Nail parlor recovers from flooding



Nail technician Anh Phung performs a powder refill for a customer Tuesday morning at Kool Nails.

NATALIE NEWCOMB, Evergreen reporter

Upon entering Kool Nails Design & Spa, one can see a wall of brightly colored nail polish.

On the front counter sit many sets of fake nails to display how nails and colors look when finished. The nail technicians greet customers with a smile.

Kool Nails recently remodeled and reopened three weeks ago to recover from the flash flood that hit Pullman in early April.

Tony Nguyen, manager at Kool Nails, said he didn’t get the idea to start a nail salon from nowhere. His mother was a nail technician. In his teenage years, his mother became an owner of a nail salon, a decision that largely influenced Tony.

About four years ago he and his brother Jimmy Nguyen, the owner, came to Pullman to start their own nail salon.

Tony brought family members who are also nail technicians. His family members like Pullman, Tony said.

“They like the people here,” Tony said.

The first store was located on Latah Street.

The location had been an office space. This made the store relatively small, so they provided different services in different rooms and floors.

“It was a struggle,” Tony said.

Slowly, business began to ramp up and the office space was not sufficient, Tony said. About a year and a half ago, the two brothers moved to their current location on Grand Avenue. Mostly through word of mouth, the business took off once again, he said.

Kool Nails provides multiple services — manicures, pedicures, multiple types of nails, and waxing. Although stereotypically these services are geared toward women, men also regularly come to the spa, he said. Pedicures are the most popular for men.

“It’s hygiene, and it’s part of taking care of yourself,” Tony said. “It’s also nice to get.”

The flooding caused significant damage to the business. Customers and employees were still in the store when it happened, he said. Firefighters smashed a front window with an ax to rescue everyone inside the business, he said.

“We all had to climb out of the window,” Tony said.

The damage was challenging, but they tried to revamp the store with new floors, new tables, new equipment, and new bottles of gel nail polish. Kool Nails reopened only a few weeks ago, but many local customers are coming back, as Kool Nails is easy to spot from the road, Tony said.

Tony also wants to reach out to those customers who were in the store when the flash flood occurred. Nguyen is offering to redo the services for those who were receiving services at the time of the flash flood.

Kool Nails Design & Spa is in 745 N Grand Ave, No. 105.