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Thursday, Mar 28, 2019
Fuzz Wax Bar: The Entrepreneurs Who Changed Toronto’s Beauty Scene
Fuzz Wax Bar is the best place to get waxed in Toronto. But what makes this waxing service so unique actually starts with its founders. Jessie Frampton and Florence Gaven-Rossavik opened their first shop in 2012 and have since grown the business into a city staple. Their experienced staff and renewed products take the pain out of waxing while giving you the best skincare service. View the Vibe caught up with Jessie to learn more about these two female entrepreneurs and their success story.
Jessie met her business partner in one of the simplest ways possible—while shopping. She sparked a conversation with Florence over a $7.00 vintage sweater. Neither one could have predicted that this chance encounter would change the course of their lives. The two women went on to own the first membership salon in Canada and have opened seven Fuzz Wax Bar locations in Ontario.
Q: What sparked the idea behind Fuzz Wax Bar?
Florence (who is originally from France) was talking about her frustration with the Toronto beauty scene. There weren’t parlours here like there were in France that catered to waxing services. The idea came at a perfect moment. I was freelancing, but with our spare time, we would start talking about the concept of fuzz Wax Bar.
Q: How did you transition from freelance to business owner. Were you worried about your financial stability?
At the time I was 25-years-old and I didn’t have much fear. I didn’t struggle with not knowing what was next I looked at that as an opportunity to create. But of course, to open up a business it does take money. Even though we had this fully packaged business plan, when we went to banks, no one would give us a loan. So we reached out to our friends and family. It ended up being 50% money and 50% our blood sweat and tears. We painted the first Fuzz Wax Bar location on Queen ourselves.
Q: How did feel to go from one store to now the seventh?
It actually felt organic. When we sat down and created our first business plan, we always had multiple locations in mind. That’s why we build Fuzz Wax Bar with a membership option. We knew this is what we wanted so when it started happening it felt like no surprise. It was like, well this is how we build it out.
Q: What did you struggle with the most while creating this business?
From the start, I think the real struggle was not going in with any business experience or esthetic experience. I went in blind. At 25 I had to find out who I was, then I also had to find my business self. That was my biggest challenge. Incorporating myself and my personality into that business role.
Q: How did you get through people telling you that a business like this one wouldn’t take off?
We realized right away that passion can sell anything. If people can hear the passion in your voice, it makes things run a lot smoother. When it’s a passion project, it masks all the insecurities that people try and project onto you. We really felt like there was no struggle big enough to affect what we were doing and where we were going.
Q: What is it like to have a best friend as a business partner?
Our qualities professionally were very different when we started. She was in admin, operations and finance. I was more PR and design, so we fell into our roles over the last six years. It was tough in the beginning finding that, but we’ve come to this safe space of just knowing the role we both play in Fuzz Wax Bar. Though we do consult on every aspect of our business, we know our individual strengths.
Q: What piece of advice do you wish you had when you started out?
Ask people for help, because you would be surprised at who is willing to help out. As an entrepreneur, you want to do everything yourself, but we started to learn to confide in other people. It’s a pretty beautiful thing that happens when you share that passion.
Q: You’ve created a space in Toronto where people are very open to talking about hair and sensitive body parts. How did you accomplish this?
That was all strategy. When we opened, we did an anti-salon or spa look. We thought how can we make this more talked about? Our brand is called Fuzz Wax Bar, so that sets the tone before you even walk in. The idea was to create a brand that had an instant welcoming feeling. We talk about hair very openly and if you’re uncomfortable with that, we’re going to make you comfortable fairly quickly. We’re also in a beautiful time where people are talking about self-care and self-love. The movement that’s happening is contributing to Fuzz Wax Bar.
Q: Will Fuzz Wax Bar ever incorporate laser into their services?
We will always do what serves our customer best and we are very involved in research and development. I think waxing compliments laser and laser compliments waxing. We’re proud to be in the now, and if there is something we do feel we need to bring into Fuzz Wax Bar for hair removal, we are definitely open to change. Though as of now, we don’t need it.
Q: What is next for you?
What I love most about Fuzz Wax Bar are the opportunities I’m able to give. Right now, we employee 100 females in Toronto. If someone doesn’t like their position, I literally sit there with them and challenge them to go into something different. I’m willing to create a new position for them. I want to empower women to be in business and encourage them. Whether this is through public speaking or events, I want to be involved in this movement. That is the most exciting thing to me. I see myself mentoring and leading women in a bigger way, even outside of Fuzz.