Sisters Chris and Joyce Kim came to America eight years ago from Korea. They enrolled in beauty school and have worked in nail saloons ever since. Four months ago, they opened their own Nail Spa with something more in mind.
Plaza Spa and Nails in the Oak Ridge Common in South Salem offers not to just the chance for women (and men) to shine and sharpen the look about the fingers and toes. “People want to relax here,” says Chris Kim, and they can choose from a menu of manicures, pedicures, facials and massages to deliver a dose of calm in the sea of suburban storm.
For instance, their dermatological facial smoothens and moistens the skin, but the end result is also about the journey. “It feels like heaven,” says Chris Kim as their business continues to grow through the word of mouth.
They also add in a little aroma therapy in order to enhance the clam, and husbands notice the new look their wives bring home, she says. In addition, customers like the UV Gel Fill-ins that keeps nails from chipping in between visits, and honey waxing means body hair removal without the usual pain involved.
But there’s no pain to gain for customer Ellen Foodin of Mt. Kisco. The whole experience, “It’s very comfortable and soothing,” she says, “and makes you feel very special.”
That’s especially relevant for her when weighing it against other nail salons she’s gone to in the past. After finally getting her cancer to go into remission, treating herself well was something very much needed. “Chemo, it’s like you’ve been to hell and back,” she says, “so anything to make you feel better.”
Plaza Nails has also eased her mind after the death of her husband, and people notice not only the change in her appearance but in her attitude. “It makes me feel sexy,” she says, and among those noticing is her new boyfriend.
He doesn’t come in for his nails or a foot massage, but about 10% of the customers are male. Upon seeing men coming in, Ms. Foodin says, “I thought it was kind of neat,” reasoning why shouldn’t they feel good too.
Mothers also bring in their daughters with a little down time, she observes. “It’s good quality time,” Chris Kim says of witnessing the refreshing communication that seems to create a special female bond.
Women also have the option of having a male set of hands to administer a back or foot massage. At first, Ms. Foodin wouldn’t let a male near her feet but at this point, after giving it a try, she says, “It’s kind of sexy to have a man do your feet.” Having Plaza Spa and Nails getting rid of her calluses was also influential in making that move.
Overall, with anxiety everywhere, says Foodin, “If I can feel less stress, it’s definitely worth the trip.”
For Chris Kim, the formula is even simpler than that. “I like to make people happy,” she concludes.
Rich Monetti interview of Chris Kim and Ellen Foodin