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Fuzz Wax Bar Expands into British Columbia with 1st Location Following Pandemic Challenges: Interview

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Fuzz Wax Bar has opened its first location in Vancouver as the company embarks on an expansion strategy through franchise partners.

Jessie Frampton and Florence Gaven Rossavik founded the company in 2012 when there were no other dedicated wax bars, and no beauty bars offering memberships.

The pioneer in these categories is on track, after the past two years of COVID, to hit $10 million in revenue this year with plans to open more stores and its first US location.

“Vancouver has always been on the horizon for Flo and I. When we first opened in year one, I’m personally a huge fan of the West Coast so it was kind of like gold to make it all the way over there,” said Frampton. “So we’ve always had our eye on the West Coast.

Image: Fuzz Wax Bar

“Over time and over the last few years, it just hasn’t been realistic to our growth that we’re seeing in Toronto and as we brought on new franchisees, it wasn’t realistic for us to open a corporate location there. So until recently one of our franchisees opened up her third location. This one is a franchise location . . . Us securing it corporately didn’t make sense, but to have a franchisee own it to build that territory made a lot more sense.”

Of the current locations in Canada, eight are corporate and eight are franchise.

Two more franchise locations will be opening in the next few months – Vaughan and Edmonton. 

“We’re in the GTA already but we’re not in that area of Vaughan yet. For Alberta, we have a location in Red Deer. So Edmonton will be our first big move to a bigger city there. And we have a lot of interest in Alberta. It really is a booming market. There’s another two potential franchisees coming on board for Calgary,” added Rossavik.

“We have big plans. And we did before COVID as well. We took a bit of a break there because of COVID but basically coast to coast in Canada is our plan. We already are coast to coast thanks to our Vancouver location because we did open a St. John’s, Newfoundland location during COVID. In Canada, we’re looking at about 100 locations overall. We’re hoping to sell this full Canada territory over the next five years.

Image: Fuzz Wax Bar

“We’re looking at getting an amount of franchisees that is more limited so that we can grow multi-unit markets which makes sense for us that we have people that do at least three locations which is a trend we’re seeing right now with our current franchisees.”

Rossavik said the company is ready to expand into the US market with its franchise model. She said the plan for future locations, including Canada, is to make them franchise partners.

“We have a pretty rigorous process of finding locations. Location is key for us. We’ve always done a lot of data and analysis. We know who we want to be close to, what other retailers we want to be close to,” she said. “We generally go for 1,400 square feet to 1,600 square feet. That’s what we’re looking for. It can be either urban or plaza. It doesn’t matter for us. What matters more is who is around us. What kind of neighbour do we have?”

Frampton said the company is seeing success in areas where the concept doesn’t exist.

Image: Fuzz Wax Bar

“We opened up Toronto’s first waxing only salon 10 years ago and we find that when we’re opening up in areas that aren’t familiar with the concept, this is a client centric model, so clients in that area resonate with wanting to have the concept around them and closer to them,” she said. 

Fuzz recently announced that all of their services will be completely gender neutral – all services can be easily booked without having to determine how one identifies, simply based on anatomy. It has partnered with Green Circle Salons to reduce waste in its wax bars.

“Fuzz was started by Jessie and Flo in 2011 after meeting by chance while shopping in a vintage store. The rest was history. Jessie, born and raised in Canada, had over five years of experience in event planning, public relations and marketing, and knows the importance of customer experience to create a successful business,” says the company’s website.

Image: Fuzz Wax Bar

“She loves to travel, especially if it means a good hiking destination – this is where she finds her inspiration. She’s also quite health conscious – in mental health, eating habits and products she uses.

“Flo is originally from France and has spent her life being inspired by the simple style of natural French beauty. She began her business career at 13 years old when she started selling posters to her friends that she’d buy in bulk from poster catalogues, and resell to her friends. She’s a risk-taker at heart with an entrepreneurial spirit – something that has made her always keen to take on new adventures, such as living all over the world. She has a passion for cinema and even studied to become a director of photography for films.

“Sustainability is incredibly important to both Jessie and Flo, from a personal and business perspective. Today, Jessie oversees the branding, marketing, social media, corporate culture and in-store operations at Fuzz, while Flo takes charge of the finance, operations, learning and franchise development departments.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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