New Kid on the Block: Glosslab

Rachel Apfel Glass worked in finance for a decade and a manicure was a regular errand in her world. From her experience — both as a consumer and as a business school grad with an entrepreneurial streak — she saw a lot of what they call “white space” in the industry.

Most salons were cash heavy in a time when cash is no longer the primary tender, with no middle ground between the high-end spa and the mom-and-pop, with poorly compensated workers and most importantly to her, subpar hygiene practices.

“I always tell people, even if you don’t go to Glosslab, don’t put your feet in the bowl,” she says. (All the services at Glosslab are waterless, since it’s the water that breeds germs.)

The business also works on a membership basis: For $125 a month, you get unlimited manicures and pedicures. (There’s an automatic 20 percent tip for each service.) And everything is cashless.

She bootstrapped her first two Glosslabs — the first opened in the Flatiron in 2018, and the second in the West Village. And she’s got seven more in the pipeline, with two leases already in place on the Upper West Side. She just completed her first round of outside funding with backing from founders of Rumble Boxing and Tinder.

As a Tribeca resident and a mother to two small (ages 8 and 6) girls, having this latest spot open here has been a plus in the balancing department: she loves seeing her own kids in the neighborhood, and having a connection between her home and her business. Plus, she samples the product. A lot. “And now it’s right around the corner,” she notes.

180 West Broadway at Leonard
Hours: 10a to 7p daily



  1. Welcome – the waterless pedi sounds intriguing.

  2. Smart concept, Membership so cool.