Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Scratching the Surface: Family Opens Royal Nails

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Vi Nguyen and her father Huy Nguyen stand beside their Royal Nails sign. Vi Nguyen and her father Huy Nguyen stand beside their Royal Nails sign. Krysten Sarkissian photo

     Seventeen-year-old Vi Nguyen and her family, originally from Saigon, Vietnam, are excited to open their new nail salon, Royal Nails, located at 305 W. Seneca St.

     Nguyen recently graduated from Fayetteville-Manlius High School and received her cosmetology license from OCM Boces in East Syracuse. Soon, her parents’ new business, Royal Nails, will be opening--and she’s glad to be a part of it.  

     Nguyen’s family previously made a living in Saigon as farmers. They came to the United States nine years ago from Vietnam’s capital in search for a new start.

     “We needed to have a better future,” Nguyen said. “In Vietnam, it’s hard to find jobs. The education system isn’t as good, and my parents wanted to give us a better life.”

     Nguyen’s father, Huy Nguyen, and her mother, Bong Bui, experienced difficulties finding jobs in the U.S. because they couldn’t speak English. They both worked at other nail salons until their relatives opened family-owned businesses in Manlius and Fulton. Eventually, Huy Nguyen and Bong Bui decided they wanted to start their own nail salon in Oswego.

     As with many local businesses, Nguyen’s parents hope to keep the salon family-owned.

     “Pretty much my whole family, the younger generation, they all do nails,” Nguyen said. “My uncle in Manlius, he owns one, and my mom works there right now, and my cousin owns one in Fulton. My dad used to work there.”

     Her cousin owns Diamond Nail Spa in Fulton and her uncle owns Autumn Nails Spa in Manlius.  Much of Nguyen’s father’s side of the family has immigrated to the United States, although her mother’s side of the family still resides in their home country.

     “It was either working in the factory or doing the nail business,” Nguyen said. “Plus my mom already learned it when she lived in Vietnam, so it was easier to do it over here.”

     Huy Nguyen and Bong Bui have been working on the salon every day in preparation for the salon’s grand opening, which is sometime next week. Royal Nails offers services such as acrylic nails, manicures, gel nails, waxing, pedicures, spa pedicures and more.

     “We just do everything nails!” Nguyen said.

     Royal Nails can be contacted by phone at (315) 692-2199. The salon will be open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Royal Nails will also be offering a discount of 20 percent off regular price until July 31.

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