A mentor and mentee discuss the evolution of their salons, which are in adjacent towns.
Amy Oung has owned Harmony Nail Studio for one year, and it is located in a quiet area of Warwick, R.I.
When I first met Amy Oung, now the new owner of Harmony Nail Studio in Warwick, R.I., she had signed up for a basic gel class with me. I’d been traveling with The High Road To Education and a fellow educator, Joseph Pham (OPI global educator), referred Amy to my class. She found and networked with Joseph through a Vietnamese nail forum.
As a Vietnamese-American, her family has owned nail salons for years, so nails always played a big role in her life. She reached out to Joseph because she wanted to learn more and provide a better service/atmosphere than the usual discount salon. She felt Rhode Island was behind in nails, so Joseph referred her to the class. It is not every day I see someone so passionate about her career, and I knew right away that Amy would be an asset to my salon.
I was lucky to have her as an employee for three years and see her fl ourish as a phenomenal nail artist, competitor, and educator. When she approached me to let me know she was ready to take on a new venture as a business owner to open her own salon and training center, as heartbreaking as it was to see her go, I was extremely proud of her and truly happy to see her succeed.
Amy keeps a full book and is building up her loyal clients. “I’ve really gotten to know my community,” she says. [inset] Most of the clientele prefer classic looks (like the traditional French), but some get gel art or glitter designs like the one shown here
Harmony Nail Studio is a quaint salon located in a small strip mall in the Greenwood area of Warwick. The name Harmony is very appropriate; the defi nition, “a pleasing combination of elements in a whole,” perfectly describes Amy’s place. Even though it appears to be a perfect neighborhood salon, it is much more than that. Her reputation as a top-notch nail tech has attracted clients from all over the state. Driven by her desire to constantly stay on top of the latest trends and perfect her skills, Amy constantly travels around the country, attending as many classes and shows as she possibly can to come back and share her new techniques with her customers.
Even though she is only one town over from my location, her Warwick clients are timid with design requests. They like popular, seasonal colors on nails and toes. Glitter is an extravagance for them, but they are not afraid to try it for holidays and other special occasions.
The studio houses only one manicuring table, which has everything Amy needs to off er her classic and elegant nails.
The atmosphere in the salon is so comfortable, customers feel like they are at home — from the carpeted floor to the flowery camel couch. When you enter, you see Amy’s nail table set up in the main entrance. She has a custom glass table (similar to my setup) as her nail station. The furniture setup makes it cozy, as if you’re in a living room at a friend’s house, indicative of Amy’s amiable persona. Her pedicure setup has a laminate wood finish to complement the cozy decor.
Amy also believes in dry pedicures, something I introduced to her. She also has a training room for basic classes and her apprentice. A believer in education, Amy is striving to hold more classes, get more attendees, and hopefully get guest educators. Currently, she is trying to reach out to the Vietnamese nail community.
Amy gives pedicures with color gel toes at the pedicure station, which has a Belava pedicure tub and a plush leather chair
Amy’s sweet disposition and desire to make every client happy, not only with impeccable service, high-quality products, and sanitation, but also with the whole experience, sets her apart from many salons. It brings a smile to my face seeing someone I mentored perform and triumph.
Read Amy's description of Gina's salon here.