Katie (Hue Tran) and Jessie (Uyen Tran – no relation) were both born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States for different reasons. Katie, born in the Northern portion of the country, came over in 1996 and enrolled at the City College of San Francisco with the sole purpose of learning English. She spent two and half years there before moving to Connecticut to be closer to friends. She loved the snow in New England and was not bothered by the frigid temperatures. As a child, her home was not heated and she wore multiple layers of sweaters to avoid freezing. She quickly became the owner of two nail salons in Connecticut and spent a decade living and working there. In 2009 she decided to move to the D.C. area again to be closer to friends and for new opportunities. 

Jessie was born in the southern part of Vietnam and came to the United States in 2002 with her husband. For seven years, she owned “Viet Crystal Chantilly,” a Vietnamese Restaurant in Virginia. Her marriage did not last and she moved back to Vietnam. She continued to own and operate a restaurant in Vietnam while she was there. She missed the United States and decided to move back but make a major career change. Instead of owning a restaurant, she decided to pursue a career as a Nail Technician.

In 2017, Jessie was introduced to Katie by mutual friends. The two discovered they had a lot in common and wanted to go into business together. Their good fortune was realized when they saw that Lavish Nail Spa in Cleveland Park was for sale. The previous owner Iris (Phuong Phan) met them very late at night in Cleveland Park to show them the salon. Jessie and Katie loved the location so much that they decided to put down a deposit first thing the next morning. 

They both love the clean roads and sidewalks in Cleveland Park and are particularly fond of the small restaurants and grocery stores. Katie is a frequent customer at her favorite store, Yes! Organic Market. Katie especially loves hearing the sounds of people talking that drift into Lavish Nail Spa from the roof of Cleveland Park Bar and Grill. It makes her smile to imagine how much fun everyone is having on that roof. But the thing both Jessie and Katie love more than anything is seeing how happy their customers are after they have had their nails painted. Knowing they have brought some beauty and joy into someone else’s life makes them smile.

Although they will both be working this Lunar New Year, they have plans to decorate Lavish Nail Spa with a variety of traditional flowers. To bring good luck, they will wear red on the first day of the Lunar New Year and eat a sweet Vietnamese rice concoction called Banh Chung. If they were still in Vietnam, they would visit loved ones starting with the oldest people and working their way down to younger relatives and friends. Hopefully they will be able to call their family and friends and tell them all about the newest chapter in their lives in Cleveland Park. 

Lavish Nail Spa

3416 Connecticut Ave NW

Washington, DC 20008

(202) 506-5655