• Oliver Scott

AAPI Owned Small Biz Feature: Charme Nails & Skin Studio

Right off Pacific on a strip of local small businesses here in Tacoma, you might have spotted Charme Nails & Skin Studio. It's a cozy & beautiful downtown nail salon in a walkable area of shops and restaurants. They only use good-for-you techniques and products in that, they don't use water in their salon and they don't offer damaging acrylics either.

"Even if jet tubs are cleaned properly or have liners, bacteria can hide in the filtering system and then make its way back into the tub. It also means we are not using harsh chemicals to sterilize tubs or bowls and we are able to conserve thousands of gallons of water per year. Waterless is better for you and the environment."

They also use a medical-grade autoclave to sanitize their instruments and open them in front of each client, so you know it wasn't used on someone else right before you. This is the future of nail care.

We attended this past weeks' Asian & Pacific Islander Owned Business Empowerment panel hosted by the City of Tacoma and the owner of Charme, Martina Ngo, had such an interesting story we just had to share it.

"I am the first in my family to be born in America. My nationality is Vietnamese and Chinese. Both my parents escaped Vietnam after the war in hopes to have a better life here in America. They arrived here with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They have instilled in me that for everything they’ve gone through providing for family is most important, which has made me very humble.

Martina got her start offering nail services in retirement communities for seniors. She had a few different rotating locations that kept her busy. After a while, she began offering an in-home mobile service and it led to her eventually opening her own brick-and-mortar shop. She still offers mobile services too!

"I visit all types of clients for a multitude of reasons: on bed rest, in a wheelchair, elderly, no means of transportation, pregnant, super busy, or even lazy (no shame in the lazy game, sometimes we just want things done as conveniently as possible!), whatever your reason is, our diabetic friendly nail services can be done however our client is most comfortable whether that’s on the couch, in bed, at the dining room table, etc."

There's also a blog on their website that's incredibly informative and quite funny too! One, in particular, was an April fool's post that jokes about the new and improved "medical manicure" which is just a trick some salons are using to make you feel like you're getting a "healthy nail treatment". Read that post here.

ANNNND the final amazing perk about going to Charme Studio...there's shop puppies there. (Drops microphone)

We just wanted to give major kudos to Martina for offering an innovative perspective on how to run a healthy, client-first focused business. She sets the bar high against her competitors.

We look forward to watching Charme continue to grow and succeed as Tacoma flourishes as a destination city in Washington.

Urban Business Support



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