(FOX40.COM) — Liz Cortes never thought she would go from living in a small town in Michoacán, Mexico to being the owner of a luxury salon considered the best in the Yuba-Sutter area two years in a row.
“My mom was a house cleaner. She had her own business and I started with her at the age of 12,” Cortes told FOX40.com. “I was the translator because she only spoke Spanish. From a very young age, I got this mentality of having my own business… It’s always been a dream of mine.”
Cortes moved with her family to Yuba City when she was five years old, and at 23, she said she was inspired to open Pink Luxe Salon because she recognized a need within the Yuba-Sutter community.
“It was the lack of customer service that I would hear a lot of women complain about in our town,” Cortes said. “I wanted to give the community the luxury salon experience that they deserved.”
Pink Luxe Salon offers nail services, lash extensions, eyebrow lamination, facials, waxing, training to be a lash tech, and more. The salon’s name is a play-off of Cortes’ favorite color, pink, and the word “luxury.”
Cortes told FOX40.com that it wasn’t easy to get Pink Luxe opened.
“It was a difficult process,” Cortes said. “There was a lot of research and things I had to learn on my own. One thing about me is I learn as I go. If I’m confused about a regulation or code– or whatever the case is I tend to do my research. I’ll go on Google and get my answer based on all of the research that I accumulate and apply it to my business.”
When Pink Luxe Salon first opened, Cortes said that she didn’t plan on providing the salon services herself. She was more focused on providing a new place for customers to have a better salon experience and planned to hire nail technicians and other experts to provide the service. However, she later decided that she wanted to be more hands-on.
“I wasn’t licensed. When I opened up, I had other people who were licensed working while I took the time to go to school and get my hours in to be licensed,” Cortes. “It was kind of a funny process. Everybody I tell that to is like ‘OMG, how did you do that?'”
Cortes explained that she had a specific vision for Pink Luxe Salon and didn’t feel comfortable with just overseeing. She wanted to be more involved in the day-to-day operations so that she could get to know the salon’s clients and make sure her vision came to life.
Pink Luxe Salon opened on April 20, 2019, and was voted “Best Nail Salon” for 2022 and 2023. It was also voted “Best Lash Extensions 2023,” according to the Best of Yuba-Sutter publication which surveys thousands of votes within the Yuba-Sutter area.
Cortes said she wasn’t expecting all of the support Pink Luxe received after it opened and that she was wowed when the salon was voted the best by her community.
“We feel blessed and very grateful for every single person who has stepped foot in our doors to support us,” Cortes said. “It feels good to be recognized for all of our hard work.”
Pink Luxe nail tech and younger sister to Cortes, Janet Cortes, said she’s proud of everything her sibling has accomplished.
“She is my role model. I look up to her very much,” Janet said. “It’s a blessing to be able to work with my sister. It’s fun – there are days that work doesn’t feel like work. Those are the best days and not many people can say that.”
Janet was also voted as “Favorite Nail Technician” in Yuba-Sutter in 2022, according to the Best of Yuba-Sutter publication.
“It’s so rewarding to be recognized for our work and business in the community, especially as a Latina and women-owned business,” Janet said. “We are just two sisters from immigrant parents trying to make a name for ourselves.”