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Handy Work

Twila True polishes up the local nail industry.

Twila True, pictured at her Harbor Island home, is trying her hand at nails.

Twila True’s come a long way—literally and figuratively. She was born into the Oglala Sioux tribe of the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, one of the nation’s poorest places. Driven by ambition and determination, she found success in business and launched what’s become a booming real estate private equity firm, True Investments. She serves as president and CEO of the company, which boasts $1 billion-plus in assets. In addition, she and her husband, Alan, run True Family Enterprises, which invests in companies that develop, launch and operate high-end beauty brands and retail services—and that enterprise has taken her around the world, indulging in luxurious services (it’s research, after all). She soon recognized a lack of similar experiences here at home in O.C. So she’s doing what any entrepreneur would—filling the need, launching an upscale chain of Polished Perfect by Twila True Studios with two Costa Mesa locations set to open this month. Here, she tells us what we’ve been missing.

Why nail salons?
My aim is to elevate and redefine the nail industry by setting the standard through service level, trends and aesthetics, and creating an overall experience where there wasn’t one before.

Tell us about your core services.
Every service will include complete care of hands and feet, nail plate, cuticles and a relaxing massage, among other services such as nail art with Minx, Pavé and Crystal Culture.

You’ve got one salon on Baker Street, but your 17th Street studio is the flagship—will there be a full beauty bar?
Yes, the demand is high for one-stop luxury services. We’ll offer blow-dry and makeup bars, hair extensions, lash application and eyebrow beautification.

And you’ll be using some special products.
We crafted the custom-formulated Twila True line. The products will be sold online, in luxury retail stores and at all Polished Perfect by Twila True Studios.

How many more salons can we expect to see?
Right now, the plan is for six to eight additional studios in Arizona and Texas, and throughout the country, by the end of 2015.

Let’s talk nail trends. Any favorite colors this season?
I’m wearing a lot of aubergine and marsala.

And how about nail art?
I lean toward clean and sophisticated designs such as stripes and stones.

Celebs who you think have really elevated the nail game?
Zooey Deschanel, Rihanna, Beyoncé and Heidi Klum are just some of the celebrities I love at the moment.