Interview #001 : The Straits Times

12:11:00 AM

Well it really surprise me when the straits reporter called me ~
I was like .. ah ... ah .. ok .. ok.
when i hung up .. i was like woohoo!! 
Thanks Karen for lending me your home for the shoot.
Here was the nails i did for her. Classic glittery french =)

Here's the article i found on ASIAONE net.
Ive extracted out the part that mention home nail salon only.

Full article can be found at

Home salons doing pretty well
By Elizabeth Soh & Gwendolyn Ng

TO KEEP up appearances in tough times, many women are cancelling the costly beautician or hairdresser in town and opting for cut-price pampering at home salons.
Backyard beauty parlours have bloomed in recent months, with many reporting a 30 per cent rise in the number of clients as budget-conscious customers beat a path to their doors. Some have even seen customer numbers double since the economic crunch hit.

From about 40 home salons here last October, mostly run out of living rooms in HDB flats and specially refurbished rooms in landed homes, there are now estimated to be more than 100 such chic-on-the-cheap home salons. They tend to offer a bit of everything - haircuts for $5 to $12, aromatherapy massages for $65 to $85, and manicures and pedicures for $34 to $50.
Unlike their predecessors, which were often synonymous with housewives looking to make some pocket money, this new breed of home salons is run by trained professionals with at least two years of experience in the industry.

It's not just home hairdressing that is enjoying a boom. Nail services are also thriving. They involve virtually no start-up costs so many younger nail technicians, discouraged by sky-high rents, have set up shop at home, where they can start making profits almost immediately.
Miss Rebecca Chuang, 26, a medical technologist who runs Secret Chamber Nails Home Salon from a four-room HDB flat in Tampines with her twin, Patricia, says: 'Starting up is very simple, just a range of good polishes, tools and basins for pedicures.'

They have been providing this home service part-time since 2006, after taking a part-time diploma course in nail technology. Since the recession started, takings have doubled from $200 to $400 a month.

'It's mainly because we charge very competitive prices and offer many other little perks like hand and foot massages and serve floral tea,' says Miss Chuang. The sisters charge $34 for a classic manicure and pedicure, which costs up to $70 in commercial salons. They even do housecalls for an extra $10 to $25, depending on location.

A regular customer, administration executive Karen Ong, 26, says: 'Previously, before I found out about the twins, I would pay about $25 for just a manicure outside. Now I can do both a manicure and a pedicure with a $10 top-up. The price is really attractive.'
Five out of the six home nail salons The Straits Times contacted have seen a similar 30 per cent spike in business since the recession hit.

Beyond the prices, many customers are also attracted by the convenience.

'The recession has given people the push to try alternatives they might have been previously cautious of, like home beauty parlours, to stretch their dollar,' she says.
But the Consumers Association of Singapore advises first-time customers of home beauty salons to exercise caution if asked to buy stored-value packages as these businesses can 'close down' as and when they wish.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

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