By Somluck Srimalee
Its new branch, Twinkle Nail & Waxing, will open next month and employ 10 people, NB Academy’s owner and managing director, Tassawan Tangtong, said in an interview with The Nation.
Tassawan, now 31, established her nail-spa business in 2006 after she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from Bangkok’s Sripatum University two years earlier.
"I tried running a nail shop while I was in my third year of the bachelor’s degree programme, but it failed. After I graduated I started to work in a commercial bank," she said.
While working at the bank, Tassawan remained interested in starting her own business. She saved up her earnings and borrowed from her family until she had Bt800,000, enough to open her nail shop. She established Beauty Nail on Vibhavadi Soi 3 near the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
However, soon other nail shops opened in the same area. "I had to integrate all of the marketing tools to attract customers to my shop, such as offering discounts on the Nsoko Deals website, handing out leaflets to promote the shop at the University, and so forth," she said.
She had confidence that once her marketing efforts worked and people came to the shop, they would be impressed with the service and the quality of its products, she said.
Once Beauty Nail was generating average revenue of Bt400,000 a month, Tassawan opened a second branch at Fashion Island on Ram Indra Road called Nail Boutique. She used Bt5 million of her savings to open the second outlet. Eventually she had to close Beauty Nail as her lease expired, but she carried on with Nail Boutique. And next month she will open another branch.
The heavy competition in this business led Tassawan to try to turn competitors into partners. She decided to expand the business from operating a beauty shop to importing and distributing nail products, and also opened an academy to train staff for the nail-beauty business.
Tassawan learned to be a nail-spa trainer from US-based Nail System International. After receiving NSI certification three years ago, she invested Bt20 million to open NB Academy, which also serves as a warehouse for nail and spa products.
"I did not have enough money to set up the academy and had to apply for bank loans. This was the first time I knew that the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation could guarantee my loans from TMB Bank and Kasikornbank," she said.
The company now generates revenue of about Bt5 million a month – Bt1 million from its spa service, Bt1 million from academy, as the rest from distributing nail and spa products.