When I started Urban Waxx 3 years ago, I had a mission. Yes, I wanted to provide the best wax you’ll ever have. Seriously. That was huge for me, to create a “wax experience” rather than the typical, back room, dirty wax pot, paper on the table, skin ripping, post traumatic stress inducing experience that so many of us have had in the past. Yes, it’s true that before I ever became an Esthetician I thought that it was normal for my skin to scab after an eyebrow wax. Uhh, note to all readers: IT’S NOT! By the way, that’s moi, in Esthetics school, many, many years ago. Goofy.
But, my mission, my purely self serving reason, was to create an environment where I felt joy. A place that was peaceful, fun, and safe. Now, I’m talking from an employee’s viewpoint. Believe it or not, working at spas and salons is not always peaceful and relaxing. Many times it’s quite the opposite. Spa owners have a reputation for being a little, uhh, how do I put this gently…crazy? Nutty? Neurotic? Many people who open spas make the same mistake that some restauranteurs make. They think: Hey, I like people. I like to eat out. Why not open a restaurant. The same thing happens time and time again with failed or failing spas and salons. The owners think that if they like being at a spa, then that qualifies them to open their own. Not a good idea. First and foremost, a salon is a business. Without a fundamental knowledge of what makes a business run, things will go sideways very quickly. I have worked for terrible business owners before. I have worked for good owners, as well, but unfortunately the bad eclipsed the good. I have had my paychecks bounce, I have had business owners tell me to do massage (Although I am NOT a massage therapist. I said no, but it was really awkward), I have dealt with owners with drug problems, owners who lied to the clients, owners who lied to the employees. I have worked at places where we had almost zero product because there was no money for it, I have worked at places where the power was shut off because the bills weren’t paid. I worked at a place where if we didn’t sell a certain percentage of retail then it would be deducted from our paycheck. I have worked at places where the owner would routinely scream in her head stylist’s face, in front of his clients. I have seen owners have nervous breakdowns, cry, scream, curse the staff, the front desk, the clients. And more. So much more.
I vowed, when I opened Urban Waxx, to never be that owner or that salon. At the core, I wanted Urban Waxx to be a place of respect, integrity, and love. Ok, maybe sounds a little corny, but it’s absolutely the truth. It’s easy to cut corners as a business owner. You can pay less, charge more, use lesser quality products, force your staff to hard sell the clients crap they don’t need or want. I will never do that. I learned long ago that trading in your integrity, even a little bit, is a very slippery slope. However, in my experience, if you treat your client and staff with respect, if you are honest with them, if you don’t condescend to them, then they will reciprocate exponentially.
I have an amazing staff of women. I feel joy every day that I walk into Urban Waxx. Yesterday Stella was sick and we stayed cuddled up on the couch all day. I didn’t get to stop in to the shop. I missed it. I told myself when I opened that the day that I start feeling resentful, angry, disillusioned about Urban Waxx is the day that I need to close. Since I have opened, every day gets better. I love Urban Waxx with every fiber of my body. When I am there I feel like I am home.
That was my mission: to create a place that was good. Simple, huh? Where my employees could feel safe, could feel respected, could feel validated. When your staff feels good, it shows. They become so much more receptive to the clients. Clients can feel that we are happy. It shows. I mean, really people. We wax for a living. Shouldn’t we be happy? It’s not like we are funeral directors. Our job is light and breezy and fun. We make people feel good, all day long. That’s something to smile about.