Nail Salons Prepare to Reopen Friday, Business Owner Shares Struggle to Stay Open

Prestige Nail Salon owner, Jennifer Daffern, shares her story about moving to San Diego from Vietnam in search of better opportunities

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Nail salons are among a handful of businesses that can reopen Friday in San Diego County with new safety measures and physical distancing guidelines.

NBC 7 spoke with Prestige Nails salon owner Jennifer Daffern last week. She said she was frustrated nail salons were one of the last of beauty industry businesses to reopen.

A few days later she learned she would be reopening her doors to clients June 19.

When NBC 7 checked back in with Daffern, she said she was already booked through June 27 and was booking people into the following week.

My phone goes crazy. and that makes me feel even better, because people are waiting for us and they want to support our business

Jennifer Daffern - Prestige Nails Owner

Her clients can expect new safety protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19: contactless thermometer checks at the door, hand sanitizer bottles at each nail station, dividers between spa chairs, and plexiglass between nail techs and clients.

Daffern also said she is only operating at 50 percent capacity.

“It’s just for the best. For our health and their (clients’) health,” Daffern said.

She said she waited 90 days to reopen her dream business, a business she didn’t think was possible to own after moving to San Diego from Vietnam 11 years ago.

“Growing up being poor, that being said, you don’t have opportunity. You know coming from a communist country, everything is controlled. Then you come to a free country and there’s this whole opportunity,” Daffern said, emotionally. “I put everything in here -- credit card, savings, everything to the max.”

She estimates it will take her a little more than a year to get caught up with bills. But she said she’s feeling optimistic after seeing the response from clients eager to book an appointment.

“I’m going to be one of the most popular ones (nail salons) in town. That’s my goal!”

Daffern said she’s only taking clients by appointment.

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