At 18, an injury crushed her dream of a career in dance. Today, she owns a busy nail salon

At 24 years old and in the middle of a global pandemic, Haley Duran opened the doors to her first business.

Duran didn’t plan on becoming an entrepreneur or nail artist. Opening Vici Nail Bar at 701 E. Midland St. in November 2020, though, was a victory. The name, Vici, means “I conquered.”

Conquering is a theme in Duran’s life.

As a 3 year old, she started in gymnastics. As a teen, she joined the Perry Woodard School of Dance. But Duran’s dreams of becoming a dancer ended at 18 when she was diagnosed with a devastating back injury.

“I went to a chiropractor and I have two torn disks and a bulging disk, and I couldn’t dance anymore,” she says.

Creativity is a hallmark of Haley Duran’s business, Vici Nail Bar.She had to find something else to do. “I was pretty good at painting nails, so I went to do that.”

Duran credits her mom, Susan Duran-Rowell, with supporting and encouraging her through the years as her dreams evolved. “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my mom.”

After she stopped dancing, she attended Bayshire Beauty Academy, 917 Saginaw St., to study nail care.

For the next 5 years, she worked at area salons. Then, she decided it was time to own her own shop. With the help of her mother, Duran found the building on the corner of Midland and Linn streets. It’s upstairs from Comfort Keepers, in-home health care.

Quickly, she gained regular customers and was able to hire a second technician.

Less than a year after Vici Nail Bar opened, Duran had enough business to hire her first employee.Duran, who turns 25 in September, says the structure and discipline she learned as a dancer are valuable now that she’s a business owner. The integrity she learned when she taught dance also help her run the business.

“I’m honest about what I can and cannot do. That’s how I get a lot of my clients, by being honest.”

Creativity is something Duran enjoys about her business. She says, just like most things, “Sometimes I have it, sometimes I don’t,” but she’s not afraid to tell her clients when she can’t do something. “Most of the time even detailed images are not a problem.”

She’s found she enjoys talking to clients and getting to know them. “I hear a lot of stuff, and keep it confidential,” she says, laughing. “Just like in Vegas, what’s said at the nail salon, stays at the nail salon.”

Some of Duran’s designs are posted on her the Vici Nail Bar Facebook page.

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