Archive for 2012

2012-A quick look back



2012 was pretty great! Let’s look at what happened at Urban Waxx…just the quick and dirty highlights:

  • We opened our 3rd location: Division.
  • Lexi Galton of Navy House became our designer.
  • Urban Waxx got a brand new look!
  • We added 12+ new employees.
  • NW 18th was renovated and we added a 4th room.
  • We re-branded!
  • We celebrated our 5 year anniversary!
  • Adriana became our Project Coordinator and started the Philanthropy Task Force.
  • We had a Waxx-a-thon! We raised $6000 for local charities.
  • Mindy, Jenny and Alix became our Wax Training Team.
  • Angie was promoted to Front Desk Manager.
  • We did 20,000 Brazilians!
  • Gretchen and Stacey got married.
  • Rebecca got engaged to Adam.
  • Carly got engaged to Gert.
  • We had our biggest holiday party yet! 60 people!
  • Many of our team became homeowners.
  • Even more of them became pet owners…

I say this at the end of every year, but boy oh boy, a lot has happened. 2013 is going to be pretty great as well.

For now, let’s make a toast to 2012. You did us well!



The Best Gifts to Give this Season. Seriously!

At Urban Waxx not only do we want to give you the best wax ever, we also want to share our favorite products ever – all of which (conveniently for you) make AMAZING gifts! Plus did you know we will gift wrap any of your Urban Waxx-bought gifts while you’re having a waxing treatment done? It’s our holiday treat to you this season.


After all, Urban Waxx was created around a very simple philosophy: do one thing and be the best at it. Our group of super talented and trendy Smooth Operators, who demand perfection in their products, have selected the Urban Waxx best of the best for holiday gifts this year.


1.) The Archipelago Candles in Macaroon and Caramel. These dreamy, all natural, soy candles are available in the most delicious holiday scents you’ve ever experienced, filling your home with fluffy baked Macaroons or sweet and silky Caramel. Ummm, yes please! $12 and $30.


2.)  Body Butter by Pacifica will work wonders transforming dry and tough winter skin into soft, smooth skin (especially if you’ve had your regular waxing treatment!) Not to mention – this body butter transports you to far away places with the  amazing scents. $14


3.) Whip your face into flawless shape this season with One Fine Day Shea Sugar Flawless Face Polish. This dynamic duo cleanser and exfoliator is a refreshing update to your daily routine and will replenish your face, giving you a dewy complexion that radiates youthful light for the holidays. $25


4.) We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but our Serious Serum is seriously awesome. This multipurpose serum was created to treat ingrown hairs post waxing, but it also clears up breakouts (no one wants a Christmas-morning face full of blemishes!) and exfoliates and soothes rough or bumpy skin – a perfect gift for any guy or gal in your life who has ever asked Santa for perfect skin. $25


5.) Give the gift of glitz this holiday with the Butter London Nail Polish Set! This three-piece Sparkle, Sparkle Holiday Lacquer Collection features hues in holiday red, metallic silver and deep purple. After all, no holiday look is complete without festive tips and toes. $36


6.) Maintaining brows can be such a chore if you don’t have the right products. This season the Billion-Dollar Brows 3 in 1 Set will give you the right tools to condition with brow boost, color with universal brow pencil and control with gel. Now go get ready for your holiday close-up… $32


7.) Treat your best gal pal to the seriously amazing services of the Urban Waxx Smooth Operators with our signature Brow Wax. This painless, very necessary beauty treatment will update your look and open up the eye and shape your face – all in the chic comfort of our three spa locations throughout Portland. Holiday shopping bonus alert – we will wrap any of your Urban Waxx-bought gifts (for free!) while you have your treatment! $22


8.) Give the gift of bling with Earrings by Amber. These locally and hand made pieces add a touch of sparkle to any outfit, whether in a large hoop or small stud. Prices vary from $28 to $45.


