AMESBURY – Sophorn Phy was a high school student when she got her first job working in a nail salon.
“I was always attracted to the self-care industry,” explained Phy. “I was still a teenager but ended up getting my Manicurist license so that I could work in a salon setting.”
Phy’s interest ran deep, and she would spend the next thirteen years of her life working in salons.
“I spent three years working in Greater Lawrence before taking a position with Interlocks in Newburyport,” explained Phy. “I spent the next ten years working with their great team of professionals and clients.”
Phy worked at Interlocks, juggling her job there and her own family, while also earning a degree in Business Management.
“My parents are immigrants from Cambodia, and they instilled in me the importance of an education,” said Phy.
While she would earn her degree, Phy found nothing replaced the feelings she felt working directly with clients in a salon setting.
“After school, I continued to work at Interlocks,” explained Phy.
“Then this past year, the owner and I started talking about my own future and interests. I had always wanted my own salon, but it was Ginny Eramo – the owner of Interlocks – who gave me the courage to actually take the plunge.”
“Change brought on by the pandemic provided me with an opportunity to help Sophorn follow her dream,” said Eramo. “I’m grateful for the 10 years we worked together and am excited for our next chapter as fellow entrepreneurs.”
Eramo offered Phy the manicurist equipment from Interlocks. Phy then set out to find the perfect home for her new venture.
“I was looking from Haverhill to Newburyport,” said Phy. “And then my brother-in-law and his dog came with me to scout out downtown Amesbury.”
Phy was checking out a space on Main Street when another location caught her eye.
“My doggy-nephew pulled us down Mill St.”, laughed Phy. “That’s when we found the perfect spot.”
Phy called the owner of 1 Mill Street, and that week she had a lease signed. Sand + Sole Nail Bar now had a home.
“My daughter and I had been at the beach, and she was talking about how great the sun felt on her skin,” said Phy. “And there was something about how she said it that made me want to build my business around that feeling. The feeling of comfort and relaxation that comes with a visit to the beach.”
Phy set up her studio to exclusively cater to clients looking for nail care.
“I wanted to provide clients with a relaxing, professional environment for both pedicures and manicures,” explained Phy. “I built out my studio to create that environment. But even more important is providing quality care and service.”
“Sophorn’s energy is contagious,” said Phil DeCologero, Executive Director of the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce. “I love that she picked Amesbury, and that she has such a strong focus on clients makes her an especially good fit for our neighborhood!”
“Clients come first!” said Phy.
To learn more about Sand + Sole Nail Bar, please visit www.sandandsolenailbar.com. While appointments are preferred, walk-ins are welcomed. ◊