That’s because after more than 18 years as a manicurist in Mill Valley, including stints at Espirit Salon, Le Salon and most recently Salon Maddison, Huynh’s reputation precedes her. And she’s got an abundance of people to champion her talents.
So although Huynh has taken the leap of a lifetime in opening her own Serenity Nail Salon this week at 384 Miller Avenue, the former home of Soles 384 adjacent to Joe’s Taco Lounge, it's clear that the normal risk of a first-time small business owner is lessened by her loyal following.
Just ask them.
“I have followed Hong around Mill Valley,” says longtime Mill Valley resident Diane Martin as she awaited her manuicure at Serenity. “I won’t go anywhere else. Anyone who has ever had a manicure from her will do the same. She's just amazing.”
Jeannette Farrell, a hair designer at the At the Top Salon in downtown, agrees. “I’ve been in this industry for 21 years and this is the best manicure you’ll ever have,” she says, recounting a time that she couldn’t decide between two colors of polish so Huynh simply alternated them across her toes. “Now everybody does that.”
Huynh, a Novato resident who moved to the Bay Area from her native Vietnam two decades ago, worked at the popular Espirit Salon in Strawberry for five years, and when it closed, she moved on to Le Salon on East Blithedale Ave., keeping the lion’s share of her Espirit clients and staying there for 10 years. When Le Salon closed, Huynh took her following to Maddison on Miller Avenue.
But over the past few years, Huynh has had an itch to open her own place, and she seized on the availability of the 384 Miller space.
“I have been wanting to do my own thing for a while,” she says. “I have had so many supportive clients over the years and I just want to pay them back now by creating a nice, relaxing space where they can come and forget about all of the troubles of the world.”
Huynh has brought her sister Ana, a fellow longtime manicurist, to Serenity with her.
“I’m very excited to give my clients great care in a quiet, spa atmosphere,” Huynh says.
The 411: Hong Huynh’s Serenity Nail Salon is located at 384 Miller Avenue, in between Joe’s Taco Lounge and the Hot Spot Salon. Serenity is open Monday-Saturday, 10am-7pm. Stop by or call 415.246.7260 for an appointment. Here's a look inside the just opened space: