5 Questions with Tan Tran at TD nails and Spa, House of Beauty

Tan Tran TD Spa.jpg
Tan Tran at TD Nails and Spa. (Adam Kurtz/ Grand Forks Herald)

This week the Herald talks to Tan Tran, who works at TD Nails and Spa found at 2534 17th Ave., South. Originally from Vietnam, Tran’s family moved to California before eventually settling in Grand Forks.

Q: How did you get started in this business?

A: I’m just a family member, I go to UND and am just helping my family here. They found this to be a good area to raise a family. It’s peaceful and quiet. (We came from) California, L.A. The story is from a long time ago. When they first came (to the United States) they couldn’t go to (university) because they didn’t know much English, so this is the job that they could do. So they went to school, learned and practiced and took a test to get a license and started. After the (Vietnam) war, some of my family escaped to here, so after a while they sponsored us to come over. None of my family is in Vietnam anymore. I speak two languages. Most of my family, they are fluent in three languages. My family is part Chinese, too, so they speak Chinese, Vietnamese and English. Not me. I didn’t get sent to school for that.

Q: What kind of services do you offer?

A: We offer manicures and pedicures, waxing and facials. Especially, when your feet and hands are dirty, this is the place you come to get them cleaned up and looking nice and fancy. If you have an event to go to, this is the place where you get your nails done all fancy. We have gel (nails) dipping powder, if you want your nails longer there’s acrylic. Usually people do their nails a lot, so they come to get them put on, and make them longer. After work hours, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. are busy. Weekends, the whole day is busy.


Q: How long have you been in this location?

A: We’ve been here… It will be six years in October. There were seven or eight, but two or three of our family members moved to Florida, so there’s five left here. We have to go to cosmetology school, and the average required hours are 350 to 600 hours, you have to be in school in order to have enough credits to take a test. After you pass, you get your license, you come to the salon. They will observe you daily for a week or two and then you start on the clients.

Q: Who are your customers?

A: Mostly professionals and students. Mostly women, but now we’re getting more men. Their wives or girlfriends talk them into it. They do it the first time and they say, 'OK this is good.' They get pedicures and get their feet cleaned up and scraped. Most of them like it and sometimes they come back without their wife or girlfriend.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: We are just going to stick around here. My family likes this quiet and peaceful state. It is now seven years here, and we’ve gotten used to the weather. The first and second years were kind of rough, but now it’s fine. We just remodeled last week so now everything is new in here.

Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

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