Brixton nail bar Images has been beautifying local hands and feet for 25 years. Simone Richardson spoke to manager Hang Bich Duong as she had a manicure
Hang Bich Duong – whose name is associated with the moon – is better known as Nana, a nickname given by her parents that has stuck.
Her uncle Tien and aunt Suong, who started Images at 17 Electric Avenue in 1997, encouraged her to move in 2009 from Vietnam to London where she now works at Images which has moved to 6 Tunstall Road, over the road from the Tube.
Learning manicures and pedicures online has been Nana’s route to success, alongside working with family and friends from Vietnam.
She has good memories of Vietnam and goes back every year.
“The lifestyle is so different,” she says. “Every day you go out after work and spend a lot of time with family.
“I miss my parents and my brother too. We coped through the lockdown doing visuals together.
“I was introduced to Buddhism when I was a child. My parents are Buddhists. We prayed every day – as I do now.
“We don’t have to go to the temple every week – when we work we pray every day.’’
Images has its own beautiful shrine where Nana and others pray before and after work.
Every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays (when the salon is still open) Nana travels to Brixton from Putney by bus.
She was a Brixton resident for many years. “I lived in Brixton for 10 years, after that, when I had children, I moved to Putney,” she says.
Her 20-year-old daughter will be joining her in Images. Her son of nine years old, is, like Nana, a fan of maths.
They coped with lockdown by doing yoga together and lots of walks in the riverside Wandsworth Park. “My daughter and I really enjoy singing together, so we had a lot of the music we like on in the background,” Nana adds.
And there’s also music in her atmospheric salon, either on screen or recorded.
She recalls a more scary Brixton when she arrived. Now, she says, “Many people here are nice and there are a lot of different people here.
“I really enjoy going to Brixton Village with my friends and especially enjoy the Thai and Chinese food there.
“I cook Vietnamese food every day too and it is more healthy. We mainly enjoy soup, vegetables and sea food.’’
At Images, what she enjoys most doing is nail acrylics, which she learnt online, saying they are more difficult than other tasks.
Images’ waxing and massage are still on hold, but will be up and running again once the lockdown has been over longer, Nana says.
But acrylics, manicures and pedicures are all definitely worth booking right now with Nana and her team of family and friends.
- Images Beauty
6 Tunstall Road SW9 8BN
- 020 8616 3440
- Monday-Saturday 9.30am-8pm