Going to a nail salon is a relaxing place to be — from getting your nails and toes done, you can also get waxed and facials and massages. It takes a lot of patience, hard work and dedication to open up a salon and manage to run it smoothly.
For owner Van Tran, Joli Nail & Spa, which opened on March 2, was a long-time coming. Tran has been in the nail business ever since he was able to start working.
“I started out in the family business back in Pennsylvania,” Tran said.
Tran came to Plattsburgh in 2004 with his fiancé, Linh Phan, and worked at her aunt’s salon for a little bit. After helping her aunt, Tran and Phan helped her family open up a salon uptown.
“After the contract ended, we didn’t want to work with the family anymore. We wanted to go out on our own,” Tran said. “And here I am. I opened my own.”
When a person opens his or her own store, he or she uses the best of the best to get the job done. But Tran decided to keep everything local, and it worked out in his favor.
“It was extremely hard,” Tran said. “Especially downtown: the building we’re in is particularly old.”
Tran said his salon is the only nail salon downtown, which is good for business.
“I designed it so people would feel comfortable,” Tran said. “I want them to feel nice.”
Even though putting the store together was hard, picking out the name was easy.
“In the work place, my name is Joey. Linh is my fiancé’s name, so I tried a couple combinations before I came up with Joli,” Tran said. “The name is to stand out against other salons.”
Tran said a customer of his told him Joli meant “pretty” in French.
When Tran opened this salon, he wasn’t worried about getting new customers.
“A lot of my old clientele followed me here. They are actually the ones who pushed me and told me they would follow,” Tran said.
Tran said getting new clients, however, is one of his main goals. He said the salon caters more to locals rather than tourists.
Ellen Ottstadt, a resident of Plattsburgh, said she is excited that a nail salon opened close to her.
“It’s amazing to have a place close to my work where I can go on my lunch break,” Ottstadt said.
Before helping one of his customers, Tran plays with the TV and explains that it just got set up so Netflix is the only thing working right now. The show “Friends”popped up on the screen. Tran smiled.
“Oh, not this again,” Phan said.
Tran laughed, but kept the show on.
“When you live with him, work with him and hang out with him, it gets bad,” Phan said when talking about her fiancé’s love of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
“I love my job,” Tran said. “I love what I do. Plattsburgh is my second home.
Joli Nail & Spa is open Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 pm.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Email Samantha Stahl at firstname.lastname@example.org