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Daily Inspiration: Meet Klara Nguyen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Klara Nguyen.

Hi Klara, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I started working as a nail tech at 18. It wasn’t a career…at least not at the time. This job was to help me pay for my college education. It took me six years to graduate with a degree in Business Administration. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, just like most people my age, so I went with something general. Once I graduated with my college degree, I was able to find a “real job.”

I was working at a university as a student recruiter for them and I only lasted eight months there. I didn’t enjoy office work at all so I left that job and went back to doing nails. I did not have a steady job. I didn’t like a lot of the salons that I worked at. I probably worked at over a dozen salons before I discovered what it was that I needed for myself. In 2017, I decided to look into booth renting. I was going to do things my way. I had met a mentor/friend during this process and her name was Tracey Sturdivant. She really helped me with the business side of things and offered me a lot of guidance to ensure that I will have a successful business. She helped me with budgeting for business expenses, pricing, services and making sure that I paid myself. I will never forget what she told me. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” I can hear her saying this to me as I’m typing this out for you.

In 2018, I started booth renting at a salon in Liberty. I was finally my own boss. I struggled in the beginning because I didn’t know how to market myself. I only had a handful of clients that followed me and wasn’t sure how I would be able to pay my rent. I was depressed. I didn’t think I made the right decision. The first three months were awful. Six months goes by and my business was picking up. People were finally hearing about me. By the end of my first year, I was booked at about 70%. I was busy and I loved it. I had clients that wanted to come back to see me consistently and it was amazing! Then came 2020. Just as my business was reaching its peak, I was falling into a slump. I was filled with uncertainty. I was unhappy with everything that was going on at the salon, my business, my personal life as well the world. COVID made me want to give up my business. I didn’t know if I should even continue on this journey. We were in lockdown. I had a lot of time to reflect on everything that I knew about my business and re-evaluate my situation. I started looking for a different salon to operate my business. It took about a year of searching before I found a space that was a good fit. I decided to open my own salon instead.

In February of 2021, I opened Lamour Beauty Studio. Lamour is French for love because I believe I do everything with love. I wanted to create a space where my clients could truly come to relax and I can give my clients a one on one experience. I take my time with each client and I don’t overbook myself. Ever since opening my own salon, I have grown so much more as a nail artist. My clients have been so supportive. They have referred so many of their friends to me and my schedule has never looked so good. I have clients that are booked with me thru the end of the year. I cry when I think about my clients and how much they have done for me and my business. They are my cheerleaders! I have so much to be thankful for and things can only go up from here.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There were many struggles that I had along the way. I had self-doubt. I wasn’t confident. I had something to prove to people. I was comparing myself to other nail techs. I wanted to stand out from the crowd but I also didn’t know if that was enough. I didn’t know my worth. I wasn’t living in the moment. I wasn’t embracing the ups and downs of owning a business. I was frustrated with myself. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing at times. I didn’t set boundaries. I had clients cancel their appointments and not rebook. I didn’t know why. I started to criticize my own work. It wasn’t good enough.

I’ve had to learn to not be so hard on myself. I wasn’t enjoying the process. I’ve had to become more confident in my ability to serve others and learn to stand my ground. Going into business for yourself is not easy. I had to keep working on what it was that I wanted to do. I needed to experience those hardships in order to appreciate what I have now.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I specialize in many different types of nail enhancements but what I am known for the most by my clients is the wide variety of nail art that I offer. I think what sets me apart from others is my work ethic, punctuality, taking my time to create good work, and the ability to relate to people and build rapport with them on a personal level. I don’t just do nails. I create impact. I want people to know that it’s more than just a nail session. It’s time for them to relieve the stress of daily life and get away. I want people to realize that the time spent sitting in my chair is meaningful and therapeutic. I’m very proud of the business model that I have created for myself. I knew from the beginning of my journey that I needed to invest in people in order for them to invest in me. I spend a great deal of my time getting to know my clients and I think it has worked out for me. This is how I have been able earn their repeat business.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
I get to do what I love!!! I wake up every single day truly happy and ready to go into work. It’s really not a job. My clients take my advice on every nail design that I come up with and it’s amazing that I have that much influence on my clients. I get to do whatever I want. It’s the best feeling ever. They trust me that much – kinda dangerous. I also love hearing about all the compliments that my clients receive on their nails. It’s a conversation starter.

Pricing:

  • Dipping powder $50+
  • Full set of sculpture acrylics $80+
  • Jelly pedicure $60
  • Acrylic fill $55+
  • Hard gel overlay $60+

Contact Info:

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