For nearly 20 years, Capital Nails has been providing area residents with a range of salon services that currently include manicures, pedicures, massages, facials and full body waxing. However, the business, which is located in the Marathon/Admiral building next to Taco Bell on Main Street, specializes in nail art.
Of course, the current COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home order have required the salon to temporarily close its doors. However, that has deterred owner Thao Tran.
“We’re all about positivity,” Tran says. The family-run business has pivoted to provide custom press-on nails that can be applied at home, spa kits and gift cards. Plus, they’ve sewn and donated thousands of cloth masks that are being used by people across the region and even the globe.
Family Business Focused on Customer Satisfaction
Tran’s mother opened Capital Nails shortly after the family emigrated from Vietnam in 2000. “We really liked the schools here,” Tran says, explaining why the family choose to settle in Lowell.
Since then, Capital Nails has become a fixture in town and a go-to place for a variety of salon services. Pre-pandemic, walk-in customers were always welcome but appointments appreciated for services that included eyelash extensions, henna body art and paraffin dips. However, nails have always been at the center of what Capital Nails does. Beyond manicures and pedicures, the salon offers gel nails, acrylic nails, polish services and – one of their specialties – 3-D nail art.
“Our main goal is to be sure everyone goes home 100% happy,” Tran says.
While Tran’s family moved to Lowell for its schools, the community has kept them here ever since. “We love the community so much,” she explains. “We like how everyone sticks together.” Lowell’s community spirit is reflected in how Capital Nails has approached the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now shut the business’s doors for more than a month.
Pivoting to Meet Community Needs
As coronavirus spread across the country, Tran and her family looked for a way they could help. With the news reporting limited supplies of personal protective equipment being available, they decided to pull out their sewing machines and make cloth masks – thousands and thousands of masks.
Tran estimates her family has made somewhere between 4,000-5,000 masks and donated about 2,000 to essential workers and others in need. Photo after photo on the Capital Nails Facebook page show piles of masks that have gone to customers, workers and other people both locally and as far away as Puerto Rico and Italy.
While masks were originally all donated, Tran and her family found themselves dipping into personal funds to pay for the project. Now, they ask for $5 per mask to cover the cost of supplies. Masks can be shipped or porch pick-up is available. Capital Nails is also making hand sanitizer that contains 80% isopropyl alcohol, aloe and essential oils.
Offering At-Home Nail Care
Although in-store service isn’t available, Capital Nails has put together manicure and pedicure kits for customers who want to pamper themselves during this difficult time. Plus, the salon is offering professional press-on nails that can be shipped and applied at home. These can be customized by shape, color, nail art and bling. “Then, [you] can still have fabulous nails,” Tran says.
During the mandated shutdown, Tran and her family have been working to implement changes that will allow them to safely serve customers going forward. For instance, they are installing clear plastic dividers at nail stations. However, until it can re-open, Capital Nails is working to support itself and the community in whatever way it can.”
“It warms our hearts to see that the community is coming together during these tough times,” Tran says. “We appreciate all the love we’ve received, and we’ll continue to do what we can to help for as long as we can.”
In honor of Mother’s Day, Capital Nails is giving away 10 nail kits and gift certificates on its Facebook page. Manicure and pedicure kits, sugar scrubs and gift certificates can also be purchased as gifts with pick-up options available.
All photos courtesy of Capital Nails.