Lynnwood small business owner Dan Nguyen has a problem – business is too good.
Nguyen opened a small nail salon, Herbal Nails & Spa, just over two years ago with a staff of three. Led by wife Lily, the Lynnwood salon now employs 13 and still can’t keep up with the customer demand.
“We are swamped,” Dan explained. “We are losing customers; a customer will walk in and I can’t accommodate them. I have to take reservations. So that’s why I started looking for another location.”
Nguyen’s search has culminated with a soon-to-be-opened nail and waxing salon located in commercial space of the Arbor Village building, 23601 56th Ave. W. in Mountlake Terrace.
With preparation of the space now in its final stages, Nguyen hopes to open Majestic Nail Studio in mid- to late July.
“I did some research and Mountlake Terrace is a growing city,” Nguyen said. “There’s not much room left in Lynnwood so I wanted to come here.”
Majestic Nail Studio will occupy the 1,564 square-foot northeast corner ground floor suite of the mixed-use building and will include stations for manicures and pedicures, plus a separate room for waxing services. Large picture windows look out onto 236th St. S.W. and 55th Ave. W. while an “exotic” exhaust system will keep the usual salon odors to a minimum, Nguyen promised.
Still weeks away from welcoming his first customers to the Mountlake Terrace salon, Nguyen is encouraged by what he sees as early rush of interest.
“I listed the new salon on Yelp and Google a couple of weeks ago – customers are already calling to schedule appointments,” Nguyen said. “I have to tell them sorry, we’re not open yet.”
The salon will employ six technicians to start before adding more as business dictates. Nguyen expects the salon to be successful based on how busy his Lynnwood location is, along with a database of about 5,000 customers already signed up in the Herbal Nails & Spa rewards program.
“I have confidence,” Nguyen said. “A lot of our customers at the other location actually live here in Mountlake Terrace and in Shoreline and Seattle. This will be closer for them.”
“I just have a good feeling that a lot of customers from the other shop will be stopping by here,” he added. “Everyone is asking, ‘When are you opening?’”
As for attracting new customers, Nguyen isn’t concerned that the new salon will be along a residential two-lane road as opposed to a much busier major thoroughfare such as Highway 99 or 196th St. S.W. in Lynnwood, where his other salon is located.
“Back in the day, we would have wanted somewhere in a huge shopping center or maybe a street front where people can see it,” Nguyen explained. “Now it doesn’t matter anymore. We don’t flip through the yellow pages anymore. Now everybody’s online – Facebook, Yelp, Google – that’s the first thing we do. So location doesn’t matter as much anymore.”
“Ninety-five percent of our customers come because of Yelp, Google and Facebook,” Nguyen added. “Some will drive as much as two hours just to get to our location.”
The anticipated growth in the city’s Town Center District due to Sound Transit’s light rail arriving in 2024 wasn’t even a consideration for Nguyen in selecting Mountlake Terrace for his new salon.
“To be honest, I didn’t even know that was coming until a city official a few weeks ago told me about the light rail,” Nguyen said.
While the work to transform the vacant space into nail salon – and the demands to bring the space up to city code standards – has taken months, Nguyen is still upbeat as the project is finally nearing completion.
“Thank God everything is working out,” he said.
–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski