The former full-time radiation therapist and the former teacher have, between them, five children under four years old.
Two of them are less than 2 months of age.
So, it’s a bit unusual that they also opened a brand-new business with a completely new concept in Casper last month.
“I was released from the hospital on a Wednesday and spent 12-hour days in the shop that Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” said Trisha Henriksen, co-owner with Jamie Moralez of Spruce2 Nail Bar at 314 W. Midwest Ave.
“We didn’t really plan the babies and the business arriving at the same time, but it’s worked,” Henriksen said as 6-week-old Elle, “the shop girl,” snoozed nearby.
Henriksen was a radiation therapist at Rocky Mountain Oncology, where she loved her work and loved her patients. She still works there on an “as needed” basis.
Moralez, the former teacher, is the owner, along with her mother, of the wildly successful small business, Artisan Alley.
“Jamie approached me in December and she knew I’d always dreamed of owning my own business,” she said. “She knew this property was available, so we visited some nail bars in Denver and here we are.”
The word “bar” in the business name has a double meaning, as does spruce, but more about that in a paragraph or two.
At Spruce2, clients sit on acrylic bar stools at a sleek bar to have their manicures using natural products “for the health of the nail and everyone working here,” Henriksen said.
Also, if they choose, clients may order a cocktail that is delivered through a connecting door by Gaslight Social, thus the second meaning of the word, “bar.”
“Because Gaslight Social is the same address, and because the City Council changed the liquor laws in July, we are able to provide cocktails in here that they purchase from the bar and have delivered.”
The transaction for the cocktail is separate from the nail services, and payment is made directly to the server from Gaslight Social.
For pedicures, clients sit in wingback chairs one might find in an upscale home and soak their feet in small resin bowls.
Standard pedicure whirlpools are not used, again for health reasons.
“Whirlpools can harbor bacteria, and so there is none of that here,” Henriksen said. Locally made bath “bombs” in a variety of custom scents provide the bubble and fizz for the pedicure soak.
Henriksen said all tools used in the shop are disinfected “to hospital grade,” in an autoclave, to her knowledge the first nail shop in Casper to use one.
Just recently, because of customer request, gel overlays for nails were added to the menu of services, but it is used to strengthen the natural nail, not on a tip or acrylic. Shellac, vinylux, which is a mix between normal polish and shellac, and Zoya and CND brand polishes are the other products used.
When Henriksen and Moralez were planning out their space, they realized that the expanse was too much for their business. So they sublet portions of the interior to Southern Flare Lash, which offers eyelashes, waxing and permanent makeup, and Central Wyoming Medical Aesthetics, which offers botox and cool sculpting.
“We are literally three separate companies all housed together,” Henriksen said.
The “2” attached to the word spruce is because there are two owners, and because the first definition of the word in a dictionary is the tree (don’t miss the stunning wall feature made of trees from Moralez’ father’s property). And the second is “neat in appearance, as in ‘She looks all spruced up.’”
There are services available at different price points, labeled, Spruce, Sprucer and Sprucest. Children’s services for 12 and under are “The Seedling.”
A basic manicure and pedicure at the same time will cost $45, and other combo packages are available up to $85.
Business has been “awesome, awesome,” according to Henriksen, who said they turned away 50 people on a recent Saturday.
“It’s a different experience here, and the word is getting out,” she said.
There are currently two full-time and six part-time employees of Spruce2. Manicurists need only to be a licensed nail technician, but Henriksen said all of her employees are full cosmetologists and many are still doing hair elsewhere.
“If you want the long acrylic tips or gel nails, there are places we would recommend for you,” Henriksen said. “But this is a different experience here. And we think people will like it.”
Both appointment and walk-ins are available currently, but appointments are strongly recommended. Men are welcome to use the services as well, and gift certificates are all ready for holiday giving and stocking stuffers.
Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Appointments may be made by calling 337-1091 or booking online at spruce2.com.
“Come have your nails and toes done, and then check out one of the great places to eat down here,” she said.