The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Senior Hannah Poon’s creative outlet: Matchbox Nails

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Courtesy Hannah Poon
Senior Hannah Poon, founder of small business Matchbox Nails.

Matchbox Nails, a self-run nail business established last year, caters to local high school students, offering customized designs at affordable prices. Los Altos High School senior Hannah Poon used her creative talent to create the business, attracting the attention of high school students.

Painting and designing nails started as a hobby for Hannah to pass the time during quarantine. As she began experimenting with new sets and posting on social media to promote her work, she quickly gained clients from friends and peers.

“People seemed interested in the nails I made, and I’ve always loved art, so this was just a way for me to put it out there and share it with other people,” Hannah said.

People seemed interested in the nails I made, and I’ve always loved art, so this was just a way for me to put it out there and share it with other people.

— Hannah Poon

Hannah creates press-on nail sets for clients or paints their nails in person. LAHS senior Leah Tran is among many who appreciate Hannah’s attention to detail and determination to put out high-quality work.

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“Sometimes when going to nail salons, you’re not sure if the person doing it will understand the exact style that you want,” Leah said. “Hannah can pretty much do anything you ask for.”

Hannah takes pride in the careful attention she pays to her customers’ preferences.

“When doing a client’s nails, I’ll ask them step-by-step if they like them,” Hannah said. 

Hannah has made nails for events, including for LAHS’s 2023 Homecoming Dance. However, her work isn’t limited to LAHS; she extends her business to other schools as well. 

“I trust her with the process — she never fails to impress me and always exceeds my expectations,” said Lynbrook High School senior Halie Yung.

Some of Hannah Poon’s custom-made press-on nails. More photos can be found on her Instagram page @matchbox_nails. (Courtesy Hannah Poon)

Running a business comes with challenges like finding customers and self-promotion, which are especially difficult for a high school student.

“It’s more like, ‘Hey, I know you do this’ in-person, rather than them contacting me online,” Hannah said. “Most people who order from me are friends, so it spreads by word of mouth.”

Hannah has made her way into the nail tech world as she takes on new designs and develops her artistic technique. In running Matchbox Nails, she has been able to practice and improve her skills since many clients trust her to deliver well her detailed designs.

“I’ve overcome the fear of doing nails on people because I feel responsible for what they’re wearing,” Hannah said. “Thanks to Matchbox Nails, I’ve become more confident in my skills.”

For more information and designs, visit @matchbox_nails on Instagram.

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Janavi Ramde, Staff Writer
Rachel Wilson, Staff Writer

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