The Regina YWCA and a local nail salon and are promoting healing and connection through self-care.
The Pham Nails and Beauty Bar held its first workshop for women from the YWCA residence and shelter on June 24.
Participants got to learn about nail care and art from Hien Pham, award-winning nail artist and owner of The Pham Nails & Beauty Bar.
Organizers say self-care offers a sense of healing and confidence for vulnerable women who face barriers in accessing such services.
Pham said he's been looking to give back since he immigrated to Canada from Vietnam in 2002.
Pham shared his interest in giving back to the community while doing Cora Sellers's nails and they started discussing how to make the workshop a reality.
For Sellers, who is an Indigenuous woman, the program is important because of how anti-Asian and anti-Indigenous racism,colonization, trauma and poverty have impacted women served by YWCA Regina.
"I'm doing this to give back to a community and just to make people happy – I am happy when people around me are happy – and also, to make people feel that there are so many good people and good things out there in our society, so always think positive," Pham said.
Pham wants to show these women the importance of self care and the viability of a career as a nail technician or a nail artist.
"We're gonna teach them the basics of how to apply polish on their nails. In the meantime, I'll show them how fancy you can get with the nails," Pham said. "But first I have to show them the basics of how to do nails first. We try to teach them to do basic self care first before getting to another level of being a nail artist to working in the industry for themselves."
At the end of the program, the participants were provided with their own nail kits to practice.