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Conversations with the Inspiring Cheryl Twu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cheryl Twu.

Cheryl, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After moving from the East coast to this beautiful city of Los Angeles in 2017, I began a search for all of the necessities when settling down in a new place: a gym, go-to grocery store, doctor’s office, dentist office, hair salon, and you guessed – nail salon! After spending a year getting my nails done on the west side of LA where all of the “Instagrammable” and modern spots live, I decided that it was time that someone brought a fun, fresh, unique, and colorful nail shop to our very own Pasadena, and that is how Yunikon Nail Bar came into fruition. “Yunikon” comes from the Japanese word for “unicorn”, which is what I aim for us to be!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I cannot tell you how hard this journey has been, and continues to be. Every step of the way, there has been some sort of major challenge or setback, and for a period of time, there were and sometimes still are, only bad days, or very very bad days where I cry myself to sleep.

I’ll be frank – money becomes an issue (people have told me that opening a retail business is a cash drainer, but I did not realize how much so!), finding the right employees is a problem (I’m so lucky to have finally found an extremely strong and kind staff), customer service (as in any industry) is difficult, and competition is always fierce.

Even with all that, my advice to young people (especially my ladies!) considering or starting out their own business is to absolutely go for it because it will be the most rewarding experience of your life. You have to make sacrifices and take risks to be great. When you do hit any ups-and-downs along the way, don’t give up (like I’ve wanted to so many times) and always remember that every business owner who has ever opened anything has probably gone through the exact thing, yet look at how many thriving businesses there are out there.

As a small business owner, you will also meet some of the most wonderful people who share your challenges, and become good friends, helping build each other along the way. For example, Lilian Hsyu of Just Merried Events in the San Gabriel Area is absolutely one of the kindest, hardest working, and most loving individuals I’ve ever met after opening my salon. Another one of my now good friends is Robert Phan of MK Builders in the Los Angeles area who helped me build out my salon, and he is one of the most determined and pleasant people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. I probably would never have met them if not for Yunikon Nail Bar.

At the end of the day, when you sit back and see what you’ve created and all of the networks you’ve made, you’ll feel proud that you’ve accomplished something great, and it really makes everything worth it.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
This comes to a surprise to a lot of people, but my background is actually in finance and marketing, and I spent a lot of time working at a large corporate firm in New York City after graduating from business school. I attribute my consulting experience to helping me get where I am today with Yunikon Nail Bar because that experience has allowed me to budget and project financials, run the strategic side of my business, find ways to market my business in innovative ways, amongst many, many other things.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
I think 2019 has been the absolute best year for women. For the first time ever, it feels like the world is actually our oyster and we can achieve anything. We have had a lot of strong female figures speaking out about gender inequality and sharing struggles of past injustice, and we are finally being heard! For this reason, I think it is especially a good time for our ladies to follow their dreams and chase opportunities. We are starting to see a stronger community of women, who are supporting each other, loving each other, and helping each other grow. When you have such a solid network around you, there is just no limit to your achievements.

Pricing:

  • Yunikon Classic Manicure and Pedicure – $45
  • Yunikon Rose Milk and Honey Pedicure – $65
  • Yunikon Classic Gel Manicure – $40

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Yunikon Nail Bar

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