Written by Hyuncheon Kim/ Translated by Jeamin Woo
The nail salon business around Boston, which was mostly operated by Vietnamese, is becoming one of the fastest growing businesses in the Korean community. During the last 2-3 years, the number of nail salons owned by Koreans steadily increased.
Starting with “Diva”, which opened in Newton in 2007, nail salon businesses have failed to draw attention until 2011, with only one or two opening up each year.
However, 4 new places were established last year and 2 in the beginning of this year. Moreover, a Korean owned nail technician license academy called “Blessing Channels Nail Academy” opened up last year.
Various areas are favored by the Koreans who are looking to start nail salons, such as Newton (Coco), Needham (La Vie), Wellesley (JuJu) and others. According to Moon Sun-Hee, the director of Blessing Channel’s Nail Academy in Woburn, “People tend to avoid opening a nail salon in the areas where businesses overlap. Also, they prefer so-called rich towns.” Moon also said that the reason Koreans are moving to the Boston area to start nail salons is that “compared to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut where 90% of nail salons are owned by Koreans, Boston promises better opportunities.” Moon often receives questions concerning how to achieve a nail technician license or places to start a business.
Unlike Vietnamese nail salon owners who prefer small sized businesses, the Koreans starting new businesses are pursuing large and luxurious nail salons like the ones that can be found in New York’s Korean community.
According to Kang Sook-Kyung, the owner of “Diva Nail & Spa”, new businesses should focus on facilities and service in order to compete with Vietnamese and Chinese owned businesses, which occupy 80% of nail salons in this area.
Although the scale of investment depends on the number of pedicure chairs, floor and interior materials, and lights, most of the new salons begin with decent sized shops, ranging around 1000-1500 ft. sq.
“If the nail salon business continues to grow, the center of business in the Korean community of Boston will shift from dry cleaning to nail salons,” says director Moon. She also added that she expects a change in the occupations favored by immigrant housewives.
Since there are so many Korean owned nail salons in New York or New Jersey, many of the recent immigrant housewives work in nail salons shortly after they move to the U.S.
“It’s a decent job for housewives because even the beginners can earn a sufficient amount of money through tips and a daily wage which starts around $50-60 and increases after 3-4 months,” says Director Moon. She added that the advantage of nail technicians is that their wages increase as their techniques improve.
The owner of “JuJu Nails & Spa”, stated that “it can become a high-income job, for the wage is adjusted every 3 months and technicians can earn more than $200 after training”. However, she emphasized that the job requires attention to the smallest details and willingness to provide service.
For more Information, contact Blessing Channels Nail Academy (617-901-3690).
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지