Gretchen Tiernan
& Megan Richardson

  • Owners

    Sand Spa & Polish Nail Boutique

  • Locations

    3408 Highland Ave., Manhattan Beach
    3219 Highland Ave., Manhattan Beach
    327 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach

  • Phones

    310-921-8231 | 310-79-NAILS | 310-318-0176

  • Website

  • Special Section

    Women in Business

Sand Spa, founded by Megan Richardson and Gretchen Tiernan in 2014, specializes in various self-care services such as massage, facials, skin care, waxing and nail care. Since opening their initial location, they have launched two additional locations (Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach) and will open another in West Hollywood next spring.

What is the #1 way you support your clients?

“One of our main pillars at Sand Spa is customer service. We value where you spend your time and your money. We stand for diversity, equality and inclusion. Every member of our staff customizes the experience to the client’s liking. We create self-care havens that become a part of your lifestyle. We don’t just do one thing, because neither do you. We are here to serve you.”

How has having a coach or mentor influenced your success?

“We have committed to always learning and growing. We have a number of mentors who help us in different aspects of our lives. We know that for our businesses to be their best, we have to be our best. Since we are partners in life and in business, we found it extremely important to make sure we are nurturing and balancing our home life as well as our work life. We have learned the importance of having very good communication, setting goals and embracing our own individuality. We invest in ourselves just like we invest in our businesses. Keeping constant contact with our mentors is one of the best choices we can continue to make as we continue to grow.”

Which personality traits are most important to be successful in your field?

“Our advice to entrepreneurs—especially young ones—is to try as many new things as possible and fail over and over again. Nothing in your business plan will go as planned. Be quick on your feet and stay resilient. Be willing to change direction. Your story is in your try, your ability to not quit, your willingness to show up and put everything you have on the line each day. Those are the ones that find success.”

How do you combat the fear of making wrong decisions from day to day? 

“A lot of times the fear of not doing something scares us more than the fear of making the wrong decision or even failing at something. We are always striving to grow, improve and learn more on our entrepreneurial journey. We always weigh the pros and cons of each situation or decision. When we make a decision, we commit to it. But if that decision ends up failing, we learn from it and quickly pivot.”

Beyond Sand Spa, what other projects are you working on?

“We have a line of products we are working on and cannot wait to share them with you. We can’t give too many details but are excited to share those soon. We are also working on an app that should launch this winter. We are excited to show how diverse we are in our entrepreneurship journey. It’s a huge project we have been working on for more than four years.”

What advice do you have for other couples who want to work together on a business endeavor? 

Gretchen: “Working as a couple has been rewarding and demanding. We both have different strengths and learned early on how to communicate effectively. We know when we need to leave work at the door. Creating boundaries for our relationship and taking the time to continually learn about each other has been an area where we choose to spend a lot of time. When we are at work we are working, and when we aren’t at work we are working on our relationship. The advice I would give couples who want to work together is that you have to work at what you want—in business and in life. Create defined roles, have your priorities straight and never forget what brought you together.”

Megan: “The best advice I could give someone is to always work on your foundation. A lot of people say you can’t have it all—a loving relationship and success. I disagree with that. Gretchen and I choose to always work on our relationship—our foundation—and without a doubt that drives the success of our businesses.”

Is risk-taking usually worth the reward?

“Brené Brown said, ‘Daring greatly isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about courage. The willingness to jump, to put yourself on the line, to push yourself to the point of uncertainty already makes you that much braver.’ For this reason, we will always stand on the side of the risk-takers.”