We had the good fortune of connecting with Jen Wong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jen, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Up until I started my press-on nail business, I was so afraid of risk. I was in a traumatic accident when I was 21 years old and that shifted my perspective on life drastically. I went from being carefree and outgoing to reserved and timid. It wasn’t until this past year that I’ve learned how this traumatic accident has affected my life. Until I was able to realize this, I felt trapped and stuck in my life and career. As I’ve been working on this trauma through therapy, I decided within a couple of weeks that I wanted to start a small business. That has been the biggest risk I’ve ever taken in my life but I am probably the happiest I have ever been. Starting a small business has helped me work through my trauma more than I would have expected and has boosted my confidence. Without risk, I wouldn’t be the woman I am becoming. This has inspired me to take another risk, which I am looking forward to taking my business even further, by pursuing to become a nail technician. Without this small business, I don’t think I would have been able to explore this side of my career. I am learning to be comfortable with risk because it has opened the door for new opportunities.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My small business is named Tangled Collective Nails and I make press-on nails. I absolutely love being in this business because I want to make people feel good and give them any type of confidence I can. I love that there are so many different techniques to achieve different but similar results in this industry. I am able to cater each design to something I would personally wear myself. I don’t make the most lavish nails but I aim to make wearable everyday press-on nails. Since my business is new, I can’t wait to see where this goes in a few years and how my style will continue to evolve with the trends.
My journey to becoming this small business owner has been challenging. I started out getting a BFA in graphic design. I went on to get my certification in UX design. I sat on my certification for about 3 years before deciding that I wanted to leave that life behind. I have always had an interest in beauty, nails, and skincare. Whenever I talked about my career, I wanted to end up in that industry no matter what. After starting this business, I’ve decided to pursue becoming a licensed nail technician along with continuing to grow my business! The main challenge I had to overcome was realizing that the career I had originally chosen was not for me. I was too stubborn to admit this and tried to keep myself from feeling this way about it. I started learning more about myself when I started therapy for an accident I was in and how the trauma from that is still affecting my life to this day. Learning that it’s ok to ask for help and to lean on people when you need is important. It is important to be uncomfortable in order to find the courage to try to do something else. I decided to pursue what makes me happy and it took me a few years to realize what I really wanted but I am here now!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love LA so much, I feel like I could go on forever with this list. I tried to keep it short but it’s so hard and I am still missing so many places to eat. Eating is probably my favorite activity to do with anyone that visits. There is so much good food that comes and goes in LA.
Places to visit:
Hollywood Farmers Market
Mickey hargitay plants
Places to eat/drink:
Cassel’s – I love their onion rings
Cha Bei Bei boba
Met Her at a Bar – best chicken & waffles
Taste of LA event – so much fun!
My favorite bars:
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to give a shout out to my boyfriend, my family, and my friends! They have all always been extremely supportive in anything I have done and it means the world to me!
Other: tiktok: @tangledco.nails