I met Joelle through a mutual friend and her small business journey is truly inspiring - I love this interview. She started from the bottom (in her own words "with negative 2 cents in the bank") and now owns Beautiful Waxing Boutique located in a prime location in Princeton NJ surrounded by national big name businesses. She manages a staff and is also a single mom. Yet another superwoman! Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your business. What is it called and what services/products do you offer?
My name is Joelle Lynn, and I’m the owner & founder of Beautiful Waxing Boutique, LLC in Princeton NJ. We are an intimate, chic, full body waxing boutique specializing in quick Brazilian waxing (we’re even told, pain-free), and meticulous brow shaping services. We’re obsessed with great brows!
Can you share a bit about how you chose this line of business? What transition did you make to owning your own business?
I chose this line of business after moving back to NJ in 2009 from Atlanta. I was going through a divorce at that time and wanted to be closer to family and friends. I was a big waxer.
It was very rare that I touched a razor so when coming back to Jersey, I noticed there weren’t a lot of waxing places at that time. Our only option was an expensive spa or salon where they didn’t necessarily know how to wax or a nail salon where the price was right but again, they weren’t good at waxing and usually unsanitary.
I was in the corporate world then, a Supervisor with GMAC Mortgage in the Risk Management/Fraud Prevention Department, so I knew nothing about the beauty industry. I decided I wanted to open a waxing salon that specializes in waxing, in a sanitary environment with economical prices, with the best customer service imaginable.
Do you have any special training?
This is probably a two-part question for me. The first piece is licensing to wax. NJ just provides training for a skin care license but the state doesn’t elaborate on waxing techniques, so I sought training from some of the best in the industry to learn about waxing. I also prayed a lot before each customer in the beginning - lol. I kept making changes until I mastered the technique, speed, and knowledge of the ingredients in products and how they correlate with each other.
With regards to the business side, I took a local entrepreneur course, made TONS of mistakes, cried, prayed, read, read some more and did more reading. I’m always in a constant state of learning.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments as a business owner?
One of my biggest accomplishments was growing my business from a one woman show, in a super small, hidden space, where we had to share a restroom, to a staffed, prime space, in a shopping center with national brands in Princeton NJ.
What mistakes have you made with your business? What did you learn from the experience and how did you bounce back?
I have made every mistake imaginable. No, really and I mean major mistakes! It’s by grace I’m still in business. I’ve learned that you can spend about a day wallowing in your misery then you have to pick yourself up, learn from it and keep going. Don’t give up!
What do you consider the most important elements of running a successful small business?
I think the most important element in running any successful brand is knowing your customer, listening to your customer and making them happy. Everyone doesn’t want what we’re offering and that’s ok, but we want to be known for our excellent customer service.
I see so many businesses treat customers as if the customer is lucky to be serviced by them or like the customer is bothering them. That’s a huge no-no at BWB. We’re listening and giving our best (with healthy boundaries of course).
Do you have any start-up advice you can share with women reading this who would like to launch their own businesses?
I think we have different types of people. Some are afraid and are perfectionists; to those, I say you have to just do it. I’m sure you’ve done all the research possible; your next step of learning will come with action.
But to the risk takers like me that will start in a garage with negative 2 cents in the bank, I’ll say do lots of research. Know your brand. Understand marketing. Don’t think “if you build it, they will come”. You need a plan, but not a perfect one. To both personalities, I say once you start and it gets tough…..KEEP GOING!
Do you have any advice on managing your small business finances?
Know your profit margins and cash flow. Revenue is not your bottom line. If you’re bringing in 300K but spending 305K, you’re broke. I’ll also add not to mix bank accounts.
Your business is your business and personal is personal. Set a realistic amount to pay yourself and do so. Don’t keep dipping into business funds.
How do you balance work and life owning a small business?
I balance it pretty well. My son is in his last year of college and I’m divorced so I’m just obligated to get home to my dog…haha. I still get burned out easily from my business and have to step away. I do so by vacationing and having fun with family and friends.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself with multiple locations for Beautiful Waxing Boutique as a franchise and national brand. I also see myself venturing out into other business opportunities - serial entrepreneur :o)
Please share a fun fact about yourself
I’m a big baby with waxing. I’m waxed regularly yet still act up worse than customers. It’s ridiculous.
Thank you so much for this interview Joelle!
Please stop by her website at www.beautifulwaxingboutique.com
And if you are in NJ be sure to visit her at -
Beautiful Waxing Boutique
665 Nassau Park Blvd
Princeton, New Jersey 08540