The Vietnamese gave the nail salon business a radical makeover. In the 1970s, manicures and pedicures cost around $50 – fine for Hollywood starlets but out of reach for most American women. Today, a basic “mani-pedi” can cost around $20 – largely due to Vietnamese American salons, which typically charge 30-50% less than other salons, according to NAILS Magazine.
Forty years after the fall of Saigon, 51% of nail technicians in the United States – and approximately 80% in California – are of Vietnamese descent. And many are direct descendants of that first class of women inspired by the nails of a Hitchcock blonde.
nding in the wrong Portland was a tough start for a young immigrant, but Quang wasn’t about to let an awful first meal squash his dreams. By choosing to participate in every opportunity his community college offered, he gradually learned English, then finance, and finally how to use his entrepreneurial skills to improve the lives of Vietnamese immigrants in communities across Maine. Quang Nguyen is a successful entrepreneur and former SMCC student. Originally from Vietnam, Quang moved to Maine in 2007 to pursue a degree in Business Administration at SMCC, where his involvement in school activities earned him the nickname “Mr. SMCC.”
David Nazar News, Studio SoCal
LITTLE SAIGON in WESTMINSTER, California
History of Vietnamese Boat People of Little Saigon.
Fascinating immigrant success story. Over 40 years after the Fall of Saigon there are nearly 400 thousand Vietnamese-Americans living in the Little Saigon neighborhood of Orange County, California. From boat people and refugees to a Southern California economic engine of success. Here is PBS reporter David Nazar.