During these COVID-19 days of uncertainty, restrictions and just plain fear, some find there’s nothing quite as comforting as a time of pampering for oneself, be that with a soothing massage, manicure or pedicure. Le Petit Astoria Spa in Astoria has been providing such an escape since it opened in the fall. Following strict safety protocols, it is open for business, and ready to offer customers a time to relax and be pampered.

On an early winter afternoon, a woman was enjoying her professional manicure, a large plexiglass shield between her and the owner of the spa, Mai Le. There was relaxing piano music in the background. The salon was sparkling clean, and colorful with bright rainbow displays of its numerous nail color selections on the walls.

Le Petit Astoria Spa is a family business. Le, originally from Vietnam, had experience in the salon business, and decided to open her own salon along with her son, Christopher Nguyen, in September 2020. They found a highly visible spot in Astoria, located at 1191 S. Marine Drive.

“There’s not a lot of competition so it’s a good location,” Nguyen said. “I get to meet a lot of people and get to learn about Astoria too.” He and Le currently live in and commute from Longview, Washington.

Opening a salon during the pandemic came with challenges as there was less foot traffic and fewer customers at first. Now, the business has picked up and they have some slow days still, but many busy days, too.

The Professional Beauty Association has on its website resources for its members to help them stay open safely, follow specific health and safety protocols, and offer direction on other COVID-19 relief and support options. It is the only national organization that supports the industry as a whole whether owners, operators or employees.

Le said she and Nguyen have very high standards for cleanliness. To keep themselves and all their customers safe, masks are mandatory and they have placed shields at their manicure tables and pedicure chairs to protect everyone. They only use disposable nail kits and clean between patrons.

Nguyen pointed out that many folks are frustrated and just want things to get back to normal. With their safety protocols in place, he explained their salon is a place where people can talk to someone safely and enjoy a relaxing, pampering manicure or pedicure.

“We are going to continue to require mandatory masks and use shields. We realize not everyone will be able to get the vaccine right away,” Nguyen said. “We want everyone to stay safe and healthy and for things to get back to normal as soon as possible.”

Le Petit Astoria Spa’s website details the many services they offer, including manicures, pedicures and a variety of waxing, all done with the high standards of safety protocols. Customers can book an appointment directly on the website or call. They are open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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