Nailing A Pretty Colorful Career

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - December 23, 2009
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Kali Gregory in her shop, Kali’s Nail Supply

Kali Gregory is a big fan of nail salons. After all, she says,women like to feel pretty.

“(This is) not a nail salon,” the Liliha resident explains with a huge smile.

She distributes products wholesale to professional nail salons and retails nail polish to the public at her shop, Kali’s Nail Supply.

The 2,000-square-foot supply store services nail salons in Hawaii, Guam, Samoa and Saipan.

“Salons are the backbone of my business,” says Gregory. “We like sharing really cool stuff. Wherever possible, we encourage people to support their local salons.”

A special section of the store showcases chemical products that only licensed nail technicians are trained to use. And the love of her life and business partner Roger Crow distributes a nail system called Calgel through the shop, which uses organic ingredients that strengthen nails so they can grow naturally.


A nail technician herself with 25 years of experience, Gregory moved from Colorado to Hawaii in 1986 to sell her nail products to stores from the trunk of her car. A psychology major in college, she

brought her people skills to the nail table when she opened a nail salon in Kaneohe in 1990, which she ran for four years. She notes that she was a pioneer in the use of the fiberglass nail system in Hawaii.

She opened the Honolulu store in 1999. In 2004, she expanded her customer base by adding nail polishes, body washes and lotions that anyone can buy. With the help of two part-timers, she promotes several lines of nail polishes such as Zoya that feature hundreds of colors.

Her main goal is to help others.

“If you go in with your heart, you will come out with your heart and your pocket,” she says, noting that she can help people with fungal problems, too.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, Gregory, a native New Yorker, has offered a first-responder discount to people in the military, fire department, police department and hospital workers. She also donates products to domestic abuse centers and others.

“When women walk out they feel pretty,” she says about the salon experience. “They walk with their shoulders back and their heads held high. We women have to feel pretty.”

Gregory says she wishes she could read the minds of her customers so she could pick all the colors and fragrances they desire.

“I want to have what you need available,” she says.

Kali’s Nail Supply is located at 547 Halekauwila St. Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. For more information, call 585-8788 or log on to


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