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Persevering during the pandemic, Napa County man opens second salon

Persevering during the pandemic, Napa County man opens second salon

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It took five years, but Napa County small business owner Andy Nguyen finally realized his dream.

In October, Nguyen and partner Vie Nguyen opened a second Napa nail salon, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Located at 269 Soscol Ave., Avalon Nail Salon provides luxury nail and spa services, Andy Nguyen said.

This sister location to La Vie Nail Spa (in north Napa) opened its doors in October in the South Napa Marketplace. It’s located in the former Togo’s and Baskin Robbins space.

“There is an old saying; ‘An arrow, once sped from the bow, cannot be retrieved,’” said Nguyen.

“So, although the pandemic forced us to halt our progress for six months, with the strong support of our family and our long-time clients, we continued to push through all roadblocks, and here we are today,” he said.

Offering “a taste of tranquility,” the contemporary salon provides guests with a spa ambiance specializing in nail arts, facials, lash extensions and additional salon services.

Temporarily closed due to the pandemic, the state-of-the-art salon is normally open daily and adheres to all safety protocols to ensure the highest quality of care, said Nguyen.

“Avalon Nail Spa is a vision that took nearly five years to materialize to what we proudly present to the residents and visitors of Napa today,” said Nguyen, who lives in American Canyon.

“Despite these difficult times, we firmly believe that better days are ahead, and, in the meantime, we will continue to do our part in suppressing COVID-19.”

Immigrating to the U.S. without money or knowledge of the English language, Nguyen and his family dove headfirst into the nail industry. Learning the trade on the job, the entrepreneurs said they leaned on their work ethic to guide them as they paved the way, ultimately owning two businesses in the heart of the Napa Valley.

“Avalon Nail Spa, our second salon, is a testimony to making dreams come true,” said Nguyen.

Emphasizing the spa aspect of the salon, the new business features a custom-designed interior chosen by Vie Nguyen.

Meant to evoke the Bellagio hotel and casino at Las Vegas, it features gold drapes, marble-like floors with an intricate inlaid border, cream and gold chairs with gold accents, sparkling chandeliers, a blue ceiling painted with clouds and statuary.

Shelves full of nail polishes and dips offer more than 1,500 colors to choose from. The salon includes 16 pedicure chairs and 10 manicure stations. There’s even a margarita machine.

Though misconceptions of the nail salon industry do exist, the soul of the business lies within the customer experience, Andy Nguyen said.

“Many people think that starting a nail salon is an inexpensive endeavor and easy to operate. It’s not,” said Nguyen.

“Believe me, it is much more than merely getting a space, putting in some chairs and tables, and calling the place a nail salon. You must have the right combination of manager, owner, staff and everything in between to be able to have a successful salon. You must also depend on loyal clients.”

With an understanding that honesty, trust and respect are the driving forces behind a successful business, Nguyen said the salon’s dedication to its customers instills loyalty.

“We love meeting new clients. We love the little chats, sharing stories, even getting advice from our clients,” said Nguyen.

“We love getting to know our clients, from the first time they walk into the salon, the second time, remembering their names, learning about their lives, their work, and building that trust so that they bring their family and friends to our salon,” he said.

Info: avalonnailspa.org, 707-666-2934, 269 Soscol Ave., Napa.

Watch now: If You Really Knew What’s On Your Hands, You’d Wash Them More Often

In the 1840s, a Hungarian doctor noticed that when doctors performed autopsies and then helped women give birth, it led to a higher death rate among the mothers. Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis then implemented chlorine handwashing practices throughout the hospital, and death rates dropped significantly. According to Business Insider, at any given time, every person's hands are covered with a few 100,000 to several million germs--all of them constantly on the move. Staph infections, bacterial infections, cold and flu viruses, and of course the dreaded novel coronavirus COVID-19 can all enter the body via the hands. Given that one study showed people touch their faces roughly 20 times an hour, it makes sense to be a frequent, and thorough, hand-washer. Wash your entire hands with running water for at least 20 seconds, scrubbing everywhere--including under the nails.

Photos: Avalon Nail Salon: ready to reopen

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You can reach reporter Jennifer Huffman at 256-2218 or jhuffman@napanews.com

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