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Vietnamese Nail Salons!

Ladner Nail Salon 5182 Ladner Trunk Road


Vietnamese Nail Salon History

Once upon a time there was a Hollywood princess named Tippi Hedren. She was an actress made famous by a film magician, Alfred Hitchcock, the then-reigning king of horror movies.

One day, Hedren decided she wanted to create some magic of her own. Not Hitchcock’s magic of malevolent mischief but the compassionate conjuring of doing good.

This was California in the mid-1970s. So she went to a tent city for refugees to try to change the lives of a group of women stranded there from war-torn Vietnam.

With a wave of a wand, in this case her scarlet-tipped nails, she helped teach them the mysteries of the ancient art of turning the stubbiest of fingernails into objects of beauty.

In so doing, she not only helped get these women back on their feet but unknowingly set off an entrepreneurial revolution.

That one single act of good intentions, dear reader, is why there is now, likely somewhere near you, at least one nail salon run by Vietnamese immigrants.

Transforming an industry

What started out with a group of 20 women trained by Hedren’s personal manicurist has mushroomed across the U.S. and Canada.

That initial group would be joined by another wave, the so-called boat people, those opponents of the Communist regime who risked their lives by fleeing in rickety boats after the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Not speaking the language or having any marketable skills, they tended to cluster together once they arrived in North America, not unlike other ethnic groups in similar circumstances. Italians in construction, for instance. Koreans in convenience stores. Filipinas in nursing and child care.

Actress Tippi Hedren with Vietnamese actress Kieu Ching when Hedren was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2003. Hedren aided Ching when she fled Vietnam, by providing her with living space in her home for over a year. (Fred Prouser/Reuters)

But none of these groups have transformed a single industry as radically as the Vietnamese boat people did with nail salons.

Before these Vietnamese women came into the business, a manicure was a costly affair. If a woman did go to a manicurist it was usually only for a special occasion.

Now, what was once a swank industry for the well-to-do caters to the masses of women who used to do their own nails at home.

Prices are down, way down. A manicure today can cost anywhere from $7 to as much as $50 in a traditional upscale spa. But around $20 seems to be the norm.

That, by the way, is what it cost decades ago before the Vietnamese came along. But a dollar then was worth a lot more than it is today.

To our Ladner Nail Salon website click here (Pedicure Ladner)

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