Ngoc, the owner of Top Nail in Gilroy, California, enthusiastically states that the relationships she cultivates with her customers are the best part of owning her own salon. “I have owned this salon for three years, and my customers are like a part of my family. I am very lucky.”
Ngoc, who moved to the U.S. from Vietnam in 1995, has been a manicurist for the past ten years. She first began working at Top Nail in 2004, and within three years was able to purchase the salon from its previous owner. Since then, she has successfully managed the business and her four employees. Ngoc enjoys strong ties with her loyal customers, and sees a considerable amount of new business from pedestrians strolling past her nail salon, located in Gilroy’s Historic District.
Ngoc has reached out to the Latina community in her area by specializing in a unique style of nail design, which she learned about when a customer brought her back a catalog from Mexico. She has also begun learning Spanish so that she can more easily converse with her clients.
A $4,500 loan, Ngoc’s first from Opportunity Fund, will help her to make important electrical renovations to her salon that will allow her to install additional equipment and better serve her clients. “This loan will help me a lot right now,” says Ngoc, “and as the economy improves I’ll be able to make more improvements to my business. I want to upgrade my front door next.” Looking further down the line, Ngoc has even bigger dreams: “I’d like to be able to open another salon in a town nearby.”
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