A $7 vintage sweater at a thrift shop brought Florence Gaven-Rossavik and Jessie Frampton together several years ago and today the entrepreneurs have a growing multi-million dollar membership-based, wax bar.
The concept of Fuzz Wax Bar has taken off with more expansion in the works from its roots in Toronto to across the country and possibly internationally.
From that chance meeting, the two quickly became friends and soon discovered that they were both committed to waxing for their hair removal. They were both seeking a wax place to love in the Toronto area, but couldn’t seem to find one.
FUZZ WAX BAR FOCUSES ON AFFORDABILITY, CLEANLINESS, AND EFFICIENCY
They just wanted reasonably-priced services in a clean environment and in a setting that was welcoming and comfortable as well.
“No such place existed at the time. So we did what any enterprising women would do–we built it! We created the experience we wanted to have. And now, Fuzz is a multi-million-dollar company, founded on the principles of body positivity, personal and financial growth, innovation, and community,” say the entrepreneurs.
“We are a membership-based waxing only salon for men and women,” said Frampton.
The friendship and business partnership between the two began when Frampton asked Gaven-Rossavik her opinion about the vintage sweater she had discovered at Value Village.
“I had never done that before and I haven’t done it since,” said Frampton.
“We had both been waxing for over 10 years. I was going somewhere pretty routinely but I wasn’t happy with the service. And other places in Toronto were typically very expensive or the alternative was sanitation was an issue and it was a little bit shady.”
Gaven-Rossavik mentioned to Frampton a popular concept in Europe that was a waxing only salon. They both realized this was a concept that didn’t exist in their market. And at the time different niche business models were exploding in popularity for things like lash extension bars. They were becoming trendy. But there was no wax bar in Toronto.
When researching the concept, they realized the trend was gaining popularity as well in the U.S. and on the West Coast of Canada. After eight months of conversations, the two opened Fuzz Wax Bar in Toronto in February 2012.
“Not only were we selling the concept of a wax bar but we were also selling the concept of a membership. Never in the past had there been memberships tied to beauty. But the minute we opened our doors clients came in. We saw immediate success and we’re very thrilled, we’re lucky and we’re very grateful but we also saw immediate success with our membership,” said Frampton.
“When we developed the model, we developed it from a very client-centred perspective. We created something that was very fast because typically in this city when you get a wax it’s very dragged out and very long. We wanted something that’s affordable. We wanted to be very competitively priced and convenient. Typically people have to schedule their wax around their aesthetician but we wanted a space that people could come in and just come out any time of day without booking an appointment.
“But we also wanted something that was going to motivate our clients to come back. The membership works well because hair grows on a four-week cycle and our membership is taken out every four weeks. They’re pre-paying for their waxing services prior to coming in.”
There was immediate success and the brand started growing corporately right away. There are seven corporate locations currently and three franchise locations with five more expected to open in the next six months.
FUZZ WAX BAR IS EXPANDING ACROSS THE COUNTRY DESPITE COVID-19 DELAYS
Frampton said that the company recently opened a location in Montreal's Griffintown area as well as Red Deer Alberta and in Toronto's Leaside area. A location near the corner of Church Street and Carlton Street in Toronto will be opening soon. “By the end of the year, we’ll be at 13 locations including five franchise-owned and nine locations that are corporately owned.”
Frampton said that Canada could support about 95-100 franchise locations within the next five years.
Prior to COVID-19, Fuzz Wax Bar planned to open its first U.S. location in Chicago as part of an expansion that could see as many as 1000 locations there. That expansion has been halted given the current situation south of the border.
Locations have reopened after shutdowns due to the pandemic. Frampton said that the company already had enhanced sanitization protocols and was well prepared. "Because of COVID, we have tightened up structures and procedures, and everyone now wears masks. Not much has changed although there is now more time between appointments to make sure that we are doing a major clean.”
Fuzz offers waxing in 20 minutes when the industry average is 45. The company said its quick waxing method was created to ensure less pain as only the best wax with high-quality ingredients is used. Wax is never reused.