Pride Takeover: Melly Nguyen
Our month of highlighting nail influencers, nail pros, and salon owners within the LGBTQ community continues with the fabulous Melly Nguyen. She’s a nail professional based in Denver and we’re obsessed with the unique nail art she creates. Her work encapsulates her fearlessness and originality, which is why we had to hear her thoughts on all things nails.
Hi Melly! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
Hey OPI! I LOVE everything nails (I practically eat, sleep, breathe it!). I am a soon-to-be salon owner in Denver, CO. I have a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology. Besides nails I love to travel and go on food adventures with my wife every chance we get.
When did you start becoming passionate about nails? Was there someone in your life who inspired you to start a career in nails?
About 5 years ago, I found my “Aha” moment. A customer came in and showed me a photo of a “lace” sticker design and told me she wanted all 10 nails drawn exactly like it. I had never drawn anything like that on nails and told her I couldn’t guarantee it. When I compared her nails and the photo at the end, it looked exactly the same and BOOM I never stopped since! My family has been in the nail industry for over 25 years and I just so happen to fall into my family footsteps.
When did you know it was time to start your own salon?
Exactly one year ago I remembered that I wanted to be more than just fueling my own passion. I wanted to fuel others. I wanted to build a salon and have a team where I could build their futures and share my growth and knowledge along the way.
What’s your most requested nail art? What was your favorite nail art look you created?
Linework! Almost every client I work on has some form of freestyle line design. It is DEFINITELY the “Melly Special” top request. One of my favorite pieces of nail art I have done thus far is a face portrait painting. It is definitely a challenging piece to figure out proportions and shading but MOST rewarding.
Where or who do you look to for nail art inspiration?
What would you tell your younger, less confident self? What hurdles did you have to jump to work towards your career?
Do what you love, be consistent and don’t give up! Honestly, I got my Bachelor’s of Science in Biology degree just to prove to my family that I could do it but I never had the love for it. When I first started doing nails, I definitely did not know anything. I self-taught myself most of all I know, branched out, took financial risks and was able to brand myself. I can definitely thank my wife for pushing me out of my comfort zone and to get me where I am at.
What are you doing to celebrate Pride Month?
I will be at Denver Pridefest with all 10 nails blinged out!
Where can our followers see more of you?
You can always find me on my Instagram @mainstream_nails and watch our progress in the makings of Mainstream Nails!
You can learn more about Melly on her website here, and keep coming back to our blog to see our spotlights of different members of the LGBTQ community every week!