Archive for 2010

Congratulations Betty and Rich!

So many great things have happened to the team at Urban Waxx recently. You know we are all anxiously waiting for the next Urban Waxx baby’s arrival (Gina is due in 10 weeks), and we just got some more REALLY fabulous news! Our lovely and talented Beth (affectionately known as Betty) and her adorable boyfriend Rich are now engaged!

Beth sent me a text on Christmas day with a picture of the beautiful ring that Rich presented her. I am SO happy for them. Rich and Beth are both so freaking adorable. They have been together since they were kids (practically) and, best of all, they are both from New Jersey! For those of you who don’t know this: I am from NJ, and I have a deep love for all things from the Garden State. Not only are they both hilarious, genuine, and fabulous looking, but they have amazing talents. You all know that Beth is a great waxer but she is also an excellent seamstress and double Snuggie maker (trust me, I know), and Rich is an accomplished break dancer. Oh yes, it’s true. After a few cocktails that boy will bust a move the likes that you’ve never seen!

Anyhoo, we are all thrilled for our Beth. We couldn’t think of a cuter couple to be together, and we wish them nothing but happiness! xxoo

Hello 2011!

Seriously…we are already in a new year? I can’t believe it. What happened to 2010? I, for one, am thrilled to be ushering in 2011. I think there are going to be so many exciting things happening that I am really looking forward to the next 12 months. Plus, my lucky number is 11, so that’s a bonus!

Do you have any resolutions that you are planning on sticking to this year? Mine are the basics: baby weight off, spend more time at the gym and less time in front of the tv eating nachos…you know the drill. I also have big plans for Urban Waxx. There have been things in the works for a while and I think 2011 is the year when they will start to come to fruition.

So much happened in 2010 to Urban Waxx. We opened our second location and added some really fabulous team members. We went to the Las Vegas Convention and got the Serious Serum website up and running. Serious Serum is now in over 40 salons and spas across the country! We met so many more fabulous clients, we had so many more positive experiences. I feel like we have so much to be grateful for.

Once again, I want to extend my deepest thanks to all of the wonderful clients who help to make Urban Waxx possible every day. And a HUGE thank you to the team of talented and amazing women who work at Urban Waxx. There is no way Urban Waxx could succeed without them.


Ho Ho…..really?

Is it just me, or did Christmas come and go even faster than usual this year? I mean, I feel like I really dropped the ball this year when it came to the holidays. For instance: I didn’t send a single Christmas card, I forgot to get teacher gifts for Stella’s teachers (ugh, tacky.), I didn’t make cracker toffee (more on that later), we got a tree but only put lights on it, no ornaments, we didn’t put lights on the house…oh I could go on. I feel like suddenly I looked at the calendar and Christmas was the next day. What the heck happened? Oh, if you are looking at the pic of Santa with Stella and Dino and thinking: “Well, at least she took her kids to take a picture with Santa…” NO. Please note that Santa is actually my husband. I bought him a Santa costume a few years ago and so this year, instead of taking both kidlets to the mall to get pics, we just dressed him up and sat them in front of our (undecorated) tree. Whatever. It worked.

We did manage to have a super fun employee holiday party this year. I think it is very important to have special fun party times with the team. I am always shocked at companies that do zero for their employees socially. I have found that a couple of great parties a year really does a lot to boost morale and bring the group closer together…especially when there is a bartender involved!

We spent Christmas day flying to Los Angeles to surprise Cody’s parents with a visit. We also decided that it would be fun to take Stella to Disneyland a few days after Christmas. Note to self: NEVER go to Disneyland during Christmas break. It was an unbelievable, crazy-making mob scene. But Stella saw princesses so mission accomplished.

I hope that you all had a great holiday season…wherever you may be! xo

Mean Girls.

Mean Girls. If you are a woman, chances are you have either been a mean girl or been terrorized by a mean girl at one point in your life. The other night I told Cody that one of my favorite movies was “Mean Girls,” and he laughed. I was serious. He often tells me that I have the TV viewing habits of a 14 year old girl, but I do feel that this movie has a deeper message…and some pretty funny one-liners.

