What does “people-first” mean? It means that we take care of our technicians and they, then, pass this level of care to our customers. We believe that by creating an environment where workers are treated and paid fairly, our technicians will want to stay and grow with us.
In terms of creating a business to elevate the nail industry, owner Krystal Le knew that the name represents the mission. When asked about the choice to name the salon, Le said, “I basically think about 7 am as the beginning of the day when people wake up. [Beyond that], 7 am Nails Salon opens with the mission to elevate the nail industry. That’s like the beginning of the journey for us.”
For employees, 7 am represents a team-first atmosphere where each individual’s financial, mental, physical wellbeing is supported. We do not work with harsh chemicals nor with acrylics, so our technicians do not have to risk their health to work here.
Employees Sylvia has worked in the nail industry for seven years and has experienced first-hand the 7 am difference. When asked about the biggest differences between 7am and other salons, she stated that the cleanliness, community support, and involvement of the owners is unparalleled.
“We would go weeks without seeing the owners and employees fight over customers and rush to get them in and out. It was all about the money at other salons. At 7 am, Tam and Krystal are on top of everything and always check in.”
Sylvia also spoke at length about the quality of the products at 7am versus the ones used at other salons, stating “the dipping powder would make me sick for weeks, affect my breathing, and the acrylic polish would burn through my gloves.”
Unfortunately, the chemicals used in conventional polishes put both employees and customers at risk for respiratory issues, fertility issues, and cause damage to the skin. Many salons also lack ventilation systems and safety equipment, leading to eye problems, asthma, and reproductive issues for many workers, and there is a lack of enforcement and consequences to prioritize workers’ and customers’ health (Teen Vogue, 2019).
All polishes and products at 7 am are never tested on animals and free of animal byproducts and formulated with vegan alternatives for carmine, guanine, urea, stearic acid, lanolin, glycerin, collagen, and beeswax. They are free from the 21 most toxic chemicals found in polishes and use eco-conscious materials and facilitates that prioritize sustainable packaging & shipping.
Monica is another 7 am employee who has been there from the beginning and started as a first-time nail technician. She commented on the owners being so kind and patient during the training process.
From 7 am to 7:30 pm, employees can enjoy a safe, non-toxic environment that prioritizes a culture of caring and purpose. These core principles act as the foundation from which 7 am can grow and expand the vision. We are excited to watch them as they continue to elevate the nail industry!