Profiles

Davis, Calif., Salon Combines Nails and Photography

For nail tech and photographer Kiet Le, locating his photography business in his wife’s salon seemed like the perfect way for the couple to help each other out and allow Le to spend more time with his family.

For nail tech and photographer Kiet Le, locating his photography business in his wife’s salon seemed like the perfect way for the couple to help each other out and allow Le to spend more time with his family. When they first opened G Nails Spa and LTK Photography, the salon was short-staffed, so Le learned how to do nails to help out. “For some reason, people kept coming back and asking for me,” he says. “Now I have so many nail customers that I don’t have much time for photos.” The joint business has been going for seven years and is more popular than ever.

Before opening the salon and photo studio, “I was a traveling photographer doing portraits,” says Le. “I worked Monday through Saturday and only came home on Sunday.” His wife suggested that they buy a location with enough space to accommodate a salon and a photo studio. Le does photography on the weekends and works after hours editing images
on his computer. “Basically, I work from 9 a.m. to midnight every day,” he says. “On the weekends, we’re open Saturdays for weddings and Sundays for photography.” The two businesses feed each other: People who come in to get a passport photo might return to get their nails done, while nail clients remember Le’s photo studio when they need senior portraits, wedding photography, or engagement photoshoots.

“We divided the space in two, so one half is the studio and the other half is for nails,” explains Le. “I exhibit my work in the shared waiting area, where it’s for sale.” He says people appreciate the unique art on the salon walls. Although it was scary to learn how to do nails at first, “now it comes easy and I do a lot of creative stuff for college girls,” Le says. “It’s kind of fun to do both.”

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