Adventures in Sugaring: When you know you're on to something good...but it kicks your ass a little bit.
"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." -Julia Child
So what the heck is Sugaring anyway?
Sugaring is an ancient method of hair removal that originated in Egypt somewhere around 1900 BC. Yeah, it's old! Sugar paste is completely natural, made of just lemon, sugar and water. It's also not hot, cannot lift skin and is much less likely to produce ingrown hair! You might be scratching your head and wondering why on earth you haven't heard of it yet. Maybe you just finished Esthetics school or you've been an Esthetician for 10 years, or maybe you're a regular waxer who never misses an appointment.....but still, no one's ever mentioned Sugaring!? Well, Sugaring is finally starting to gain the attention it deserves! After 8 years as a Sugarista I couldn't be more thrilled.
Here's how I got in to it.....
When I came across a single line referencing Sugaring in my Esthetics school textbook I immediately went to the inter webs looking for more information. I searched for where I could get sugared, learn about sugaring, get trained in sugaring, watch a sugaring video....you name it. My efforts netted around 2 results, a DVD training program or a class in Minnesota. I registered and began planning my 10 hour drive north from central Illinois to Minneapolis. That was 2008.
After completing my 2 day class I went on to open a one room studio in Bloomington, Illinois called Wild Lotus Skin Care. At that time I had some extra cash so I stocked a high end skincare line, bought a nice facial machine and kicked up my feet and waited for all the curious women to come out of the woodwork. I thought they'd be so intrigued by my unique skill and passion for natural skincare options. I was also convinced that because Sugaring was so far superior to waxing everyone would be bound to give it a shot! The reality was more like a slow trickle and a whole lot of educating and talking, talking and more talking about what Sugaring was to anyone who'd listen. I'd corner my friends at the bar, hit them up after yoga class and flag them down on the street. "Let me tell you how Sugaring works, let me tell you why it's better. Did I hear you were going on vacation/getting married/have a new man? Let's get an appointment booked for you right now!" I'm an Aries by the way, so you can envision that this self promotion was not without an intense eye lock/I'm absolutely going to convince you to come see me attitude. And when that didn't work, I'd throw in a dance move, a joke and a how about $10 off? I am a much less intense promoter these days but I still see the value in humor and dance moves as a way to make friends and meet clients. Not kidding!
While I turned about 20-30 friends on to the idea of Sugaring, all and all I was feeling pretty mediocre about the turn out. I was also seriously questioning if I had what it took to run my own business. I'd built my own basic website, had a friend sketch my logo and bought a fancy credit card machine so I was feeling pretty legit, but my bank account was telling me otherwise. It was 2008, the US economy was suffering and so was my ego.
About a year later I lost interest in facials and decided to solely focus on Sugaring. I took an opportunity to train as a Sugaring Educator and everything started to change. First off, my technique improved by about 1000%. Second, I met a number of other Sugaristas that were hustling and keeping their own businesses afloat in other cities. I watched 10 year Sugaring veterans whoop up on a set of hairy legs with incredible speed and ease. I heard tales of an Esthy that was making $10,000 a month on just Sugaring. The optimist in me was revived and my sense of possibility around making a living as a Sugarista grew. Then I met the $10K a month Sugarer. Not only was she was an extraordinary technician making an excellent living, but she was also rocking a training business on the side. Sometimes you don't even know what you want until you see someone else doing it. I looked at her businesses and wanted what she had. Of course the money was a motivator, but I was much more enticed by the idea of being "established" and what I thought it would feel like to be an expert in my field. All these emotions, good and bad, arise when you realize you want something that someone else has....desire, envy, competitiveness, insecurity, inspiration, clarity, ambition. No matter what, every one of those feelings can be channelled into MOTIVATION. In fact, I think discomfort and dissatisfaction are some of the best catalysts for change. If you're unhappy or unfulfilled, channel that shit! There is energy to burn there that's as good as rocket fuel.
So I got a major dose of motivation...
From there I strapped myself in to the roller coaster of entrepreneurship and went on a crazy ride with my sidekick Sugaring. I succeeded for a bit. Then I got scared. Then I quit and closed my studio. I traveled and taught. I fell in love with teaching and as a bonus people told me I was good at it. I moved to Portland. I took a job for 7 months, I quit. I had money, then had very little money. With that very little money I started a studio called Sweetheart Body Sugaring in 2011, which one year later became The Sugarista. From there I just kept on keeping on. After 5 years in business in Portland, Sugaring and teaching Sugaring non stop, I learned how to run and grow a studio and how to really teach my craft. I'm proud to say that my business maintained 100% five star reviews and that I've trained over 100 women to Sugar since 2008. But most importantly, I made the best friends and I really came to know what I was capable of both creatively and in terms of work ethic.
I wanted to share this little story of how I got started. Money, resources and perfect websites are a wonderful thing to have when you are getting a business started, but for me nothing trumps the potent combination of desire, motivation and persistence. And totally out of context dance moves, people just love em'!
Thanks for reading! Love to hear your comments!
P.S. I'm back to the beginning in many ways as I set out to rebuild my vision for The Sugarista. From a brick + mortar shop in Portland, Oregon to an international training + product business, I've got an exciting journey ahead. Do I have a big budget? No, and I like it that way. It keeps me in a more creative place. Am I flying out of bed in the morning to make my ideas happen, YES! I believe in Sugaring, I believe in hard work and I believe I'm on to something good. If you want to join this sweet Sugaring movement I'd be happy to show you how and share what I've learned [firstname.lastname@example.org]