NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Salon owner Jenny Bui has earned a massive following on Instagram for her Swarovski-studded nail designs.
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“That’s why they call me the ‘Queen of Bling,'” Bui said. “Because my Swarovski lasts forever.”READ MORE: Brian Laundrie's Remains Found In Florida Nature Reserve, Officials Say
Bui’s celebrity clients include chart-topping rapper Cardi B, who began visiting Jenny’s salon when she was an exotic dancer in the Bronx five years ago.
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Stardom has not lessened Cardi B’s loyalty as a client. She maintains a close relationship with Bui and visits Jenny Spa monthly for a manicure.
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“I treat her like my daughter, and she treats me like I’m her mother,” Bui said.
An immigrant from Cambodia, Bui has overcome great adversity to achieve success as a business owner.
“My childhood was really bad,” she said. “When I was five years old, [Cambodia] had the war and the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge came in, and we were really poor because they took everything away from us. And we didn’t have a house to live in, and every day, we just ate grass.”
She and her family walked barefoot, begging for food, fighting off disease, and avoiding landmines in the war-torn countryside.READ MORE: 7-Year-Old Honorary NYPD Officer Diagnosed With Chronic Respiratory Failure Leaves Hospital
“Even now . . . every time I talk [about it], I want to cry,” she said.
She spends little time sharing this difficult story with her clients.
“I don’t want people to feel bad for me,” she said.
She does a lot of listening, however, and advises clients on marital problems.
“I’m just like their therapy,” she said.
Bui’s reward is the look on a client’s face when she sees her new nails.
“When I see my customers are so happy, it makes me happy, too. They treat me like I’m a star, like I’m so important for them,” she said. “They make me feel better than winning the lotto.”
305 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458
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