It’s Meet a Mom Monday! This week’s Meet a Mom feature is Krystal Le, Old Town mom of an adorable 3 year old girl and the founder of 7AM Nail Care! Keep reading our interview below, where Krystal shares all about her journey to found 7AM Nail Care and life raising her daughter in the city. Krystal is so passionate about her business and has such a clear mission & vision – she’s an inspiration to me and I know that she will be to you as well!
If you are a local mom that would like to be featured in our “Meet a Mom” series, please send an email to [email protected]
Where are you from originally, and what brought you to Chicago?
I was born and raised in Vietnam. I moved to the U.S. when I was in high school. My parents sent me here for a better education. Later on, I met my husband when he attended an MBA school here in Chicago. We thought his job would be in N.Y. but we were lucky that we found a job here in Chicago. I fell in love with this city. I am happy everything works out well for both of us 🙂
How many kids do you have and what ages are they?
I have one kid and she is 3 years old now
What is your favorite thing about being a mom? What do you love most about the current phase of motherhood that you are in?
I get to enjoy her seeing the world for the first time through her eyes! I think a little bit about what I want to teach her but I think a whole lot about what I do or say because I know she’s always watching me. I’m always on my toes around her.
You live in the heart of Old Town! What are your favorite things to do as a family around the city?
There are many nearby parks and museums!
The foods are great and easy to get to. Best Vietnamese dish: SoChi. Best Italian: Topo Gigio. Best Ramen: Wasabi.
What do you love most about raising your daughter in the city?
There are so many activities for kids: dance classes, wiggle worms music classes, culinary classes, language classes, need I say more? Everything is so close so we save a lot of time on traveling.
Tell us more about your career journey, and how it led you to found 7am Nail Care! I’d also love for you to share how you came up with the name for our readers!
I used to work at my uncle’s salon when I was younger. One day, a man walked into the salon with his wife and started yelling “omg, this is awful. This smells like an auto shop!” He exited quickly but what he said that day still rings loud and clear in my head today. Since then, I started to think deeper about why the nail industry is the way it is. A lot of it is just inertia, really. I just didn’t notice how bad the environment was until someone pointed it out to me. I was a fish in a dirty tank of water. I just didn’t know it.
I started doing research about all the chemicals and their long-term impact on our health. I started 7am with the hope of doing something different, something better. We decided to open at 7 am after naming the business checking account: 7am. The name came to me as I usually wake up at 7 am in the morning. So 7 am represents a new day, a new way of thinking, or a new beginning. That became the name of our nail salon.
Later on, we realized that it would be confusing to people if we don’t actually open at 7 am in the morning, so we decided to follow through with our namesake!
Give us the full rundown on the 7am Nail Care experience! What can moms expect from their visit? What makes you different?
My husband recalls that when Starbucks was struggling. Howard Schultz came back and decided to get rid of all breakfast sandwiches. Why? They were interfering with the romantic coffee smell!
Our mission is to elevate the nail industry. At 7 am, what you don’t hear, what you don’t see, and what you don’t smell are very important. You won’t hear the sound of drills. You won’t see acrylic dust. And you won’t smell strong chemicals at our salons.
Moms can expect to be treated well at 7 am because our technicians do not rush their services. They can expect that we use the best products we can find and apply the best practices when it comes to sanitation. In short, they can expect to see excellence in motion.
And btw, our salons are kid- and dog-friendly because of the absence of the drills, acrylic dust, and chemicals I mentioned earlier.
Where can our readers find a 7am Nail Care? Tell us about your locations!
Old Town at 1350 N Wells
The Loop at 180 N Wacker
Lincoln Park at 1941 N Halsted
Stay tuned, I’ll have more news to share this year!
Rapid Fire Round!
Must have beauty product: cleansing oil, face mask, hair serum, lotion, and cuticle oil
Go-to coffee order: ice green tea latte with soy milk from Starbucks
Favorite holiday: Christmas
Most productive time of day: Morning time of course!
Advice you’d give your younger self: Everything happens for a reason. I might not understand it now, but God does, and that is all that matters
Favorite TV Show or Movie: Shark Tank
Best vacation destination: Italy
Want to give 7AM Nail Care a try? Lincoln Park Area Moms can get access to a special discount! Use code LPMOMS for 15% off your first visit!