Happy Nails


Tori Johnson

Starting over is never easy and doing it in a completely different country does not make it any easier.

“At first it was very hard, you know because I don’t speak English. So I when I do nails I learn a lot from my customers. I went back to school to learn how to speak English,” said Kevin Le.

16 years ago, when Le was a teenager, he and his immediate family migrated to the U.S. from Vietnam. Among the things he left behind was his girlfriend, now wife, of five years.

“We were on the phone every night after work. Before we don’t have an iPhone like now. We can’t facetime, we could just call,” he said.

During his first few years Le traveled through America, working in different nail salons in places such as Texas, Arkansas and Florida.

He went to the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith to learn English and graduated cosmetology school in Texas. After five years in the U.S. Le had saved enough money to return to Vietnam for his bride.

In 2011, after 10 years of working for other people, Le opened up his own nail salon in Poteau, OK.  He runs Happy Nails with his wife and family. Their hospitality is what makes costumers come back.

“They always remember and call you by name,” said longtime customer, Stacee Midgley, “and they are a sweet family business who works hard to make you feel special each visit.”

“I like to make people happy,” said Le, “that’s why this is Happy Nails.”