We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Shannon Ashley. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Shannon below.
Shannon, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today What can you share with us about the story behind how you found your key vendors?
Owning a service + appointment based business, quality products that are effective is my number one priority. Because I want the absolute best for my clients, I am very picky about who I choose to associate my brand with. This is why I did a lot of trial and error picking supplies and products leading up to opening my doors, as well as for the last 2 years I’ve been in business. What I’ve concluded is that being a woman-owned small business, it was really important to me that my vendors were also women-owned small businesses, and most of them also had experience in my industry. This allowed them to create products and supplies that waxers could benefit from, that our industry was lacking. Being a minority in business, I think it’s really powerful to support other minorities – from choosing who I buy my wax from, to who I want to support with my retail sales. Because of this, I’ve been able to create really strong connections and relationships with my vendors, and their exemplary customer service is a reflection of that. My clients are also mostly women, and the feminine community The Hairless Hippie has been able to build from behind the scenes to in person interactions is something I’m really proud of.
Shannon, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
Becoming an esthetician was something I did to figure out my own skincare issues, but becoming a waxer with my license was purely accidental. At the time I started my schooling, I was only ever interested in skincare, and doing facials all day, every day. However, to become an esthetician, you have to learn a little bit about everything your license covers. I remember my instructor telling me, “I think you’re really going to like waxing,” to which I replied “I think you’re really going to be wrong.” Well, 5 years later, I no longer offer skincare services, and strictly wax – all day every day. That was the best happy accident of my life.
I am naturally a very hairy person, with dark hair and fair complexion. My body hair was always the topic of ridicule and bullying when I was young, and as I got older, I did everything I could to mitigate it. I would try everything like hair removing creams that resulted in chemical burns, at-home wax kits that did not work, and using 3 separate razors daily just to feel “normal.”
My mission with The Hairless Hippie is to stop using the word “normal” and start embracing what feels good and healthy for each individual. Whether that’s going completely smooth, to leaving some hair – no matter the body part – I want to empower your body hair choices, no matter what they may be.
This is why the aftercare products I retail are designed for whatever body hair choice is right for you. Each exfoliating and moisturizing product is good for shaving, waxing, electrolysis, or just letting it grow. I want my services and products to be multipurpose and functional for whatever feels right for you, and help you feel more confident in your own body.
I want my clients to take back their power in their body hair choices, and if that choice is waxing, I got you. If it’s not waxing, I support you.
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
I think genuine authenticity goes a long way to building your reputation in your market. There are so many options out there for clients to choose from, especially in the waxing community, so clients wants to feel a connection to who they’re supporting. I think that’s especially true when you offer intimate services like Brazilian waxing. That is a very vulnerable service, and when it’s someone’s first time, they are incredibly nervous, especially since you’re most likely a stranger to them. That is why just being yourself is so important. Not everyone is going to like you for you, but those that do will remember how you made them feel, and that creates a loyalty that will keep your clients supporting you long-term. I think that’s been my biggest asset in building my reputation and my business, and it is so rewarding to be myself, and in turn, attract a like-minded clientele.
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
Building an online presence is so important in today’s world, especially with social media being a free platform. My goal with my social media pages was to be professional, but also authentic so that if a potential client came across my page, they could get a feel for who I was before they came in. I think that helps tremendously with building client relationships, because people want to know who they’re supporting and who they’ll be working with off the screen. I want to portray the same image online as well as in person, and the best way for me to do that is to just be myself, and I think the right type of clientele really responds well to that, which is how I’ve been able to not only build my social media presence, but fill my books as well.
- Website: www.thehairlesshippie.com
- Instagram: @the.hairless.hippie
- Facebook: @the.hairless.hippie.cos
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-hairless-hippie-colorado-springs?utm_campaign=www_business_share_popup&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=(direct)
- Other: Phone: 719-428-6858 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credits: Cover photo by Stella & Storm Creative Studio Image credits: All other photos by The Hairless Hippie