Female founder spotlight: Sasha Trutneva, owner of Tru Nail Art

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re featuring a lineup of inspiring female founders who are leading the way in the beauty and wellness space with their businesses. First up is Sasha Trutneva, founder of Tru Nail Art, one of the boldest nail salons in Brighton. 

Sasha runs her business with a focus on creativity, nail health, equality, and good vibes. Discover her story, along with key advice on how to stand out from the competition, and how small businesses like hers can use Fresha to drive their growth.

Tell us about your journey as a nail salon owner. 

I learned how to do nails at my mum’s own salon when I was just fifteen. My goal was always to start my own business, but before taking the leap, I worked at other nail salons and learned as much as I could. 

Then in 2021, after three years of planning the details – from location and decor to treatment types and designs – I opened Tru Nail Art and made my ambition a reality. All that planning gave us such a strong start: we were fully booked within our first month.

How do you make sure your nail salon stands out? 

We like to say that our work here at Tru Nail Art is “never normal”. We help clients express themselves with bold, creative designs that they can’t get anywhere else. Nail health is a big focus for us too; we make a point of using the most natural products on the market from vegan, cruelty-free brands. 

What do clients love most about Tru Nail Art?

"No stigmas, no stereotypes – just good vibes and great nails."

Clients come to us to get treated like a VIP in an inviting, comfortable space. We greet clients by name, serve them drinks, and leave them with plenty of aftercare tips. Plus, we’re a gender-neutral salon where everyone is welcome. No stigmas, no stereotypes – just good vibes and great nails.


What’s the secret to your success?

Our originality. We’re constantly experimenting with fresh ideas, and that keeps our clients excited and engaged. Instagram is the perfect place to showcase those ideas, so we put a lot of effort into our social media marketing. As a result, about 80% of our new clients find us through Instagram.  

What’s your biggest challenge as a nail salon owner? 

Having clients cancel at the last minute or not show up at all can be damaging for a small business like us. It’s not only about losing income; there are other clients who really want those slots and end up missing out on them. 

But now that we’ve set up a firm cancellation policy on Fresha, we rarely ever get no-shows; and if we ever do, we’re protected from the cost.

What led you to start using Fresha?

"Fresha makes it so easy to manage appointments and get booked…"

I was introduced to Fresha at the salon I worked for before starting my business. Fresha makes it so easy to manage appointments and get booked, and clients loved it – so it made sense for me to keep using it. I knew it would play a key role in launching Tru Nail Art.


How easy was it to get started with Fresha?

"I was able to set up my entire business on Fresha within a day."

I’m not the most tech-savvy person, but Fresha is built so that anyone can use it with no training. The interface and layout are so straightforward, I was able to set up my entire business on Fresha within a day. Now that we're up and running, I can manage the salon on a daily basis with no trouble at all. Our clients even say that other salons have really confusing booking systems, and they prefer how smooth the booking experience is with us on Fresha. 

How has Fresha helped you grow your salon?

Fresha’s sales reports show us exactly which treatments to promote in our marketing efforts. For example: we saw in our reports that one of our gel nail treatments was extremely popular. So we ran an Instagram giveaway with that treatment, and it was a hit. Our follower count shot up – and more followers means more potential clients.

What’s your all-time favourite Fresha feature?

I love having Fresha’s “Book Now” button on our Instagram. When potential clients discover our profile, they can make an appointment right there and then. It’s convenient for them, and it saves us time since we don’t have to take as many phone calls. 

The automatic text reminders for appointments are great too, especially since we get booked up weeks in advance. Clients with busy lives sometimes forget their appointment dates, so the reminders help us reduce the number of no-shows. And since they’re automatic, it takes no effort from us. 


One word of advice nail salon owners need to hear? 

Be original. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new treatments, and offer your clients something special that they can’t get anywhere else. Plus: use a booking platform like Fresha to protect your income with cancellation policies and appointment reminders, especially if you’re running a small business.

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