This is a new post on TSO where I will be interviewing influential people in the showbiz, fashion and beauty world for a post every 3-4 weeks. Up this week is the lovely Ellen Kavanagh from successful wax brand, Waxperts.
Tell us about Waxperts & how did it all begin?
In 2008 I began working for myself a few hours a week waxing my clients in a room I rented in a physical therapy clinic. An opportunity arose to take on the lease and I opened Waxperts. The salon is still there and as successful as ever. Before I opened the salon I was trying out lots of different wax brands but none of them I felt were good enough for my clients. It was then I decided to make my own wax. In 2012 we decide to launch Waxperts wax as a professional brand for salons and spas to use. We are in 500 great salons in Ireland, nationwide in the UK and Poland and in salons in Norway and America.
Did you always want to work for yourself?
I never thought I would work for myself and had no aspirations to but my career path changed. My career began in retail, working for luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Bally shoes. I decided then that I would enroll on my day off and study beauty therapy.
Once I began to my surprise, believe it or not, I found out that waxing was my thing! From then on I have been waxing.
What are your top 3 favourite beauty brands that you can’t live without?
I love Stila and Charlotte Tilbury make up at the moment. For skincare I love Image products. And Waxperts Wonder pads for a million different uses!
Describe yourself in 5 words.
A mammy, a friend, caring, hard working, honest.
Do you have any tips for someone who is scared of getting waxed or a first timer?
Seek out a Waxperts trained salon. They will have the best technique and follow our no double dipping policy. Get a patch test. Don’t trim, avoid caffeine and painkillers beforehand. The waxing part is actually grand it’s the anticipation that’s worse. So try and relax.
How do you stay looking so fabulous? What is your secret?
God I don’t think I do at all! In fact if you follow me on snapchat (@waxpertsellen) you’ll know I don’t! I think it’s really important to look after your skin and get in a good routine. You only get one face after all! For clothes and makeup I don’t follow trends as much as try and stick to what suits me and flatters me. Shoes are definitely my weakness though.
What is the best thing about working for yourself?
That you’re following a dream and a vision that you’ve longed for. There’s a real sense of purpose. And those are the things that make you get up every morning excited about work and the day ahead. The sky’s the limit, you can be as ambitious as you like. We also have flexibility in how we work. Which is really important for me being a mammy of a two and a half year old.
Were you nervous about being self employed? Do you have any advice for someone doing a start-up?
Nah, not when I opened the salon. I had nothing to loose. I’m really lucky as I have a trade in being a beauty therapist. So if it all went wrong I can pick up my spatula, grab a wax pot and start again!
Ellen & her business partner, Trish
Describe your typical day at Waxperts HQ.
When I’m not away or traveling, I work mostly in our office in Dun Laoghaire. We deal with all our Irish stockists and our distributors orders and training enquiries. My day is really varied. I deal with marketing, strategy, future growth planning, pr, product development, trade show planning and all the usual accounts stuff. It’s busy!
If you could only bring one beauty product on a dessert island what would it be?
I think I’d cheat and I’d create a fab product that had a cleanser on one end and an SPF tinted glowy moisturiser on the other end and in the lid it would have a cream blusher you could also use as a lip tint!!!
Who are your role models in the beauty and business world? Is there anyone you look up to?
Jim Nordstorm , who is one of our distribution partners in Sweet Squared, has always been a role model to me. Himself and his father started CND and invented Solar Oil™ and Shellac™. They changed the nail and beauty industry. I’ve always felt Waxperts would be the ‘shellac’ of waxes, a brand with innovation, integrity, and passion. So to work closely with him is amazing.
Tell us your favourite…..
Movie – White Christmas
Person – Conrad, my fiance, and Cooper, my son
Gadget – My iPhone
Colour – Purple
Book – Anything inspirational. I love successful business peoples biographies
Restaurant – Nobu, Las Vegas
If you won 1million euro how would you spend it?
I’d invest it in Waxperts, after buying some fab shoes and handbags.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years time Waxperts will be one of the leading professional wax brands in the world.
Don’t you just love how Ellen says Waxperts WILL BE one of the leading brands in the world. She is not questioning herself she is going for the top and nothing else. This is what I admire so much about her.
Love Aoibhe xxx
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Images: www.independent.ie, www.yelp.ie