Meet Kayla Wakayama, the co-owner of Opal Nail Studio in West Seattle and Native Hawai’ian who grew up on Hawai’i island. Opal Nail Studio is a fresh and modern nail salon that uses all non-toxic products and offers gorgeous hand painted art.
The nail salon was formerly called Juniper until Kayla and her business partner Shelby Miller took over the business during the 2020 lockdown. Kayla said it was a tough decision, but they ultimately wanted to save jobs of their fellow nail technicians and their jobs, so they scraped together their savings and Opal was born. They still employ some of the same women who worked at the salon when it was Juniper and just celebrated their first birthday!
Get to know more about Kayla and Opal Nail Studio in this week’s Business Spotlight Q&A.
What’s your favorite part about the community your business is in and why?
West Seattle has a small-town vibe when it comes to the people in the community. I was born and raised on Hawai’i island, a place completely comprised of small towns so it is a very familiar feeling. Being a community facing business is one of the things I value most as a business owner.
As a business owner, what’s the strangest/craziest idea you’ve ever tried?
Opening a business is the midst of a global pandemic was pretty wild. It still is, haha!
What are some of your favorite local businesses and why?
Good Sister — A West Seattle based Black/Filipina owned small business that source and sell goods from BIPOC brands. Also has a spa room with a racially diverse staff who offer a range of services and specialize in ethnic skin.
Lula Coffee Co. — West Seattle based coffee shop that has a seriously delicious and creative drink menu. Lula is woman owned and community-facing as well, which is in alignment with some of my values.
Puff & Floss — a cotton candy business that spins up unique treats while creating employment and training opportunities for adults with autism. Puff & Floss was also created in 2020 with the focus of creating opportunities for those who are far too often left out of meaningful employment. P&F has made many custom cotton candy push pop orders for holidays and events at Opal.