After a decade of working in spas and salons around the country, Shannon Conley decided she wanted to pursue a dream that she had – opening a waxing-only salon.
Conley moved to the Pacific Northwest after living in California, South Carolina and New Jersey, and after putting down roots here, her entrepreneurial spirit kicked into overdrive when she founded Urban Waxx. The company started in 2007 after she noticed that there was a significant gap in the service industry. Her keen eye for business allowed her to recognize that there was a need for a waxing-only salon and at that time, there wasn’t anything like it.
“I wanted to create a high-end waxing salon and that did not exist in 2007 … so I created it,” Conley said. “I wanted to focus on one thing – waxing – and be the best at it.”
Whether it’s brows, lips, full legs or basic bikini waxes, the team at Urban Waxx is committed to providing each guest with dedicated one-on-one service that makes guests feel comfortable in their own skin. Conley and her team have worked very hard to create a strong and unified company culture that truly cares about each person that comes in for services, which explains its growing list of booked appointments and steady increase of positive word-of-mouth referrals.
“At the core, Urban Waxx is about the guest and the team,” Conley said. “We focus on having a very strong, cohesive culture, and that translates to a tremendous guest experience. I believe that delivering a fantastic guest experience has become a lost art, and it is something that I feel very passionately about.”
Conley said that staying on top of the business intelligence piece of the company has been a challenge at times.
“Booking software, retail supply management, marketing software … there are very few players in the game and it is incredibly important to stay on top of business intelligence,” she said.
As with any successful business, Conley has learned how to work through those hurdles while focusing on what’s really important – maintaining the brand, the guest experience and the culture that she and her team have worked hard to create.
The company’s flagship location is in Northwest Portland and it has since grown to eight locations around Oregon and Southwest Washington. In fact, three leases have been signed in 2017 alone and there are now 100 employees working on a regular basis with Urban Waxx.
Conley said that many times people assume that Urban Waxx is part of a franchise or larger chain of stores, but in fact, all the company’s locations are owned by her. Two new locations recently opened in Vancouver – one in Fisher’s Landing at 16415 SE 15th St., Suite 106, and one in Hazel Dell at 7904 NE 6th Ave., Suite 116.
“We intend on growing and expanding to different metro areas in the next 3 years, and have locations all over the country in the next 10 years,” Conley said. “I attribute this growth to having a very organized management team and a brilliant consultant. Fortunately, at this phase in my career, I get to focus on the parts of the business that I really love, and I have a team around me that is fantastic at running the rest.”