Irish brand Waxperts has quickly become a leader in the beauty world.
Established in 2008 when owner Ellen Kavanagh partnered up with friend Trish O’Brien to create their very own wax. Six years on and the ladies first retail product Waxperts Ingrown Hair pads hit Irish shelves.
In the latest of our Irish Women In Business series, Ellen took a few minutes to chat to Her.ie about her path to success, the challenges and her top tips for those setting up their own business.
Have you always had an interest in the field of cosmetics? If not, how did you become interested in it?
Not really. I started my working life in retail and adored it. I'm still a retailer at heart. What piqued my interest was a girl, Karen that did my nails. I saw the similarities of the industry in that they are both customer focused. And I got into beauty in 2004 and trained in Coogin Bergin and became CIDESCO qualified.
When and how did the business come about?
I opened my own salon in 2008 and couldn't find a wax brand I felt was good enough for my clients so I decided I would create my own range to use in my salon. My now business partner and best friend Trish, joined me to work in the salon in 2009 and Waxperts quickly became the award winning salon it remains. Then in 2012 we launched it as a professional range for salons and spas. Waxperts wax is now in hundreds of salons all over the country.
Starting out, what was your aim?
I had clear vision of the Waxperts brand from day one and it remains as strong as ever. I wanted to have a salon that put the client as number 1. They are THE most important part of our business so that is always our focus. We are dedicated to giving the very best service and treatment to our clients and our stockists.
Did you ever expect that this idea would turn into a successful business?
Since day one I've always believed in the power the Waxperts brand had. So nothing has ever seemed undoable. However as crazy as it sounds now I actually never thought or had the desire to own my own business so it's amazing how your life changes.
How exactly have you goten to this point in terms of building up the business?
With the salon, you're only as good as your last wax. So we built that up through word of mouth. I'm extremely proud that we are one of the only waxing only salons in the country.
And because of our reputation, other salon owners trusted us and believed in us. So we have built Waxperts Wax on our passion and the fact that we are salon owners and therapists so we know exactly what’s it's like for our stockists on a day-to-day basis.
Plus we have an amazing product! So once people try it they're hooked!
What is a normal working day for you (does it even exist)?
Every day and week is different. We could be abroad with our distributors, or at trade shows. If I'm in Dublin I'm juggling my 18 month old son and then working from the office and visiting the salon. So it's pretty varied. One minute I'm getting my photo taken for a magazine and the next I'm unloading a delivery!! The glamour!
What has been the biggest challenge?
Keeping the momentum going. We've had to juggle the expansion of the Waxperts range as a professional brand, whilst still being fully involved in our salon too. Then I had my baby and we were launching into other countries! So it's just keeping going and keeping all the balls in the air.
What has been your best moment to date?
I think sealing the deal with our new UK distributors. They are number 1 in the industry and it's a massive achievement. Next year will be pretty busy for us because of it.
Personally having my son Cooper. It's amazing being a mother, he's so much fun.
What do you think makes your business unique?
Our mission statement is "Integrity, Innovation, Inspiration" and I think that sums us up well. I believe we are genuine and we always want the very best for our customer. And we are utterly passionate about what we do.
What comes next for you as a businesswoman?
We have new products that we are getting ready to launch and we have a global expansion plan. Every salon in the world waxes, and I want to ensure its Waxperts they use!
For more information on the products check out Waxperts.ie