Archive for 2008

UW Holiday party 2008

Well, another awesome year at UW, and another crazy fun filled party. This year we had it our house, with Cody taking control of the food and me taking the helm on the cocktails. Of course there was the first annual Urban Waxx trivia contest for cash and prizes, a rousing game of Apples to Apples, and all of that was followed by a dance contest and a few rounds of karaoke. Wow. But don’t worry, everyone was picked up and dropped off by cabs…maybe that’s what led to the dance contest.

Cody and I have very different ideas on what a staff party should consist of. Cody has always worked in a corporate environment, and he would never dream of getting loose on too many martinis and singing “Sweet Home Alabama” a cappella or doing the Beyonce dance (don’t ask). I, on the other hand, feel like it is almost imperative to do these things with your team. It’s a bonding experience. Once or twice a year, seeing the boss in a less than serious atmosphere is pretty funny. And good for morale. I mean, for Pete’s sake, we wax vagina all day for a living. It isn’t like we are a bunch of neuroscientists. A sense of humor is par for the course in what we do. That’s why I love my job. And, I love martinis and Beyonce choreography. At least I did at our Holiday Party. Well, until next year…

Christmas cheer and a foot of snow

Well, another Christmas has passed. What a strange few weeks this has been in Portland! The snow brought the holiday retail season to a grinding halt: most Portland businesses had to close for at least a few days. This was the worst storm in 40 years! Everywhere you look there are cars stuck in a foot of slush, people walking, the buses and Max are completely full!
Ever the optimist (wink) I have seen so many great things about the people I know during the past few weeks. For example, I was so sick with the stomach flu the week before last. I thought I was going to die! In fact, I missed work for the entire week, which I don’t think I have ever done before. Anyway, did my clients complain? NO! When the girls here had to go get change or run to the store for supplies did they gripe? Absolutely not. They were like little angels. When we had to cancel our staff Christmas party because I was feeling so puny, no one even batted an eye. They were so great!
Then, with the snow, again, everyone just jumped right in to help. One morning Beth drove to pick me up (yes, that was me you saw waiting in a snow bank on Lombard), and right at this very moment I have Mindy’s car outside because she drove over last night, on Christmas, and she is feeling so sick herself, to let me borrow it to get to work in the morning. In fact, I have been using her car for most of the week. And, both days that we closed, and it was a veritable blizzard outside, Kimberley or Megan walked 10 blocks to open the shop, call clients, and return messages. That’s dedication!

Well, I guess what this has shown me, again, is that I am blessed to have an amazing team. They do what they say they are going to do, they come early, they stay late, and they always do their best. It’s a great feeling. And even in the slushiest, snowiest, yuckiest weather, they come in and we have a laugh.
There’s no bah humbug here! Only Holiday Cheer. Merry Christmas!

Snowed in!

Well, it’s official: I was lied to when I moved to Portland. Everyone that I talked to told me it NEVER snows in Portland, and if it does just for one day, and only a little bit. Well, I am sitting here for the 4th day of being snowed in. It snowed a foot yesterday! A foot! And the worst part is that I had to close UW for 2 days in a row! That kills me. I can’t even tell you how that kills me.

As a business owner, I have daydreamed of running a 24 hour business, servicing anyone who may want a wax at any time of the day or night. I love businesses who have extended hours. So when we opened, I was determined to be open every day, and for long days. I think it’s silly that so many businesses are open from 9-5, I mean, how do people with jobs get anything done? 
Anyway, the weather has really frustrated me this week. The thought of one of our clients out there with an appointment and unruly brows or an overgrown bikini not being able to come in because of the snow is so upsetting! Not to mention the fact that I miss seeing UW! I haven’t been there since last Wednesday and frankly, I miss it! 
Or maybe it’s just the fact that I have been snowed in with no junk food. Eating brown rice for 4 days can really wear on a gal, you know?
Anyway, if anyone reads this: please send cookies! :)

Welcome to the planet Farris Nicole Ashlock!

Well, she’s here! Another little Urban Waxx bundle of joy for us to ooh and ahh over! Farris Nicole was born on Dec 15 after only a few hours of labor…and if any of you know Heather, this won’t be a surprise…and she is absolutely perfect! As you can see from the pics Mom looks beautiful and Farris is a little angel! She’s smiling because she already knows what amazing parents Tyler and Heather will be! xo

The weight of our words

Yesterday I was in my local Safeway standing on line at the Starbucks. There was, of course, Christmas music being piped in. As I do all season long, I was singing along to Stella, who was looking at me with mild amusement. The man in front of me turned around and looked at us. I felt a little sheepish, and clammed up immediately. “Oh, no.” he said. “It’s nice.” I laughed a little, and told him I wasn’t sure how nice Stella thought that it was. I’m sure there will come a day when I sing to Stella and she rolls her eyes at me. “No, you just reminded me so much of my Mom right then,” he continued. He turned away after he said that, and I could tell that he was a little emotional. It made me feel…well, so sad for him. I wanted to give him a hug, ask him about his Mom, buy him a coffee. Instead, I patted his arm and told him he was sweet and to have a wonderful day.

