Tu “Tina” Nguyen-Gagnon opened Tina’s Nails at 984 Sabattus St. in Lewiston this month after working as a nail technician for other salons for years. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — Tu “Tina” Nguyen-Gagnon moved to the U.S. from Vietnam in 2005 and went to school in Augusta the next year to be a nail technologist.

After a decade-plus working at local salons, she just became her own boss.

Nguyen-Gagnon opened Tina’s Nails at 984 Sabattus St. in Lewiston this month.

“About two years ago, the thought was in my head to open my own business, but I guess I was too scared to try,” she said.

Her husband, John, along with family, friends and customers convinced her to try.

The former Gallant Therapy space needed plumbing, electric work, flooring and paint. She installed seven pedicure chairs and eight manicure tables.


“I had to buy everything new, supplies, equipment, so needless to say I have a small fortune invested in my new salon,” she said. “At times it was very stressful and scary, especially doing this in times like this. But after the salon was all done, ready to open and looks so beautiful, I feel better.”

Nguyen-Gagnon has three employees. The salon offers pedicures, manicures, gel nails, acrylics nails and dip.

She said she’s felt loved by the support from old and new customers.

“(We) want everyone to be satisfied and happy, to feel like family, not a number to be waited on next,” she said. “I hope to have my daughter, who is now 11 years old, and who is very interested in my work, to join me someday in this business.”

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or [email protected]

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