Throughout May, we are highlighting Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned businesses in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
What's more relaxing after a long day than a high-quality nail treatment and a mimosa? Polished Lounge is a full-service unisex nail salon located in Midtown, and was the 105th Motor City Match (MCM) awardee to open in the City of Detroit.
Owner and Founder Ia Vang is a Hmong refugee from Laos who moved to the U.S. at the age of eight. "I am very proud of myself for being American and a minority," she said. "I have come this far and accomplished a lot."
Vang opened Polished Lounge opened in 2020 to create a relaxing oasis in Detroit. But like many businesses that opened during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a rough start.
"Our construction was postponed because of the shutdown," the Wayne State University graduate said.
And though salons were still shut down due to restrictions, Vang's team still had bills to pay.
"We were accountable for paying rent because a contract already been signed and it was very hard for Polished Lounge," she said.
But the Motor City Match Round 15 awardee prevailed and kept her salon open.
"When we first opened, we didn't know what to expect," she said. "I'm the owner and I was very nervous. I said: 'I'm just going to open my door and see how it is,' and God blessed us. A lot of our clients are supporting the community and supporting us."
Vang said the $65,000 cash grant she received in June 2019 gave her the head start she needed to realize her dream. She also thanked MCM for the opportunity to network and connect with other financial resources and technical support.