For at least the last decade, storefront businesses have seen and anticipated online competitors slowly encroach on their markets, thereby threatening their very survival. But instead of adjusting to the times, one Tennessee nail salon is fighting to cut off the competition entirely.
Back in February 2016, the owner of a nail salon contacted the state government to complain that the mobile beauty company Belle created too much competition for local businesses.
This complaint was then handed down to the Tennessee State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners. In July, the Board responded by issuing Belle with a cease and desist order, a $500 fine, and instructions to forego any rights to future judicial reviews regarding the compliance.
The Board is basically accusing Belle of running an unlicensed cosmetology shop, which clearly violates the state’s cosmetology laws. But here’s the catch: Belle isn’t even a cosmetology shop. Its only official function is to connect clients with licensed professionals that willingly travel to requested locations to perform beauty services.
Although the increasingly popular tech startup is still relatively new, it has already accommodated hundreds of appointments throughout the Greater Nashville area for clients looking for professional assistance relating to:
- Skin/Spray tans
And if site founder, Armand Lauzon, gets his way, Belle will only continue flourishing. Not only did Lauzon refuse to comply with the Board’s requests, he also took some legal action of his own by hiring attorney Daniel Horwitz. In August, Horwitz sent a formal response letter to the Board vehemently criticizing the Board’s weak assumption that Belle provided cosmetology services as well as its unconstitutional effort to limit competition in the beauty industry.
The Board is now scheduled to reconsider the case in October 2016.