By Elle McLogan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Salon owner Jenny Bui has earned a massive following on Instagram for her Swarovski-studded nail designs.

“That’s why they call me the ‘Queen of Bling,'” Bui said. “Because my Swarovski lasts forever.”

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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.

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.

“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.”

Jenny Spa
305 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458
(347) 590-3440

Nails On 7th
2449 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard
New York, NY 10030
(212) 283-8888

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Elle McLogan