ADELE PHAM | #NAILEDIT: VIETNAMESE & THE NAIL INDUSTRY
#NailedIt: Vietnamese & The Nail Industry is a feature-length documentary about the genesis of the Vietnamese nail salon and its influence on the $8 billion dollar nail economy. Our story begins at a refugee camp in Weimar, CA in late April 1975, where twenty South Vietnamese women and their families have fled after the fall of Saigon. Here at “Hope Village”, actress Tippi Hedren volunteers to teach the women how to survive in America. When the class comments on her long, brightly colored nails, an idea is hatched and Tippi becomes the portal through which the first twenty Vietnamese American manicurists enter the world. Small Vietnamese salons quickly take root in African American neighborhoods, personified through female business partners Olivett Robinson and Charlie Vo, co-founders of the Mantrap Nail Salon chain. #NailedIt uniquely represents black and Asian interaction as an economic tool, and actualizes the post-war Vietnamese American experience, which until now has only been framed by war. Over the past forty years Vietnamese salons have become a global phenomenon both admired and reviled. Through the lens of narrator/director Adele Pham, who is half Vietnamese, #NailedIt speaks to a unique yet universal diaspora experience in a voice that is humorous, authentic and multiculturally engaged.