Andy Tran has lived and worked throughout Maine, from Bangor to Portland, but he chose Augusta to raise his family and open his business. After working in nail salons across the state for nearly eight years, Tran and his wife Jenny Nguyen finally saved up enough money to open their own place. When banks denied them loans because the proposal was “too risky,” despite having years of experience and a detailed business plan, the couple had no choice but to raise the funds independently.
“We were really scared when we first opened,” Tran recalled the huge risk they had to take to open their business. “We didn’t know if it was the right move or not. I lost a lot of sleep.” Now, Hollywood Nails is thriving after two years in business, serving a loyal clientele with hopes to expand in the future. Tran chose the name of his salon to bring glamour to the state’s capital city and aims to make each client feel like a celebrity. It’s this attention to detail and quality that keeps returning customers happy.
While Tran and Nguyen enjoy their successful business, it wasn’t easy to arrive at this moment. Tran’s family left Vietnam as refugees in the 1980s. He was too young to remember the details himself, so he relies on the stories his parents have told him.
“Me and my parents took off when I was around six years old. We were on a boat for a couple of years, then we were on a Philippines island, until the U.S. finally opened a refugee camp in California. That’s when I first stepped foot in the U.S.” The family later moved to Massachusetts, where Tran spent most of his life, graduated from High School, and earned his associate’s degree.
In a classic Boston accent, Tran recounted why he loves Maine. As he put it simply, “Mainers are a lot nicer up here than in Massachusetts.” Ten years later, Tran and Nguyen continue their love affair with the pine tree state and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
Visit Hollywood Nails at 198 Western Ave in Augusta.