From nail art to chrome gel extensions, Trieu Nails has it all. We talk to owner Lynn Trieu about her journey from 18-year-old takeaway owner to launching her own nail empire.
Based in Globe Town next to NOLA, Lynn Trieu’s Nail salon is different to most other nail bars. When you step inside the salon, it feels far more like a hip New York cocktail bar than a traditional nail bar.
As you walk in, the first thing you see is a bar selling Prosecco and wine, and a playlist that creates a chilled vibe. Exposed brickwork is complemented by floor-to-ceiling wall tiles and comfy chairs piled high with sumptuous cushions replace the plastic benches of traditional nail bars.
‘We wanted to change who our customer base was’ explains Trieu. ‘Before the renovation, we appealed to a massive range of people but I wanted to create a service that would appeal to the young, working professionals moving into the area. Our interior design, the specialist services and the customer experience you get here all reflect that.’
Trieu is an experienced businesswoman, having set up her first business at the age of 18. She first ventured into the nail industry 12 years ago, with Red Hot Nails, a salon in the same space that Trieu Nails is in today.
A Bethnal Green local, the East End is of huge importance to Trieu and her brand. ‘I’m an East End girl’ she explains. ‘I’ve lived my whole life in the East End, and I love our community. I go to Roman Road Market almost every week to pick up bits and bobs. Lamas Pyjamas is a pretty great charity shop.’
As part of the rebranding in 2016, Trieu decided to rename her brand. ‘Trieu is a family surname. Translated from Vietnamese, it means millions, and I just thought that was a great name, especially because of how it sounds in English’ she explains. (Trieu is pronounced the same as true).
‘After running a Chinese takeaway with my brother when I was younger, I wanted to do something creative, and found a passion in nails’ says Trieu. ‘Creativity is at the heart of the nail industry.’
Her passion for her work is evident – her team of four nail technicians all have a high base level of skill as well as a specialist field of interest in acrylics, UV gel, gel powder, or shellac and chrome polish. ‘It is very important for us to be at the forefront of trends within the nail industry’ says Trieu.
‘We constantly keep up to date with new products and make sure that we have employees who excel in these areas. My particular passion is for acrylics, but everyone has different strengths. We all love nail art, and everyone who works here has to be able to complete a high standard of basic nail art’ she explains.
One of these new products is UV gel – a new, lightweight type of nail extension that has a particularly high shine finish to it. SNS (Signature Nail System) manicures are the only nail products imbued with vitamins, helping to strengthen and treat the nail at the same time as providing a classic looking nail extension.
As well as nail extensions and traditional manicures and pedicures, Trieu Nails offers a range of other treatments including some waxing and eyelash and eyebrow tints.
These treatments aren’t just for women, and Trieu explains that although ‘most of our customers are city girls, we do have some gentlemen coming in for manicures and pedicures. I think it is a pretty nice way for couples to spend some quality time together relaxing.’
For Trieu, the quality of experience she provides is what sets her apart from other salons. ‘I really care about the experience that people have in my salon. If the customer isn’t happy, I’m not happy’ she says. The desire for customer satisfaction is part of the reason that Trieu Nails offer a guarantee that if your nail breaks within the first week, you can return and have it fixed free of charge.
As part of their offering, Trieu Nails can be used for hen parties and birthdays. ‘It’s always a great laugh when we get a group of girls in for a party’ says Trieu. ‘It’s our responsibility to make sure everyone enjoys themselves and although we try to stop people getting too drunk because of health and safety, there have been a few occasions where girls have ended up with their false eyelashes hanging off.’
The party packages include food and drinks for each guest, and a nail treatment, and start at £50 per head.
Trieu Nails are no stranger to the limelight, and previous clients include singer Kele Le Roc and Big Brother’s Nadia Almada.
The salon is not Trieu’s only venture – she has also released her own brand of nail varnish which she sells in store and online. ‘We created a brush that is really fat so that it is easy for people to paint their own nails’ she explains.
Apart from nails, Trieu is moving into the world of Youtube vlogging. Although some of her videos will look at the world of beauty and nails, she wants to create an online space, other than Instagram, through which she can share her life experiences with other girls and women. It hasn’t launched yet, but watch this space…
Other nail bars on Roman Road
Sensational Nails, 020 8983 4365, 345 Roman Rd
Five Star Nails, 020 8980 2991, 522 Roman Rd
Roman Nails London, 020 8089 5441, 475 Roman Rd
When you’ve finished getting pampered by Trieu Nails, head to the London Buddhist Centre to match your inner wellbeing to your outer wellbeing.