At our last meeting we talked about how at Urban Waxx we are not mean girls. I commented that I felt that gossip and talking about other people is a way that women bond with each other. Why? Because it is easy to establish a relationship with another woman when you have nothing at stake. So we talk about other people. “Oh, you think that Tammy is a terrible dresser? I do too! You think Lisa has a huge forehead??? So do I! Wow, we are SO much alike!” Gossip is a safe way to bond without having to reveal anything about ourselves. It’s completely superficial. And it’s pretty yucky.

When I thought about my ideal business model and the actual culture of Urban Waxx, being a salon full of nice people was at the top of my list. I have spent many years working at spas and salons where the employees were not nice to each other. It sucked. Have you ever walked into a room full of people and have them suddenly stop talking. Huh. Not a nice feeling. Have you ever been talking about someone and have them walk into the room? Also, not a nice feeling. I didn’t want that to be the case at Urban Waxx. I never wanted to feel like there was a “cool group” and that some people just weren’t in it. I never wanted a client to walk in and feel like we were just chatting about another client. I have been at other salons where the employees are talking about each other or their clients…in front of clients. Wow. That always shocks me. I wanted to be able to walk into work and feel HAPPY, and have all of my employees walk in to work and feel HAPPY. Happy, safe, comfortable, and at home, at least for the majority of the time.

Next year will my 20th high school reunion. Yes, 20. It almost makes me blanch to write that. I loathed high school. Truly. I hated the cliques, the drama, the monotony. But after 20 years, I am curious to see all of my former classmates. I have reconnected with many of them on Facebook (of course…the great Equalizer), and it’s amazing that most of us have kids, families, careers. I look at these people and remember them at parties, or smoking in the bathroom, or cutting class (wait, that might have been me). You can remember those who picked on you and you picked on. The hurtful words that were said 20 years ago can still usually be recited, verbatim. And isn’t high school a little like a primer for real life? Don’t we all get to try on our grown up selves first during those brutal four years?

I guess what I am trying to say, in a weird, rambling, only had 4 hours of sleep because Stella has pinkeye and Dino was up all night being fussy sort of way is: It’s so much NICER to be a nice girl. So much nicer to complement than criticize, to build each other up than to tear each other down, to smile instead of roll our eyes. I mean, aren’t most women essentially the same? Don’t we all want to sit with the cool kids at school? Don’t we all want to fit in and belong, and be a part of the private joke?

I’d like to close with a fitting quote by Lindsey Lohan’s character about head Mean Girl Regina George. Put aside for a moment that I am a 37 year old mother of two who is quoting a Lindsey Lohan movie, please. It’s still a good movie, thank you very much, and a good quote!

Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you. 

You said it, Lindsey. Now behave yourself.

Who wants cake?

I’d like to give a little shout out to our new go-to for birthday cakes at Urban Waxx: The Beaverton Bakery. Have you been there? No??? Ok, well put down your laptop and get in your car and drive over to Old Town Beaverton and get yourself some baked goodness. Seriously. The bakery reminds me of every old style bakery that I ever went to when I grew up in New Jersey. It smells like that…buttery and sweet, and the selection is totally like that! The cookies, cakes and other assorted pastries are legit…and delightful.

We have a little tradition at Urban Waxx where the ladies get to pick out their birthday cakes and then on their birthday I arrive with said cake and “surprise” them with it. I giess it was a surprise at one time, but considering the fact that they each tell me what they want in advance, it’s not too surprising anymore. We ALL love cake, and I love doing little things like that for the team. Actually, it’s also pretty self serving because I could eat cake three meals a day and still want more. Besides, it’s bad luck not to eat birthday cake…right? Right?

We have sampled 2 cakes from BB over the past few weeks, a lemon chiffon for Mindy and a lemon poppyseed with cream cheese frosting for Megan. Both were sublime. One bite told me that I would be making the trek to Beaverton 18 times in the coming year. But I don’t mind a bit! The business is locally owned and the best thing is that I can order my cake online and prepay, so all I have to do is sashay in and pick it up! Plus the staff is super sweet (no pun intended).

Beaverton Bakery: We love you so.

Beaverton Bakery
12375 SW Broadway
Beaverton, OR 97005
(503) 646-7136

Marywynn’s cookies!

One of the perks of having a baby is that people feel compelled to bring you food. And, I am compelled to eat said food, especially if it is dropped off by the lovely and talented Marywynn Ryan. I have blogged about Marywynn on other occasions. She owns a delightful spa just down the street from Urban Waxx, Skin by Marywynn, and she gives the most fabulous facial. Not to mention that she is a super cool chick.

