Dr. Sam Nguyen, also known affectionately as Di Ai Hong Sam, is a distinguished Doctor of Naturopathy, an accomplished Entrepreneur, Scholar, Graduate of Executive education from Harvard Business School as well as a talented musician, singer, and a renowned beauty queen. Nguyen has dedicated her life to helping those in need and strives to provide the healing power of nature and the understanding of the body, mind, and spirit.
With a Doctorate degree in Naturopathy and Business Degree from Harvard, Nguyen set out and made her mark on the natural medicine market and created many holistic oils and herbal medicines to help patients around the world, some with cancer. She has opened up several successful businesses in this field as well.
Nguyen is the founder of the Veganic Nail Spa. It officially opened Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Costa Mesa.
PVM: Tell us about yourself?
Hi! My name is Di Ai Hong Sam. Many of you may know me as Dr. Sam, Doctor of Naturopath, Entrepreneur, Recipient of the Lifetime Presidential Award of the USA and more… But to my kids I am just mom. “Mom” is the highest award that I can receive; this title represents the unconditional love and tethered bond between two people, a bond unlike any other. I am proud to say, I have over 300 children calling me mom. Our organization, SAM Foundation, is one of my most prized possessions. What started out as a simple project, has now served hundreds of orphans in finding their future. My proudest moments are seeing how their love pushes me to break barriers for them and pave the way for their future. The success I have found in higher education, business, and philanthropy is motivated by my children, because like most parents, we strive to achieve the best for our children. My hopes and dreams all funnel back into this one ideal, which is that one day you all can experience the feeling of being called mom.
PVM: What inspired you to start Veganic Nail Spa?
Veganic Nail Spa is the result of my personal values and experiences in Naturopathy . One of the most important things a parent can do for their children is to care for themselves. I wanted to provide that resource through creating a space for others in need. Veganic Nail Spa puts me in a position where not only could I care for my children, but I could create value and opportunities, careers, and futures for them through the resources I earn.
PVM: What makes Veganic Nail Spa unique?
Veganic Nail Spa is, at its roots, a naturopathic business. We are the first nail salon in the US to use a specialized vegan/organic system. We pride ourselves on preserving the environment and are working to hold ourselves accountable and responsible for the environment each day.
The products that we use are completely vegan/organic; they aren’t tested on animals or use any animal derivative. For example, common nail polishes have desirable qualities that come from fish scales and similarly sheened animal products. Veganic does not use these products and have taken the steps toward incorporating other vegan/organic products into our services.
We use many herbs that we have sourced from fair-trade, kosher and locally grown from California. Our lavender flowers, rose petals, peppermint leaves and many more are just a few examples of the products that we have tried to minimize our environmental impact with.
PVM: As a businessperson, what was it like starting a business during the pandemic?
The Covid-19 pandemic is and forever will be a trying time in our history; starting a business during this time can easily be called one of the most difficult tasks I have undertaken. Like many others, I have experienced loss of family members and friends, but was blessed enough that my children and I were not affected. I took this as a sign that I had to do something to continue to provide my children and employees with the best quality of life that I could – so I built a Veganic Nail Spa.
Securing logistics for the business was the easy part, there were many businesses that went under due to the pandemic unfortunately. The hardest thing to do was to home in on an overall methodology that I wanted to adhere to, so I fell back on my roots – Naturopathy. I handcrafted an experience that would really cater to the needs of the client in the most natural way possible.
PVM: What is your advice for entrepreneurs that are interested in starting their own business?
In order to be successful, you must have a clear vision of what it is you want to do. These goals should be worked towards with a single-minded energy; you must be willing to sacrifice and dedicate your life to it. There are no such things as shortcuts in creating a venture.
I live by the philosophy that “living is giving.” If not for the communities that helped me on my journey, I would not be the successful woman and mother that I am today. Because of this, my business ventures all funnel back into my charity. My success was built from those around me, and I want to provide a resource that those in need could use as well. As I continue to live, I will continue to give.
PVM: Who is your role model and why?
The person I strive to live up to is my own mom. She was a midwife at a hospital; a person who helps to deliver babies. A normal and happy sounding job to most, but in Vietnam, many things are different. Some families were unable to keep up with the number of kids that they would have due to poverty. For this reason, sometimes families would abandon their newborn children at the hospital. Unable to bear the sadness and injustice done to these blameless children, my mom would take these kids in and raise them as her own. My mom’s selflessness and altruism inspire me and motivate me which has shaped me into the person I am today.
PVM: What motivates you every day?
I am a mother first and a businesswoman second. My motivations each day are to work towards providing my children with the best possible quality of life – as my mom did for her children. I have taken it upon myself to care for my children by being a strong role model as a successful businesswoman and humanitarian. I dedicate much of my time and energy to my charity, Stable Anchor Manor, a charity committed to providing support and guidance to homeless, runaway and at-risk youth and orphans.
PVM: What does the future look like for Veganic Nail Spa?
Veganic Nail Spa’s future lies in its roots. My history and experience in Naturopathy has really shaped the way I want to treat my clientele. I have begun to create a system where each bespoke treatment pinpoints areas of need while remaining vegan and environmentally responsible. Eventually, with the success of this system, I will begin to work towards franchising Veganic Nail Spa in order to spread the benefits of this system as far as I can.
PVM: Do you have any parting thoughts for our audience?
One of the reasons for my success is that I have strove towards becoming who I am in order to give back to the community that I came from. This motivation is most easily captured by my philosophy “living is giving,” to live is to give to others. I was given many opportunities from my community without which I would not be the successful parent and businesswoman I am today. I urge you to lend this same hand of opportunity to whoever you can. Together, we can succeed.
Interviewed by Zane Landin
Veganic Nail Spa – GRAND OPENING
Celebrities who were there to show their support for the event included: Emily Moore Simposon (Real Housewives of Orange County), Kayla Tabish (Netflix Cat People) with Maverick (the surfing cat), Nick Liam (Netflix Cat People), Tonya Reneé Banks (Actress, Lifetime’s Little Women: LA) and her daughter Angelique Johnson (Actress), Marabina Jaimes (Host, Emmy Winner, Telly Award Winner, Actress), Odie Oballa (Model), Nimi Adokiye (Actress, Bob Hearts Abishola), Rachelle Henry (Actress), Sasha Kerbel (Actress), Heathyr Frances (Actress & TV Host), Annie Nelson (Founder of American Soldier Network Foundation), _x9x26x (Tiktok Influencers Mark, Ray, and David), Gabriela Ramirez (Tiktok Influencer), Bel Hernandez (Host Telly Award Winner), Chel Sgro (Music Artist & Model), Diana McBride (Publisher of Riviera Magazine) Yeniffer Behnrens (Actress & Latinx Filmmaker), John De Puy (Author), Alan Ford (Producer), Heathyr Frances (Actress),