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PROFILE


KATIE BARNES » MANAGING EDITOR » SPA BUSINESS


Cynthia Chua


THE SINGAPOREAN BEHIND THE INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED MINISTRY OF WAXING AND BROWHAUS STORES TALKS ABOUT THE RESURGENCE IN WAXING AND THE ART OF EYEBROW GROOMING AND HOW SPAS COULD INTEGRATE SUCH SERVICES


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wo million Brazilian waxes, 33 dedicated waxing salons and 25 outlets focused on eyebrow services in nine cities worldwide. It’s fair to say that Cynthia Chua, the woman behind all of this, is


well-known in personal grooming circles. Te 40-year-old from Singapore prides


herself on creating innovative businesses. Aſter a brief spell in banking and marketing, she made her foray into beauty by setting up Spa Esprit – a fashionable day spa with six treatment rooms – in the city in 1996. She says that back then “it was quite rare to have a boutique spa and it was one of the first places of relaxation for women”. For six years she introduced new thera-


pies such as hot stone massage and designed her own product lines including a 20-strong range of aromatherapy oils. Ready for her next challenge, Chua then branched out


into waxing, followed by eyebrow grooming, under the Spa Esprit Group banner. Today her businesses turnover sg$50m (us$39m, €29.9m, £24.9m) a year.


WaXinG LyRiCaL Te first Ministry of Waxing (MOW) salon launched in Singapore in 2001. “We were already offering Brazilian waxing in our day spa but because the focus was on relax- ation it was seen as an ancillary service,” says Chua. “When I travelled to London and New York, I realised there was a lot of potential to do it in Asia, as there wasn’t somewhere I could have a proper Brazilian wax with good hygiene and safety standards.” What she created was a salon dedicated


to full body waxing where the talking point became the Brazilian wax. Her focus was on less painful and embarrassing Brazil- ian waxing methods along with a mantra


40 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital


of HSQ – hygiene, speed and quality. MOW was one of the first to introduce the no dou- ble dipping technique – where the spatula is discarded aſter every use – as well as offering a sealed personal hygiene pack containing gloves, cotton pads, wet wipes and spatulas per customer. In addition, she got the serv- ice time down to a speedy 30 minutes. All of this was packaged in a quirky style


with playful marketing and menus (see p44) executed by ‘waxperts’ and funky décor to fit the target clientele aged between 18-40, with the majority being in their 20s. “It’s an exten- sion of my personality,” she says. “I think it’s important to have fun in what you do. Just because it’s waxing, it doesn’t mean it has to be sterile and carried out in a white lab coat. Brazilian waxing is a very intimate treatment, so our light-hearted, friendly approach is designed to make the customer feel more comfortable.”


SPA BUSINESS 1 2012 ©Cybertrek 2012


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