OUR STORY

MEET ALE, CEO and Co-Founder of ezza

 Alexandra Breuer University of Chicago Booth School of Business '17

 Alexandra Breuer
University of Chicago Booth School of Business '17

In her first year of business school, Ale realized her sporadic nail care wasn’t cutting it anymore — she had to step up her nail game. With nail salons on almost every corner, Ale assumed she’d easily find an affordable go-to salon with reliable, high-quality services.

She didn’t. One salon after another kept falling short of Ale’s expectations, leaving her wondering:

Why can’t I pay online?
Why do I have to tip in cash? (Who carries cash these days?)
Why can’t I book appointments on my phone?

The process was inconvenient, inefficient, and outdated.

Nail care is a grooming necessity for professional women, yet our options are limited to either luxury salons offering expensive and time-consuming services, or cheap neighborhood salons that are inconsistent or mediocre and often resort to unethical employment practices. Ale’s wallet vetoed the first, and her conscience objected to the second.

ezza fills this void by redefining the standards of excellence for women on both sides of the manicure table. Ale is determined to create a national, branded space where busy, highly-scheduled women can get reliable, convenient nail care — without breaking the bank or squandering an entire afternoon — that will leave them feeling polished, powerful, and ready to conquer the day.


MEET KIM, COO and Co-Founder of ezza

KIMBERLY MARSH University of Chicago Booth School of Business '17

KIMBERLY MARSH
University of Chicago Booth School of Business '17

One fateful day in August 2016, Kim and Ale met for drinks at Bernie’s Lunch and Supper. As fellow business school students with a shared Teach for America background and similar purpose-driven personalities, they knew they would hit it off instantly. They chatted for hours about their summer internships, the importance of female-led businesses in a male-dominated landscape, and of course, Ale’s emerging business plan.

Kim shared Ale’s frustration with antiquated nail care options. Kim’s background in staff development made her sensitive to the plight of nail technicians unable to build lasting careers in an industry plagued by toxic work environments. Kim left Bernie’s that night with newfound respect and admiration for Ale’s vision.

 
Whether we knew it or not, in that bar on August 10, Kim and I were building the mission and vision for ezza: to disrupt the nail industry and build a business that empowers women through nails.
— Ale
 

It wasn’t until the 2016 election that Kim and Ale turned thoughts into action and officially joined forces. Kim was galvanized by the national conversation around women in leadership. In co-founding ezza, Kim saw an opportunity to build and lead a business that employs mostly women and provides a service that makes women feel confident, bold, and strong.

To Kim, ezza is about so much more than nails — it’s a company that operates with integrity, takes great care of its employees, and creates a community of women who make each other stronger. She can’t imagine a more important way to make an impact.