Acknowledging that the nail category is experiencing a full-on lull—with no sign of recovering in the coming year—entrepreneur and all-around nail guru, Jin SoonChoi, has set out to make sure her business stays bulletproof.

“The nail market is really down. But we are lucky. Our Tribeca location offers lots of hand and foot spa treatments and people in the area are into skin care so it’s helping. Otherwise, we couldn’t survive. So we have been busy looking at other outlets to grow,” said Jin, who operates a total of four salons in Manhattan, with locations on the Upper East Side and the West Village.

Sales data from The NPD Group confirms Jin’s worries: sales of nail polish in prestige are down 2% to $79.3 million compared to 2016.

“We are looking for global retail partners, like what we have with Mecca in Australia. They’re so good, they really know how to promote a brand.”

Another new outlet is expanding her product business outside the U.S.

Recently she launched JINSoon Gel in Korea with manufacturing partner, Weme International Co., Ltd. The line is now sold at approximately 1,000 premium salons in the country. She is predicting that number to double in 2018. Formulas possess a hybrid gel chemical composition referred to as a “sliding formula,” using micro pigments. A leveling brush makes for a flexible, smooth application with a very long-lasting application. The line currently offers 60 shades, including base and top gels. That number looks to grow to 100 in 2018, with a new collection slated for February. If the line meets sales goals in Korea, Jin is eyeing expansion into other countries in Asia.

Creating the collection was a six-month process and is the first professional gel nail polish brand in Korea with an expert’s name, she added.

While Jin admits that gel polish doesn’t drive foot traffic to salons since it lasts for two weeks, it’s higher price point does help to offset that impediment. Other factors affecting the nail category is cyclical in nature, she said.

“People are just not into nails as much as before. Now it’s all skin care and makeup. But there is always a turn; it will come back. In Korea though they are all about gel nail polish; regular nail polish is not popular there,” Jin said, explaining that the desire for nail art has cooled and customers are wanting regular—and lower priced–manicures instead.

Another new retail partner, domestically, is Amazon, supplementing her business in Barneys New York. Black Friday and cyber Monday recently contributed to a sales surge, and she’s optimistic about the rest of the Holiday shopping season.

“A discount always drives sales on”