I first met Jin Soon Choi in 1999 when she opened the first of her three eponymous salons in the East Village. As we girls know getting ours nails done is not only a fun ritual but also an important part of one’s grooming regimen. Finding the perfect place however can be tricky. In New York City nail salons abound, however not all places are created equal. While I appreciate the convenience most salons offer by allowing you to pop in unannounced for a quick fix the experience is more stress inducing than reducing. It’s a little bit like comparing eating at a fast food restaurant versus dining at a fine restaurant. Jin Soon is definitely in the latter category and when I discovered it I immediately fell in love with the place. The fact that each salon can only accommodate a couple of manicure or pedicure clients at a time allows for such a relaxing experience. And one must make an appointment. Now that’s what I call civilized! So whether you find yourself in the West Village or on the Upper East Side there is a Jin Soon near you. Each location has a minimalist Asian inspired decor, relaxing music plays in the background and the staff is friendly and competent. Back in the days Jin was there daily to greet you. Today, being the mogul-in-the-making that she is, it is not as common to see her. While she runs her three salons she is also busier than event working on magazine editorials and with celebrities. Anyone who has ever met her can only applaud such deserved sucess. To me, if someone embodies the American dream it really is Jin. To top it all of, this past September she launched a line of nail polish that is now carried at Sephora and Space NK. The line is comprised of 12 colors, a base coat and a top coat. So if you can’t get an appointment you can take a piece of Jin with you home.
I love two things about my job: meeting and working with creative people and my involvement in the creative process itself because it enables me to discover my own creative capabilities.
2. If you did not live in New York City where would you live and why?
Probably in Olympia, Washington because my family lives there, although I am really a big city girl at heart, having lived in Seoul and New York for most of my adult life.
3. When not working what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy reading and taking strolls in the city, but when I am really in need of an escape, I watch Korean dramas and comedy shows.
4. What is your best memory from childhood?
My best memory from childhood is playing in nature with friends. We climbed mountains, swam in rivers and collected river snails, picked wild berries, and played hide & seek – I grew up in a very rural part of South Korea.
5. What is your favorite holiday destination and why?
For a de-stressing vacation and when time permits, my husband and I sneak away to a peaceful beach destination in the Caribbean – but never the same place twice.
6. Book or e-reader? Why and what are you currently reading?
I really love technology, but when it comes to reading books, I am old school – I like the feel of the pages in a book. I am currently reading Patti Smith’s “Just Kids.” I am intrigued by people’s life stories and their cultural backgrounds.
7. Which social media platform do you use and how did they impact your business?
I am currently using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but since I don’t yet have a social media specialist, it hasn’t had a big impact on my business.
8. What is a true luxury for you today?
Sleeping in and getting massages.
9. What is your biggest accomplishment to date? Why?
Launching the JINsoon nail line is my biggest accomplishment to date because having my own line has long been a dream of mine – it is the culmination of all of my efforts to date, from being a nail expert to owning my own nail salons.
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