MOUNT PLEASANT — Racine Nails, located in the Village Center Plaza with Festival Foods and Kohl’s, is a new family-owned nail salon that opened mid-August.
The salon is owned by Anna and Simon Nguyen, a Vietnamese couple who came to the Racine area from Waukesha, and is managed by Arcelia Zertuche alongside nail technician Zoe Clarke. The Nguyens’ 18-month-old Andrew may also be seen rolling around the lobby and smiling at customers.
The original opening date for the salon was sometime in the spring, but minor challenges with keeping the building up to codes that were changing pushed the date to August. Its soft opening was held in mid-August.
The salon offers traditional manicure and pedicure services, and some waxing options. However, their pedicure services — which are tucked in the back of the salon, near relaxing waterfalls and in dim lighting with spa music in the background — are one of a kind, said Zertuche.
“I don’t know of any other nail salons that offer that kind of relaxing, peaceful environment that we do for our pedicures,” she said.
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As such, the pedicure services are called, “Peaceful Escape” for a basic pedicure with a hot massage; “Chasing Paradise” for a pedicure with a sugar scrub and hot massage; or “Gates of Heaven” with all of the above and hot stones.
The salon employs about 11 technicians with room for more, but Zertuche and Clarke said that they like the spaciousness of the salon.
“I often get that (customers) like that we’re not rushing them out the door,” said Clarke, who has been a nail technician since early 2020.
“We just want to make sure we give that one-on-one time with the client,” Zertuche said.
The pair also acknowledged it can be a bit challenging to attract attention and clients as a new salon, especially when clients often have their go-to.
“They’re like, ‘I’m scared to leave this person,’” Clarke said. “And we’ll say, ‘Just try it. Maybe you’ll like the experience.’”
With a family at the helm of the new business, Clarke and Zertuche said that although they’re not related, it definitely feels like working with family. “We have a lot of fun,” Zertuche said.
“We do everything here like family,” said Simon Nguyen. “We do everything for customers and make sure they’re comfortable.”
Five stories of Racine County residents who chased their dreams in 2021
We all have dreams. The five stories in this collection are of Racine County residents who followed theirs in 2021.
When I was a little girl, on my list of dreams, I wanted to become a teacher, a fashion designer and open a Filipino restaurant with my brother as the head chef and my sister as the waitress, and I would be the hostess. I dreamt of being a movie star.
As you grow older, your dreams change, and in the past year I've spent reporting for the Journal Times, I've been able to fulfill one of the more realistic things on my list: hearing and sharing the stories of real people. And it was most fun for me to hear the stories of real people who achieved their dreams, despite how the last year still living amid the pandemic has challenged us all.
Some Racine County residents chased dreams from their childhood, like Elle Maru, who dreamt of becoming an artist since she was a little girl and has now published two books.
Some residents dreamt of commemorating and bettering the community. Alex Hanesakda opened SapSap restaurant to tell the stories of refugees like his family through his food; Pastor Bill Thompkins wanted to honor the black families who migrated to this area for a better future during the Civil Rights movement; and finally, teenage Isaiah Lambert wanted to end gun violence by starting a basketball league that promoted brotherhood and mentorship.
Some dreams rose from the ashes, like Deon'Te and LaShaya Cottinghams' of opening a new clothing store after trials that left their family homeless.
Every dream, big or small, can mean a lot to us. Hopefully, reading these stories from people you may know in the community is a sign for you to follow yours.
Elle Maru has written and illustrated two books since graduating from Carthage College in the summer, but didn't think she would become an artist.
SapSap finally opened its new, permanent location at 2343 Mead St. on Thursday, where the restaurant will continue to spread its message of love and healing through "delicious delicious" food — SapSap directly translate to meaning "delicious-delicious" in Laotian.
Nehemiah Gardens' founder and main coordinator for the new exhibit, Pastor Bill Thompkins, said he is looking for more names to fill the walls with, which he envisions will one day have several thousand names. The purpose of the new exhibit is to "remember, honor and celebrate" those black migrants.
Isaiah Lambert had an idea in May, after the killings of Dontrell Bush and Marcus Caldwell, to fight gun violence in Racine with basketball. On Sunday, that dream became a reality as the Put The Guns Down Basketball Association tipped off.
The name "Regal Society Lifestyle" comes from owners LaShaya and Deon'Te Cottinghams' belief that everyone is either a king or queen, and should wear a crown — whether that crown is self-confidence, strength or another symbol of power.