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Nice nails, ugly biz

Report uncovers the dark side of the nail salon business

By WITW Staff on May 7, 2015

The New York Times has published a startling report on the nail salon business in New York City, and the ugly reality that working in it presents for employees. The New York City area is the manicure capital of America, the Times notes. It has more far more salons per capita than either L.A. or San Francisco, the two cities with the closest volume of salons. There are many stories of exploitation and abuse. One such tale focuses on Qing Lin, a 47-year-old manicurist. Lin “has worked on the Upper East Side for the last 10 years, [and] still gets emotional when recounting the time a splash of nail polish remover marred a customer’s patent Prada sandals. When the woman demanded compensation, the $270 her boss pressed into the woman’s hand came out of the manicurist’s pay. Ms Lin was asked not to return. ‘I am worth less than a shoe,’ she said,” in a passage from the Times story. It’s a fascinating and dispiriting look at what is a ubiquitous part of New York culture. Be sure to click through a read the story in its entirety.

Read the full story at The New York Times.