The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

Student CEO Ange Nguyen explains how she operates her business, Nails by Ange

During third period, Ange Nguyen hands Carmela Benson her order after finishing the set. Nguyen created the set in an hour and a half, using a reference photo Benson provided. Nguyen charged Benson $24 for the nails. Photo by Kiera Gregory.

Every morning, junior Angel Nguyen unlocks her phone and is flooded with Instagram DM’s from potential buyers who are interested in her nail business. Her clients are from all over Placer County, but they have one thing in common. They are looking for local, quality nails at an affordable price, and Nguyen strives to meet their standards by putting in hours for each design.

Nguyen officially began her business last month as more people began to ask her to do their nails. Her popularity rose when students were looking for Winter Formal nails. Nguyen adapted, increasing production by switching to press-on nails, which she said are more time-efficient.

“Press-ons are easy to make because I just paint and design the nail and I don’t have to worry about gluing it on or prepping their fingers or anything,” Nguyen said.

Using Instagram, Nguyen is able to take photos of her designs and post them on @ange.nguyen_. As her content appears on her followers’ feeds and spreads through word of mouth, Ange is able to generate more customers daily. 

Nguyen’s close friend Presley Ries has been there from the beginning and has seen the business grow exponentially through February and March.

“She takes different kinds of clients, like not even just from Whitney but from Rocklin and other schools too, so that has really grown her work,” Ries said. “I knew she always liked having nice, well maintained and pretty nails so [her being good at nail art] wasn’t really a shock. But, I’ve only seen her do it on herself, so it was cool seeing her start up an actual business.” 

Since her business is mostly communicated through online orders and social media, Nguyen uses the “Coin Method” in order to size each customer’s nails correctly. The strategy is for the buyer to take a picture of their fingers and thumb next to a quarter from a bird’s eye point of view, as she uses the coin as a guide for shaping their nails. The quarter’s size is roughly equivalent to the size and shape of a well-proportioned nail. This method is common among nail technicians who work through online sites. 

“I remember seeing [the Coin Method] online somewhere a long time ago. When I got my first order from someone who I couldn’t size in real life, I [used a coin] and it was much more helpful [than other methods],” Nguyen said.

Carmela Benson, along with many others, purchased different types of nails from Nguyen. Benson originally found Nguyen’s work from a story posted on Instagram and quickly asked if Nguyen could design her a set of press-ons. 

Nails are really popular, especially crazy styles, and the fact that someone in our area can do that, it’s a cool thing,” Benson said.

Nguyen’s prices range from $10-$33 depending on her system of tier designs. There are three tiers in total. The first tier is a flat design with a solid color, which ranges from $10-$11 dollars. The second tier is a flat design with the addition of simple nail art, such as small bows or hearts. These nails cost about $12-$15 dollars. The last tier includes more detailed designs with decorations/charms or any 3D art. Nguyen decides these prices based on whether each nail requires a different design, the amount of charms and decorations used and how complex the nail art is. Tier three nails usually go for sale at around $15-$33 dollars. 

“It’s a lot cheaper [to buy from Nguyen] and also she’s one of my friends, so I like to support her,” Benson said. 

With the income from her business, Nguyen can fund her own supplies. She hand-packages every order, and even sprinkles in some stickers and a small note. Customers have the opportunity to get a pack of mystery press-ons for a discounted price as a way for Nguyen to practice. Rather than the buyer choosing the design, Nguyen repeats different types of styles and patterns as a way to improve her skills while still making some money. 

“I buy everything myself and with my own money. I’ve spent over $400 dollars on polishes, charms, glitters, nail tips and equipment,” Nguyen said.

To purchase from Nguyen’s business, DM @ange.nguyen_ on Instagram, or visit her website, nailsbyange.botique

“I’ve been trying to make a website to showcase my nails like a gallery of some sort,” Nguyen said. “Hopefully, I can do it on the side for a while until college, but we’ll see what happens. I’ll always have the skill anyway, even if I don’t do it [in college].” 



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