Pink Pedi owner Shawn Cudé
Shawn Cudé, aka Tara St. Stone, promises your feet will get royal treatment at Pink Pedi
MATHEW SHAW | Contributing Writer
Recently opened in the East Dallas, Pink Pedi salon offers a space where customers can “treat” their feet with candy-shaped, environmentally-friendly products and be pampered like a queen. And the owner certainly knows something about how a “queen” should be treated.
The scent of chocolate and gentle pink walls invite customers inside, where owner Shawn Cudé, aka award-winning drag queen Tara St. Stone, will hand them little shopping baskets so they can select from six flavors of bath bombs, body butters and sugar scrubs.
“You’ll notice that our products look like candies and confectionaries,” Cudé explained. “We market ourselves as a beauty bakery. Our bath bombs look like macarons; our body butters look like little wrapped candies; our sugar scrubs look like mini cupcakes, and the hot cocoa socks are all made with cocoa butter in them so they smell like chocolate. It’s delicious.”
Cudé added that all the goodies are made fresh weekly by the franchise owner. The products are “all made with 100 percent therapeutic-grade essential oils and food-safe products, so they’re technically edible,” he explained. But, he cautioned, although the products smell delicious and are technically edible, patrons still probably should not eat them.
Cudé’s shop is Pink Pedi’s second location. It is located on Ross Avenue and opened just a couple of months ago. The original location opened in 2017 on Sylvan Avenue.
Pink Pedi shops are committed to being eco-friendly, as well as fume- and toxin-free. Husband-and-wife duo Lucy and Brandon Lyon came up with the idea, envisioning a spa haven committed to the environment and to the health of their consumers and nail technicians, the press release noted.
Cudé, Brandon Lyon’s best friend, shared that vision. So he partnered up with the couple to open and lead the second Pink Pedi location.
Cudé’s road to being a Pink Pedi owner took him to Austin and back.
After turning to theater in high school to conquer his stage fright, Cudé ended up in Austin at the age of 21. That’s where he discovered the world of drag and met his drag family.
That’s also where his alter ego, Tara St. Stone, was born and where he worked to perfect his stagecraft, expanding his education in make-up and working with runway shows and weddings.
Cudé performed for years as Tara St. Stone, competing in numerous drag pageants and winning several awards including runner-up at the state level and Miss Gay Dallas. He eventually became the sole promoter of Miss Gay Lone Star, taking the lead on the whole production while also providing consultation for other queens.
Coming back to the Dallas area and reconnecting with his old friend Brandon Lyon, gave him the chance to become the first drag queen owner and first LGBTQ owner of a clean beauty salon.
And the Pink Pedi on Ross established its royal bona fides right from the start: The grand opening back on Sept. 27 featured a drag show starring Tara St. Stone, Miss Gay Texas America Kylee O’Hara Fatale, Dulce Strutts and more.
As an LGBT-owned business, Pink Pedi offers a selection of books, magazines and coloring books for patrons to read as they relax on a wall-length bench with pillows.
“Everybody’s welcome here,” Cudé said. “We try to make it comfortable for everybody.”
The layout, which Cudé described as “updated retro,” consists of natural material and natural wood, so that the floor looks like pebbles. Cudé added that it is a layout not seen in regular nail salons.
The new location, at 3510 Ross Ave., Ste. 120., is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and 10a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. The original shop is at 1888 Sylvan Ave., Ste. F140.
Those interested can visit PinkPedi.com to book an appointment and for more information.