Jane Haubrich Casperson and Jo Haubrich are sisters who took a giant leap of faith to open a “Waxing the City” franchise studio in Duluth. While waxing services are offered at some salons in the area, this is the first studio devoted to body waxing. Their Duluth studio is located at 1030 Woodland Ave. in the Shops at BlueStone.
“We were really excited about the BlueStone spot for its location and visibility for even walk-up traffic. The site’s accessibility and ease of parking are just what today’s consumers want,” Haubrich Casperson said.
“We loved the profile of a brand new location and to see a facility grow from the ground up,” added Haubrich.
Their proximity to UMD, the College of St. Scholastica and the college age demographic was also significant with the selection of their BlueStone setting, although the sisters note that the largest percentage of their clients are people aged 25-50.
The first unisex facial and body “Waxing The City” studio opened during 2003 in Denver by four women founders. In late 2012, they partnered with the Minnesota-based Anytime Fitness, LLC, the world’s largest co-ed fitness franchise.
According to the company’s website, “industry reports show that specialty salons like waxing and nails fared well during the recession. Revenue rose to a high of $11 billion . . . proving consumers do not want to give up self-care and beauty even during hard times. Industry revenue is projected to grow even more as employment figures improve and discretionary income increases.”
With that kind of a prospect for a successful business, the sisters took the plunge and decided to try the Waxing the City franchise model in Duluth.
After growing up on a southern Minnesota farm, both graduated from The College of St. Scholastica. Haubrich came to the waxing business after working in the corporate world of the hotel industry for more than 20 years. Haubrich Casperson had spent her career in non-profits and healthcare.
The sisters were one of the first few franchises to open after the Denver studios. They had formed a business partnership together called Meadowland and under that umbrella opened the Duluth studio and later one in St. Cloud.
“Jane and I are really Yin and Yang, but we had always wanted to work together. We just had never been in the right place at the r i g h t time. We wanted something a little out of the box, but we didn’t want to create an entirely new business. Now it is very exciting for us to have two studios up and running (one in Duluth and one in St. Cloud),” Haubrich said.
Haubrich Casperson retired this year but will still work as a trainer and consultant. Haubrich has taken over full ownership of the company and the major responsibilities for both franchise studios.
Waxing the City’s franchise operation was founded on the idea that, for many people, waxing is a lifestyle, not just an occasional bit of self-pampering. The company’s website notes that their successes are based on “the use of superior wax, their highly-trained staff, and their compassionate and caring customer service.”
The company had decided that one of the ways to set themselves apart was that they needed to start with the best wax. Their custom-formulated soft and hard proprietary wax made exclusively for facial and body waxing is manufactured in Spain and France.
The licensed estheticians at the studio are waxing specialists who have an additional title created by the company. They are called cerologists™, combining “cera” (Latin for wax) with “ologist” (to indicate their level of education and expertise).
Each cerologist attends a week-long, hands-on training course to become certified and gets ongoing training and education while employed. Following their week-training, their first week on the job is for them to practice on friends and family to give them more time to get comfortable and apply what they learned from the company training.
The cerologists are given opportunities to advance in the company with some moving to other studios and even some becoming managers. Haubrich Casperson relates, “We had one cerologist who had never traveled at all and her dream was someday to get to Denver, Colo. We are excited that she is now moving to Denver to work in one of their Waxing the City studios.”
They made it one of their goals to give women who may have had a harder time in life a fair shake in starting over with jobs in their studios. Haubrich explains, “We want to support women who can benefit from the structure and training that we can provide. It is satisfying for us to give them the support that they need.”
“It is so wonderful being able to give people a chance to grow in their careers and develop to a place they never thought they would go. We work with them on goal setting and then feel such pride when we see them fly,” she noted.
Haubrich Casperson tells of another young employee who was a struggling single mom who was trying hard to find herself. Waxing the City had a contest for who could sell the most products in a single month nationwide. This St. Cloud store employee won the nationwide contest. “We were so thrilled for her,” she said.
As body waxing continues to grow as an increasing segment of the salon industry, the “Waxing the City” franchises are popping up in nearly all fifty states. Haubrich said, “There are 78 studios open now with 200 franchises set to open in the next 18 months.”