I’ve been following the progress of producer/director Adele Pham’s documentary about the Vietnamese nail industry since March 2013. Since then, Pham has established a solid team, delved head-first into the nail industry, and now she’s ready for your help in making this documentary a reality. Click here for #NailedIt's Indiegogo campaign.
#NailedIt: Vietnamese & the Nail Industry will not only tell the tale of how actress and humanitarian Tippi Hedren helped Vietnamese refugee women into the nail industry, it will also follow personal stories of those whose lives were impacted. It will also touch on issues such as race relations, culture, and health issues affecting salon workers.
The synopsis: A chance encounter between 20 Vietnamese refugee women and actress Tippi Hedren in 1975, triggers the onset of the ubiquitous Vietnamese nail shop. This documentary tells the story of incredible growth and impact a small community of people have on today’s eight billion dollar nail trade.
It takes a village to raise a child and, in this case, our nail community can help raise awareness about the Vietnamese nail industry. This independent film relies on crowdfunding to help with its Indiegogo campaign, raising funds to help Pham and her crew edit the first cut of the feature-length film.
In return, the team has set up some neat gifts and perks for donors at all levels. My favorite is this T-shirt promoting #NailedIt (right), drawn by artist Jeremy Arambulo using the classic hand with rose imagery seen on many nail salons, particularly in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Other thank you gifts include (but are not limited to) “Same Same,” a novel signed by author Ly Nguyen, a Nail Artist’s Package with a do-it-yourself nail art book and nail supplies/brushes, a DVD copy of #NailedIt when it comes out, an LED lamp with gel-polish and top coat, a postcard, or thank yous across #NailedIt’s social media accounts. You can even donate to earn an associate or executive producer credit in the documentary.
The IndieGOGO campaign is picking up steam, being featured on main media sites like InStyle, Angry Asian Man, Refinery29, and Daily Mail Online.
Here’s an interview with Kelvin St. Pham conducted in Vietnamese by Nguyen Khoi, Que Huong Media.
I’m a big supporter of this documentary and I would love the greater community to know the history behind why so many nail techs and salon owners are Vietnamese. This is a greater story that I hope will take salons out of the punchline of nail salon jokes. The stories are real, the people are real. There are real health risks that salons and clients should be aware of. (Not the UV lamp though. That is not a health risk if used properly.)
For more information or to donate to this documentary, visit #NailedIt's Indiegogo campaign by clicking here. You can also keep up with production on the #NailedIt Facebook page.
More resources on the Vietnamese nail industry:
A Vietnamese American Dynasty (article, March 2006)
Viet Nails, a Documentary Teaser (blog, March 2013)
CND and Beauty Changes Lives Announce Tippi Hedren Nail Scholarship (video)
CND and Beauty Changes Lives Honor Tippi Hedren’s Legacy (article)
CND and Beauty Changes Lives Honor Tippi Hedren (photo gallery)