What made you want to get into the industry to start with and what advice would you give to someone starting out?
My previous chosen career was that of IT Manager, I worked for various companies in their support departments ‚Äì a higher education college, law firm, marketing firm and manufacturing company. About the turn of the century I was bored of IT, I had lost my nerdy interest in it and so I looked for something to do outside work. And I decided that instead of helping computers get better I would prefer to help people and enrolled in a Therapeutic Massage Diploma at the London College of Massage. From there I started to build up my client base, clients asked me about grooming and hair removal ‚Äì they wanted rid of their hairy backs.
Generally with massage most clients come for a series of treatments to help with a complaint or they give themselves a treat. I realised that one of the great things about hair is that it keeps coming back, which means my clients will keep coming back. Once I trained I never looked back, and I have had regular clients that have seen me about once a month since 2006.
For someone starting out I would say research the treatments you want to do, check out your competition and find the best training you can afford. And go for it ‚Äì the first few months or even years can be very hard, be committed and work hard. One of the hardest lessons to learn is how to say no ‚Äì when starting out with no client base the temptation to say yes to every enquiry is often too great. Choose your work hours, don‚Äôt work 7 days a week and stick to your hours. Don‚Äôt accept that client at 11:00pm a night because ‚Äúthat is the only time they can do‚Äù (yes I have had that call). Downtime and recover is just as important as clients.
As males in the industry you are in a definite minority, do you feel this has ever been as issue?
When I wanted to start waxing it took me over a year to find someone to do my basic training. There are a lot more guys around in the industry then when I started ‚Äì a lot of the training companies I spoke to at the time couldn‚Äôt believe a male therapist wanted to do waxing. Many refused to allow me on their training courses. But times have changed now and this isn‚Äôt an issue anymore, indeed I have many female clients who now and come and see me for their Brazilian and Hollywood waxes.
What waxing products could you not live without?
It‚Äôs the most simple of products ‚Äì but my disposable spatulas! I use the Lotus ones, and never double dip. I go through a lot of them, but the price of spatulas is so cheap now there isn‚Äôt a need to double dip.
With 2013 coming to a close, what would you say have been the biggest trends in waxing over the last 12 months?
The increase of specialist therapists and waxing only salons, clients and salons are coming to realise that waxing isn‚Äôt just something a salon needs to offer. It is something they can work hard at and specialise in to build a reputation as the best waxing salon in town.
What trends do you see coming over the horizon?
Guys are definitely starting to accept the need to look after themselves more now, they are moving on from the sports barber they used to go to as a kid and are now looking for specialist barbers or hairdressers. And part of this is looking good, they are starting to talk about their waxing more. When I started a client wouldn‚Äôt dare mention they get their back waxed, now I have clients giving my business cards to their mates.
Have you had any funny stories from your time in the trade you‚Äôd care to share?
I had a client turn up for his first waxing appointment, part way through the consultation he asked about anyone giving up part way through. I told him one client did part way through, he was particularly amused when I said the client had to pay the full treatment cost, not just for the area he had done.
After finishing the consultation the client lay on the table commenting ‚Äúwhat a wimp giving up part way through!‚Äù I completed the first strip down the centre of his chest ‚Äì after a rather loud scream he stood up, handed over ¬£90 cash and said never again and left with a perfectly smooth landing strip down the middle of his chest.
Most profitable treatment I‚Äôve done.