By Zoë Wilson

LANARK market is a place that is familiar to many of us; it’s a bustling hub that’s filled with farmers each week of the year, and there is no doubt that there’s always something to do for everyone – whether that’s taking a walk around the stalls ‘out the back’, which sell an array of practical goods, or selling livestock through the sale ring.

However, it isn’t exactly a place that you would run to if you needed to get yourself glammed up for a night out, or is it?

Since May last year year, Eleanor Fitzgerald has been running her nail salon at the market, and it has really taken off since its implementation there.

Spangle Nails, which is found in a converted store room, is the perfect size for getting your nails, and make-up (which we will get to a little later on) done.

It’s in an ideal location for those who need a salon that isn’t in an awkward location, and it’s even better for those who can tag along with the farmers on sale days.

“I originally helped my husband run our electrical shop in Lanark, which we had for 32 years,” Eleanor explained, “but I always loved getting my nails done, and have been getting them done for as long as I can remember.

“I decided to go and do a diploma in nail technology at the Scottish Beauty School, so that I would be able to do my own, and that’s how it all started, really.”

Eleanor began doing nails at home, for friends and family members, but eventually, things escalated, and she realised that what was initially a hobby, and a handy skill to have, could be turned into a career.

“It got to the point that I was just too busy to do nails at home, and so I started to look around for a shop that I could base myself in,” Eleanor explained.

After much consideration, it was Eleanor’s husband, who does the market’s electrical work, that gave her the idea of setting up in one of the vacant rooms.

Eleanor continued: “It was a fantastic opportunity, as the room was just the right size for doing nails, and the market is a fantastic location, particularly for its parking, which can sometimes be a bit of pain when visiting a salon.

“It’s also quite convenient for busy women who don’t always get the opportunity to nip out and get their nails done – we are right here, and they can have their nails done before the market’s events have even finished for the day.”

However, it’s not just those visiting the market, as people also come from far and wide. So how did she reach that market?

“I have never actually advertised anywhere,” Eleanor commented, “and I’ll use that phrase again: it’s the power of social media.

“Facebook and Instagram have been a fantastic way for me to market the business, and that’s really how I have managed to build up my client list.

“You can control what you are advertising when you use social media, and you can also interact directly with customers and potential clients, and I think that’s why it’s such a successful way of advertising.

“It also gives my clients a way of contacting me directly, and it also allows them to see what kind of style of nails I can offer, so it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Eleanor is open from Tuesday to Saturday, so that she has a bit of free time left for herself, but is very flexible, and will happily fit clients in if they can’t do normal times.

Spangle Nails has already expanded since being based at the market, and Eleanor welcomed make-up artist, Claudia Robertson, into the salon during the summer last year, and that is another area that has really taken off.

“I am actually in my second and final year of college at the moment”, said Claudia, “I am studying beauty at South Lanarkshire College in East Kilbride, so it’s great to be able to work while I am studying at the same time, particularly due to the fact I am hoping to do make-up artistry full-time, once I am qualified.”

Claudia is in the shop with Eleanor on a Friday and Saturday – the days of the week when everybody wants to get dolled up for the weekend.

She has also done wedding parties, in the shop, and elsewhere, and will always work around her clients, where possible.

When asked how the two met, it was no surprise to learn that Eleanor spied Claudia’s work on Facebook and felt she would be a perfect addition to the salon.

The girls are both very passionate about what they do, and looking at pictures of their work, it’s clear to see that they are both modern in what they offer, but also retain a classy and elegant look for their clients.

Claudia explained: “I always take into account the client’s style, and always try to ensure that their make-up reflects that,” and it is clear to see she is very good at it, considering that her own make-up is beautiful, as well as Eleanor’s, which Claudia did for her on the day of our interview.

Not quite done with primping and preening, the market has now also welcomed Jade’s Barbers, a service which has been very handy indeed for farmers who don’t have a lot of spare time on their hands, particularly in this day and age.

Jade Nelson is 24, and lives across the road from her grandparents’ Kilnhill Farm, Lanark, so she’s certainly well-equipped for the cheeky chappies who come to her on sale days for a wee tidy up.

“I’m actually based at JJG’s Hair Company, Lesmahagow, which was originally owned by my grandmother, and which my mum has now taken on.

“I’m based there a few days of the week, and then I come here, particularly on sale days, as I know farmers don’t always have a spare half hour to go and get their hair cut, so I thought I could bring the service to them.”

Although she initially trained as a hairdresser, Jade realised this wasn’t the career for her, and so she eventually moved into barbering, which she feels suits her far more – and gives her a little bit more flexibility which is a big bonus for her.

Her bright personality is the perfect match for the chaps who visit her at the market, and you can’t help but wonder if some of her clients are there for a tidy up or a chat up.

Jade continued: “You get such a good mix of customers here, and I think they do really appreciate me coming to them.

“Although, I have found that some people come here even when they could pop along to the shop, and I think that’s due to the easiness of parking, and it also gives them a chance to see what’s happening at the market, because it can be quite a busy place.

“So, in a sense, it can be a wee jaunt out for them, which you don’t always get in towns nowadays.”

With lovely personalities, and plenty of chat, the girls are a perfect addition to the market, and bring a little something that everyone can enjoy.

You can follow the girls on social media here:


eleanorf400 on Instagram

Spangle Nails by Eleanor Fitzgerald on Facebook

Claudia: on Instagram

Claudia Robertson Makeup on Facebook


Jade’s Barbers on Facebook

You can find them at:

Lanark Agricultural Centre, Muirglen, Hyndford Rd, Lanark