Well, who knew that she was also an amazing cook? She emailed me the other day and said that she wanted to drop off dinner for the fam. I was thinking casserole. Oh no. Her cute self arrived with a giant batch of homemade chicken noodle soup, a mushroom and goat cheese galette, rosemary walnuts, and chocolate chip cookies. This must be what one can accomplish when there is not a wee one tethered to your breast. It’s amazing. She’s amazing!

Anyhoo: Cody and I ate the entire meal, and all 400 cookies in about 2 hours. He was obsessed with the cookies. They are buttery, crispy, and full of dark chocolate goodness. I asked her if I could have the recipe to share with you. So here it is!

1/2 lb butter
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
1 3/4 c dark choc (72%) bar chopped

preheat oven to 325
cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, add eggs and vanilla mix well
add flout, baking soda and salt, mix well
add choc chunks, mix

bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges and center is still soft
cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool
eat and enjoy

Hello Dino!

So, as many of you know, I have been waiting for the arrival of my baby boy. Well, he’s here! He was born on November 5 and he weighed in at a whopping 10.4 lbs! Actually, the labor was fairly lovely and I have another great birth experience at St. Vincent’s. Anyway, the little Mr’s name is Dino John Lucchesi and we are thrilled to have him join our family (and the Urban Waxx family!)

So Cody and I had completely forgotten what it is like to take care of a newborn. Stella is only 2 1/2 years old but she is such a person! I think the Mommy amnesia has kicked in and all of the first few months of infancy seem like such a blur! I am constantly amazed how single parents can do it. I mean…Stella is in school, and Cody and I are both here full time and still sometimes we are so overwhelmed. It’s crazy town. Not to mention the fact that when a little babe comes into the world, all I really want to do is lay around and stare at him. That’s what I was able to do with Stella and being in that little love bubble was pretty fabulous. But, as any parent with more than one child knows, that is NOT possible the second go around. Not with a toddler, anyway. But Stella is freaking adorable trying to “help” with the baby, even if helping means throwing a diaper at his head.

Another thing that I was worried about, and I think this is common, is that there was no way possible that I could love another baby the way I loved Stella. I mean, it almost doesn’t seem like it could be. But, the moment they laid that chubby baby boy body on my chest my entire being screamed “MINE!” It’s the most primal feeling that a person can have, I imagine. It’s that feeling of knowing you would lay down in front of a speeding train for this little one.

So, while we are getting our new flow down, things are ticking along smoothly at Urban Waxx. The team has been so incredibly lovely with texts and emails inquiring about Dino and me, (and my emotional state…I think they are finally getting used to the strange bouts of unprompted tears). It always amazes me that while I am home I have an incredible team of women doing their amazing thing at Urban Waxx and living the dream. I adore these women. And I thank them…and all of you…for making Urban Waxx what it is! xo

From the Desk of Mr. Urban Waxx

Some of you may have seen me around the shop. You probably thought to yourself “Wow, I wonder what that dude is getting waxed.” Sorry to let you all down, but I’m Shannon’s husband, Cody. I have been blogging on my own website for some time now and was honored that Shannon asked me to start contributing to her blog, and give you some perspective of what it’s like to be the “man behind the waxx.” So here I go.

I remember back in the day when I was pulling 12 hour days in kitchens and had no clue what Shannon’s job really was. I knew she worked in a spa and they did everything from massage to waxing. I thought a Brazilian was something only “exotic” girls did, and I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. The one thing I did know was that Shannon needed to be her own boss and start a business of her own. We left the bad attitudes and smog filled air of Los Angeles for a better life and to start a business in Oregon. Shannon found a single room rental in a hard to find building and decided to start a waxing business. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. I thought of Oregonians as granola munching, peace sign flashing free spirits. Not exactly what I thought of the ideal waxing candidate. Man, was I wrong. She immediately began forming tight relationships with her clients and the books filled up. She was working long, hard days and had one goal in mind, growth. Pretty soon she was pregnant and so busy that she out grew that cozy little one room shop. We spent the next couple of months planning, prepping and starting our new business. We had our beautiful daughter Stella, Shannon worked all morning, I worked all night and we made it work. We continued to grow and grow. We hired more staff, extended our hours and kept busy. A second shop was on the horizon and I knew what had to be done. It was Shannon’s turn to shine and live out her dream. I knew it couldn’t be done with the schedules we were working. I quit my job and took on a new role. I was now Shannon’s right hand man. People ask me all the time what I do for a living, and I respond by telling that my wife and I own a waxing salon. The first response is always “Do you do the waxing?” Really people? That would be scary, for you and for me. I take care of all the small things within the business. Everything from shipping Serious Serum to salons across the country, keeping up with inventory, and anything else that might make Shannon’s life a little easier. Life is awesome. I am married to the greatest, most driven, beautiful woman on the planet. We have the coolest little family on the planet (with a “mini me” arriving any day now).
So, if you see a big, tattooed, bald guy lurking around either of the Urban Waxx locations, it’s most likely me. Come say hi. And thank you for supporting us each and every day.

