Client Name: Kate MacKenzie
Business Name: South of the 6
Business Website:
Industry: Food Service & Beauty
Location: Manchester, NH
SBDC Advisor's Name: Julie Glosner

south of the 6

For Kate MacKenzie, her business is a love story, a love story to her hometown of Manchester, NH. Kate is the Owner of South of the 6, an espresso bar and non-toxic nail bar in Manchester’s historic Mill District, one of several businesses to occupy space in the Fratello’s building. Kate is proud to be one of a handful of women-owned businesses offering services in wellness and beauty, and touts on her website, “No [Wo]Man is an Island.”

On their website, South of the 6 is described as “a nail bar experience that starts at the door with a breath of fresh, non-toxic air. After checking in with our beauty team, we’ll have you select a beverage of your choosing from our café menu that you can sip free of charge with any nail service.” The café also serves those seeking only their favorite café beverage (not a manicure or pedicure) and is available to host private events.  

South of the 6 also pays homage to another place near and dear to Kate’s heart…Toronto, Canada, or “The 6ix” as locals refer to it, where she attended College.  It was there that Kate discovered the unique experience that inspired her to create South of the 6 here in the states.

Every couple of weeks, Kate and a friend would get non-toxic manicures together at a place that was a nail, hair, and skincare salon all in one. “That was kind of the first exposure that I had to a nice, social, pleasant experience in getting my nails done,” says Kate. “There’s always been a disconnect between receiving a beauty service like skincare (facial or waxing) and receiving a service like nails.”

Then, a new place opened in Toronto’s fashion district and they couldn’t resist giving it a try. The experience was unlike anything they’d ever seen. They opened the door up to find beautiful mosaic tiling, a bar with a bartender / barista in a bow tie, pastries on display, and at the end of the bar was a check in desk for those looking to get their nails done. Patrons could walk in off the street to simply get something at the bar, or if they were there to get their nails done, the bar’s goodies were available for them as well. “I was like, ‘this is epic. This is what I want. This is what everyone wants.”

Initially, the thought of opening a business like that didn’t cross her mind, but fast forward several years later and living stateside with her young family, Kate, who says she’s been entrepreneurial from a young age had an A-HA moment. She explains, “I was thinking about my next chapter and suddenly it just hit me. I was like ‘I’m gonna do that thing.’” So, she did!

south of the 6

Kate describes South of the 6 as “a love letter to Manchester inspired by my years spent living in the big city. This is a space meant to transport and inspire our customers.” South of the 6 opened in October 2023.

Kate turned to NH SBDC early on in her new business endeavor for assistance with mapping out her financials as she prepared to approach the bank for funding. She had spoken with someone at Bangor Savings Bank who referred her to NH SBDC Business Advisor, Julie Glosner. With so much investment in products, equipment and renovations, Kate’s goal in connecting with Julie was to secure financing to move her project forward. Julie helped her with creating and building the financials, mapping out projections, budget, the whole nine yards.

Kate describes the SBDC as a “resource and a connector.” Julie introduced Kate to some high-level connections in the City of Manchester to help get her integrated into Manchester’s business community. Julie has invited Kate to events, and recommended South of the 6 for a digital marketing audit program with the student-run Voice Z digital marketing program at UNH, for which the SBDC covered the fee. “That was extremely helpful,” says Kate.” It wasn’t something I would have been able to identify or even know about had she not recommended me for this program.”  

Julie has also kept Kate informed of new tax laws and things happening in the legislature. “I think it’s really awesome that she knows how to share her world,” says Kate. 

Kate says the support of the NH SBDC has meant a lot to her. She reflects,

“They make me feel safe. I feel like they have my back. I feel like they want to see me succeed. They want to see small businesses succeed. There are so many facets of starting and growing a business that unless you've done it before, you don't realize there are a plethora of professionals with expertise in areas you aren't versed in.”

Today, Kate describes the future of South of the 6 in just three words: Bright, Growing and Limitless.