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2022 20 under 40: Ming Hsieh

2022 20 under 40: Ming Hsieh

  • Photo by Charles Bruce III

Owner, Polished Salon

Age: 38

If Ming could change one thing about her life, she’d love for her house to be as organized as her nail salon.

As a small business owner, Ming wears many hats. A typical day begins with answering messages and prepping the salon for the day while looking over her appointments, which are usually back-to-back Monday through Saturday. Between clients, she works on the operational side of the business, which includes branding, marketing, monitoring cash flow, visual merchandising, keeping up with the latest product trends, and maintaining inventory for sales and salon use. 

“People have the misconception that it does not take much effort to be in the beauty industry,” Ming says. “But it requires you to be super consistent and reliable, to become an expert in your trade so you can establish a loyal clientele, and to sacrifice your evenings because most clients that come to see you usually work until 5 p.m.”

Ming says it also demands that you are pleasant, accommodating, and have a sympathetic ear even when you are having a rough day. “It is an industry that is exceptionally demanding yet incredibly rewarding if you put your time in,” says Ming.

Of all the things that demand her time and attention, Ming is most proud of creating a positive work environment and finding new incentives that allow her to retain excellent employees. “Salons can have a reputation for being negative or hostile work environments,” Ming says. “I want to create a safe space for employees to work and collaborate and feel supported. I’m always striving to let my employees know that they are appreciated for their hard work and reward them accordingly.”

When she’s not at work, Ming enjoys shopping at the Columbia Farmers Market and giving back to the community. In 2020 she joined the board of The BOLD Academy, a local nonprofit that works to empower and uplift black and brown girls.

“Ming has been an incredibly active board member who has worked tirelessly to create enrichment and scholarship opportunities for black and brown girls,” says founders Melita Walker and Chrystal Graves-Yazici. “Most recently, Ming was directly involved in helping The BOLD Academy apply and obtain a grant from Veterans United Home Loans that will allow us to have a permanent space.”

Fun Fact: Ming has a major fascination with procuring her own food and enjoys hunting, fishing, and gardening.

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