What is an Esthetician, anyway?

So it came to my attention at today’s meeting that maybe some of our clients don’t really understand what the criteria is in order for us to do what we do. I mean, can we just heat up some wax and grab some sticks and start waxing? Well, maybe you could, technically. But that would be illegal. And gross.

We are Estheticians (or Aestheticians, if you want to be French about it). Any time that you receive a waxing service from anyone, you should make sure that they have a current license and that they are either an Esthetician or a Cosmetologist. What are those things, you ask? Well, and Esthetician is a person who has completed a State Board required course and received a license. Estheticians can perform facials, do makeup, and wax. They can usually also do body treatments like wraps and scrubs, and work in medi-spas and do procedures like laser hair removal. The level of education varies from state to state, and it is measured in hours. For example, I went to school in NJ and it is required that we fulfill 600 hours, and then pass a State Board exam. 600 is the norm, and most states require that amount, although some ask for more or less.

So, then what happens? Well, if you work at Urban Waxx, and you come to us just out of school, you train. And train. And then train some more. The new waxers wax Urban Waxx employees, they bring in friends, and they usually wax me. It’s incredibly important that they are up to the standards that we have set down.

So that’s it, really. Just a little insight into the gal who is waxing you and her background. Any time that you are waxed you should be 100% sure that they are currently licensed, that they are trained and experienced, and that they know what the heck they are doing. If it feels like it’s not right, then trust your gut. It’s probably not. You should always feel like you are in a clean, safe, comfortable place. Like at Urban Waxx, for example! xo

We loooove to wax!

Sometimes I feel like I need to revisit what makes Urban Waxx what it is: the wax service. I spend a lot of time focusing on the customer service side of the business and the culture of Urban Waxx (that is a word that will be appearing in quite a few posts over the next few months), but the business itself was created because I love to wax. Through that basic idea, I wanted to have a place that employed other gals who also love to wax. And that’s it. No massage, facials, make-up etc. The reason that I wanted to only specialize in waxing is because I feel very strongly about doing one thing and doing it exceptionally well. I have heard too many horror stories about gals getting waxed in a dingy back room on a questionable table with a questionable waxer. Waxing isn’t brain surgery, I understand that, but there is definitely a technique and a touch that usually comes with lots and lots of practice. That’s another reason that we only wax: we want to be the best at it!

So why am I talking about this again? Because I think it’s important to convey to our clients and readers that we all feel very passionately about one thing: waxing. We love to wax. I think each of the gals have their favorite service to perform, which I always think is really cute and interesting to find out. My personal favorite: the Brazilian. Did I think, 20 years ago, that I would be saying that I love to perform bikini waxes all day long…mmm, probably not. However, I really, really do. My favorite is when we have a new, nervous client who has never been waxed before, and I can turn her into a wax convert. It’s very pleasing. But I really enjoy all of the services that we offer. All of the gals do. It’s fun to wax, to chat with our clients, to see the same faces every few weeks. I love the connection that we can experience with our clients.

I had a wonderful wax with Mindy last week. I have been dreading this Brazilian because I am 38 weeks pregnant and you are definitely more sensitive to pain during a pregnancy. Also, any of the girls will tell you that I am a huge baby when it comes to being waxed anyway. However, after it is complete, I always think: “Wow! These gals are amazing!” I feel like it really shows how much we enjoy what we are doing.

So, what does all of this for you? It means that if you are nervous, or shy, or recovering from a bad wax experience elsewhere, then we are the place for you! We love to wax, and we would love to wax you! xo