We had the good fortune of connecting with Mai Lam and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mai, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Covid has helped us solidify our belief in the importance of self care and grooming. Being able to clean yourself up while spending an intimate and regularly schedule time with your service provider is arguably therapeutic, on top of helping you look and feel polished. For us, grooming and personal services should be deemed essential. We believe it is a necessary element to feeling good when you take care of your body in those small ways, which in turn helps the community as a whole feel healthier.   

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Oh, Mai Joy! Nail Art Studio is a non-toxic nail art studio in Long Beach. Co-founded by women of color, Mai Lam (Cambodian/Vietnamese) and Joy Jalapit (Filipino-American) realized Long Beach needed a quality nail art boutique.  It had been nothing more than an idea in October of 2019, but with hard work, the two opened their studio March 1st, unknowingly aware of the impending pandemic.  2 weeks into March, the studio was shut down for three months. After re-opening in June for another 2 weeks only to be closed by July, then open again in October. It was a roller coaster, to say the least. After a few more “soft” openings, we quickly found that the community were in desperate need of a quality manicure. One where they really needed to feel safe. They were so excited to have a place like us. The feedback from our clientele has been incredibly inspiring. We’ve met so many cool people with unique stories to share about their 2020 experience and it really made us bond with our community.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Definitely Signal Hill to show off the sunset. Good eats at the Hippea or Ammatoli’s in downtown LB for lunch, and stroll around the East Village. Venture into Ktown for dinner or the OCBuena Park for KBBQ or Hot Pot.. Simmzy’s or Sushi at AI on Second Street are great spots too. Mornings at Rosie’s Dog Beach or Colorado Lagoon in LB. In the Summer, head to Naples for some water sports.  

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The owners of Salon Row, Jen Hawkins and Blake Nyman and Louisa Lawless who have supported us tremendously during this pandemic. Thanks to their amazing advice and encouragement, we would not have made it through these closures. A huge thanks also to Dayna Mance of Prism Boutique for providing us with an online following and continued virtual and business support during the wildest opening year, 2020. Without all of their help, Oh, Mai Joy! would’ve been a mere pipe dream.

Instagram: @ohmaijoy
Facebook: Oh, Mai Joy! Nail Art Studio
Yelp: Oh, Mai Joy! Nail Art Studio

Image Credits
Joy Jalapit and Mai Lam

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