Vietnam is known around the world for having some of the best nail manicurists and artificial nail experts anywhere.
And now Hay River has a nail manicurist and artificial nail technician from Vietnam – actually two of them – to call its very own.
Hannah Duong opened Hannah’s Nail on Feb. 1, and the salon in the Godwin Mall has been an instant hit.
Duong said nail salons are common and popular in Vietnam.
“Vietnam is very famous about nails because Vietnamese are very patient and talented,” she said. “Very famous around the world.”
She added there are very professional nail schools in Vietnam.
“I went to nail school in my country for seven months,” she said. “After that, I worked in a nail salon nearly two years.”
Duong and her husband, Giang Truong, went to nail school together, and he is also working at Hannah’s Nail.
They moved to Canada from Vietnam six months ago and started the business in Hay River under an immigrant investment program of the GNWT.
Hannah’s Nail is Duong’s first business in Canada, and she opened it in Hay River even though she and her husband didn’t know anyone in the community.
And they moved from Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest city in Vietnam with nine million people, to Hay River – population 3,800.
“It’s very, very different,” said Duong. “The culture, the people, the weather. Everything very hard for us, but we opened the business and people come here. And they are very friendly.”
Duong said she now likes Hay River, but had to get used to different things.
“For example, when I want to rent a home they ask me lots about credit score,” she said. “But I’m just a newcomer, so I don’t have any credit score. And everything here very slow compared to my country.”
The demand at Hannah’s Nail has been so intense that the salon is open seven days a week.
Duong said, because she just opened the salon, a lot of people want to know about it.
“So they come and ask,” she said. “Even if they didn’t have appointment.”
She noted that a lot of women are excited that Hannah’s Nail has opened.
One customer told her there was a nail salon in Hay River a long time ago, and Duong said that person added, “And now you are here. Please don’t move.”
Along with manicures and artificial nails, Hannah’s Nail also offers waxing and pedicures.
Although she called her business Hannah’s Nail, Duong’s actual Vietnamese first name is Ha, which is used by her family.
“With people here, even friends, it’s Hannah,” she said. “Nobody knows my name is Ha.”
Duong said she chose to use Hannah because it’s easier for people to remember.