind either alone or with friends.

“We believe that caring for your nails should be a beauty ritual free from worries or concerns,” said her husband and co-founder, Jorge.

They opened Lili and Cata with a mission to create a relaxing space for guests to socialize with friends over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Lilly was also concerned with the industry’s practices of using highly toxic products and the unsatisfactory working conditions of many of the technicians. That’s why Lili and Cata provide the community with the healthiest products on the market, as well as hygienic techniques that ensure the well-being of our clients and technicians. Their nail lacquers are cruelty-free, non-toxic, and vegan, making them the safest options available. Made with quality ingredients, all of our polishes are at least 7-free (5-free for gels), meaning that they’re free of nasty chemicals.

While they are proud to offer a healthier alternative for nail care for clients, what's even more unique is they provide water-less services, which not only saves 12-15 gallons of water per pedicure but also eliminates any risk of infections and fungus issues.

Jorge, co-founder and Lilly's husband, worked for 12 years in the real estate private equity sector before deciding to go out on his own as a consultant. Now that he’s self-employed, he has the flexibility to assist with the launch and operations of Lili and Cata amid consulting. Prior to working in finance, he was an architect for six years, a skill set that came in handy when designing the salon.

For Lili and Cata, finding qualified and talented nail technicians has proven challenging. Their current team is small, but strong; as the founders continue to seek out talented nail techs and artists. They find that positive reviews have proven helpful for their overall growth.

“We continue to test different marketing strategies, but word of mouth is the best one,” said Jorge. He added that it also takes the longest. Months since their launch, they’re still being discovered by clients who live nearby.

The husband-and-wife team is looking forward to obtaining their beer and wine license, which will open another line of revenue for us and bring their business concept full circle. And in addition to manicures and pedicures, clients can now book the space for private events. Though they don't yet have a beer and wine license, they can serve alcohol and food if they close down the salon for an event. Brooklynites looking to be pampered cruelty-free and in style can look no further than Lili and Cata.


Brooklyn Business Owners is proud to announce our weekly Spotlight Series. Do you own a business in Brooklyn or run an initiative that gives back to the local community? We'd love to hear from you and share your story. Please email us at brooklynbusinessowners@gmail.com or reach out on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn to chat with us! 

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