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Keeping Her Toes Clean

In her search to find an inexpensive pedicure without going someplace icky, this business owner ended up reinventing the nail salon.

Vital Stats: Ji Baek, 32, founder of Rescue Nail Spa and Rescue Beauty Lounge

Company: New York City salons recognized as much for their décor and clientele as for their manicures and pedicures

Trick or Treat, Save My Feet: "Like typical Manhattan fashionistas, I wore heels all day. My favorite thing was to get a pedicure, but I couldn't find something satisfying. There are either cheap salons that are unsanitary-and I'm a germophobe-or really high-priced salons."


"I think I attract the same kind of client that I am."

You're Doing What?! "As a first-generation Korean and a classically trained musician, it was so clichéd when I told my family I was going to open a nail place, because 80 percent of nail salons are owned by Koreans. My mother fainted."

Hot Spot: "Our clientele is a hip, eclectic crowd. We have people in fashion and magazines, SoHo moms, Tribeca locals and women in their late 20s and early 30s. People have business lunches in our private rooms, or first-date pedicures. Instead of a bar or restaurant full of smoke, this became the social scene."

Toeing The Line: "This year will be exciting. We are probably going to open a third location uptown, and are looking to expand in L.A. I'm also coming out with a nail-care line and polishes. My dedication is to educate the consumer. Even if they don't come to Rescue, they should know how to care for their nails."

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This article was originally published in the June 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Keeping Her Toes Clean.

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