I always tell the girls at UW about the power of our words. The thing that I love most about seeing clients every day is the connection that we have. That is really a gift. Our clients open up to us, tell us their secrets, laugh and cry with us. Seems odd that something as relatively everyday like waxing can open up that door. But it does. And it has made me realize how much people need that interaction. The kind words that you say to someone, whether it be to my client, or the bagger st Safeway, or the man missing his Mom on the line at Starbucks, those words resonate. Sometimes the things we say to people may be the only nice thing that that person has heard in days, or weeks.
I have blogged before about one of my MOST favorite books, “The Four Agreements.” One of the Agreements is “Be immaculate with your word.” I try to use this agreement every day. Sometimes, well, sometimes my Jersey gets the best of me and I forget to be kind. But then I try to remember that the people around me should be uplifted by what is coming out of my mouth, not dragged down. And, especially the littlest person around me, Stella. She more than anyone needs a mother who is immaculate with her words. 
How did I get all of this from a 2 minute interaction at Starbucks? Well, I’m still thinking about what that man said about his Mom. I doubt he is remembering it, or blogging about it, but his words definitely affected me. Again, I am struck by how much what one person says can stay with us. And I’m going to pay it forward.

Speaking at the Aveda Institute.

In the spring, as I have blogged about previously, I was trying my hat at teaching Brazilian waxing. Well, I did a few classes at Urban Waxx, and they were pretty great! But, then the summer came and it got really busy, and then life got in the way and the classes got put on a shelf for a while. But, I did become connected with the lovely and talented Beatrice Van, who is the Esthetics instructor at the Portland Aveda Institute. We struck up a friendship and I have spoken to the classes at Aveda three times now. I love meeting with the girls! 

It’s hard to remember back to when I was in Esthetics school. It seems like so long ago. And, for the record, the Esthetics school that I attended was nothing like the Aveda Institute. The Aveda Institute is absolutely a beautiful facility, and so well run. But my favorite thing about chatting with the students is their absolute, unbridled enthusiasm for their future career. I love that! They are all ready to charge out into the world and set it on fire. That is something that you can lose along the way when you have been in the business for a long time.
At Aveda, I basically go in and talk to them about anything that is on my mind, from opening and running a business, dealing with coworker and clients, the financial side of it, our mission statement, working with unethical employers, etc. etc.. And I always tell them to ask me any question, that nothing is off limits. I thought it was pretty funny that one of the girls asked me how much Urban Waxx made last year! But how do you know things if you don’t ask?
At the school, they also offer an entire line of services, from hair to facials, all at discounted prices because students are working on you. But I can tell you that I got a facial there and it was wonderful! They use all of the Aveda products and techniques, and the girls are just so cute.

Cross Promoting with Grace Hair Salon

We are thrilled to be running a fabulous promotion with our friends at Grace Hair Salon, located in the Pearl District. I was contacted by the owner, Thad Grace, some time ago about the idea, and we think it is a pretty cool concept.

Any Grace clients that visit Urban Waxx for the first time will receive 10% off their entire service, and any Grace client that visits Urban Waxx for the first time will receive 10% off of their service visit! It’s as simple as that!
It makes perfect sense: Urban Waxx only does waxing, and Grace Hair Salon only does hair. Thad and I are both firm believers in the concept of doing one thing, and being the absolute best at it. His salon is beautiful and modern, and his staff is warm and impeccably trained. So, try them out…and tell them we sent you! 

Baby Shower Madness!

Oh what fun it is to plan a surprise baby shower. Especially when it is for someone as sweet and totally deserving as out little Heather. We told her months ago that we were having a meeting, but really, we were planning a shower to welcome her little Farris into the world! It was wonderful. See, here she is on the left in tears after opening the big gift: the high chair that she wanted. Well, as Brooke said, it’s always the big ticket items that will get them every time!

Now she’s on maternity, and we are all waiting for that phone call…

Thanks and Giving

I am a HUGE Thanksgiving fan. In fact, it is probably my most favorite holiday. What other day of the year are you encouraged to eat yourself silly with friends and family and then nap on the couch? It’s so me!

These are the things that I am most thankful for in 2008:
1. Stella and Cody. 
2. Urban Waxx. The fact that I have a place that I absolutely LOVE and I can come in every day and work with amazing women and have amazing clients makes me feel lucky and blessed every day!
3. My family. Losing my Dad last year had reminded me over and over how important our families are…even when they drive us nuts!
4. Obama. I try not to get political in my blog…but I am VERY excited that Obama will be stepping into office shortly, and hopeful that this country is headed in the right direction.
We go around the table before dinner and talk about what we are grateful for. It’s a tradition I hated as a child, but loooove now! It’s important to remember what we have…we all have so much!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Holiday Scents from Pacifica

Mmmm. As I have stated before, I love the holidays. And I love the deliciously warm, inviting holiday scents of our Pacifica line of candles, lotions and perfumes. They have the most wonderful holiday gift sets, too, like the Avalon Juniper (my personal fave) set pictures, or delicious Tuscan Blood Orange. The sets come with a soy candle, body butter, a solid perfume, and a little book of matches! The cutest for hostess gifts, teachers, babysitters, stocking stuffers…I could go on and on! And they retail for $13.95! How could you beat that?

Go on…get Merry early! I dare you!