Woman moves from St. Paul to Albert Lea to open nail salon

Published 9:01 pm Friday, June 16, 2023

By Abigail Chalmers

VT Nails is a young and growing salon nestled in the strip mall near Walmart. Owned and operated by Tami Phim, the business got its start in Albert Lea on April 26 and has been thriving since.

Phim, who previously lived and worked as a nail technician in St. Paul, moved to town with the hopes of starting up her own salon.

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“All of my money is invested here,” Phim said. “Go big or go home, and so far it’s good.”

VT Nails currently employs four experienced nail technicians, including Phim herself, who boasts 30 years of experience in the practice. The salon offers a variety of services, including gel, dip and acrylic manicures and pedicures as well as special designs and acrylic refills and removals. Additionally, children’s manicures and pedicures are available for a reduced cost.

Attractive prices and quality service has earned the salon returning and new customers, Phim said.

“The clients come in, they try, and they love us, and they come back,” she said. “They come back and then they tell more people about us.”

She noted that although four technicians are currently working, the salon is seeking additional help to keep up with the increasing demand for services.

Customer JoAnn Thorson was satisfied with her manicure.

Thorson, who purchased a dip manicure, said that she had initially entered the salon looking for something other than a dip manicure. She said that in her previous experience, her dipped manicures had “looked too thick.”

However, Phim assured her that would not be the case at her salon and reassured her that she would love the final product. Thorson ultimately selected a pink dip for her fingernails and was thrilled with the result.

“I’m very happy,” she said. “I’m very happy for my first time here.”

Fellow manicure customer Mary Kinion echoed Thorson’s praise, commenting on the friendliness of the employees and the aesthetic appeal of the shop.

Phim and her team are dedicated to their customers’ satisfaction from the beginning to the end of the process, conversing with them and catering to their needs however possible. They also take hospitality a step further, adding in the special touch of free drinks for customers, with options like water, Coke, Moscato and red wine.

Appointments can be scheduled by calling 507-369-5669, and walk-in appointments are also welcomed. The salon is located at 2355 Leland Drive and is open from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.