9.) This holiday, tell your friends to get dirty to get beautiful. With the Splendid Dirt Nutrient Mud Mask with Organic Pumpkin, sensitive skin has met its mask. Tame your red, blotchy, even oily skin with this soothing treatment. Splendid Dirt is a natural, nutrient rich enzyme mask made with pumpkin puree that boosts overall radiance by deeply cleansing pores. $20


10.) Give the gift of relaxation this winter with the Mini Me! Bath Ice Cream Set. Bath Ice Creams contain a unique six-oil blend of purifying minerals, salts, and indulgent fragrances. We think they make the perfect stocking stuffers for moms and sisters – and don’t forget to sneak one in your own stocking. You deserve it after all that shopping! $32

Thanksgiving Gratefuls

What are you thankful today? I have a list, but here are my top three:

1. My charismatic, kooky, loving, hilarious, professional and unbelievably talented team of employees. As I have said before, owning a business has been the most humbling experience that I have had, and these gals have really taught me a lot. And, they have grown with me, which is pretty amazing.
2. Our loving, supportive, fantastic clients. Without our clients, the ones that love us, and get us, and leave Urban Waxx and tell everyone about us, we would never be where we are today. Our clients rule. The end.
3. My beyond supportive friends and family. You have no idea how much help I have been given over the past 5+ years, and it makes me so humbled and grateful every single day.

So much love.


Guest blogger: Adriana, head of our Philanthropy Task Force!


My name is Adriana and I am a proud waxer at Urban Waxx, and the coordinator of the Urban Waxx Philanthropic Task Force!  This group planned and executed our first 24 hour wax-a-thon last October, which raised $6,000 for two wonderful charities: Friends of Trees and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

I created the Task Force last year as a response to the Portland community who has given the company, and me personally, so much positivity and support these past 5 years.   We are grateful our business has been able to grow, and delighted we are able to provide our waxing services to so many awesome people.  The owner and employees of Urban Waxx take their positions in the community very seriously, and wish to see their beautiful corner of the world thrive.

The direction of the Task Force is two-fold:   First, we meet to decide which organizations will receive Urban Waxx donations. As we receive many donation requests, it is difficult to support them all, but we try to support those that we can.    We especially like to help causes that our clients are involved with, and therefore, those usually receive preference.   As well, we love assisting organizations which promote women empowerment.  There is no limit to what women can do (as exhibited by our esteemed leader, Shannon Conley) and Urban Waxx is committed to seeing women reach their professional goals.

The second aspect of the Task Force is community volunteerism. We will regularly be going into the neighborhood to work hands-on to make a difference.   This holiday season we are excited to visit Portland Independent Living, a care facility for the elderly, where we will sing carols, visit, eat cookies, and hopefully spread a little joy.  As well, we are holding an inter-company toy and necessities drive for a local women and children shelter.

Coming soon, please keep an eye out for the Urban Waxx cookbook!   Each Employee will contribute her favorite recipe (mine is chocolate chip banana bread! Yummm!) to be bound and sold to raise money.  We have yet to decide who will receive the funds, so please let me know of any of your great, deserving organizations! It’s gonna be delicious!

I am continually inspired by my amazing clients and co-workers:  the challenges they overcome, the work they do, and the people they help.  The Urban Waxx community is a relentless machine for good in the world and I couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished so far, and what we are going to do in the future.

Please contact me if you have any ideas for what our Task Force can be involved with.  We would love to hear your ideas!  You can reach me at

Thanks for reading!




Latest obsession: Butter London.




Hello, Governor! (said in a Cockney accent) At Urban Waxx I have been swanning around using my terrible AMAZING British accent because we have all become completely enamored with the Butter London line. One of the fantastic perks of owning a business is that when I fall in love with a product line, I get to carry it at Urban Waxx! Everyone wins!

So, Butter London. So good.   I have been a fan of their nail lacquers for a while now, and when I found out that they had a new lip gloss line, well, hello! I am so smitten with all of their super chic color in matching lips and nails. Adorable. And, guess what? Butter LONDON is a 3 Free company. Their nail lacquer and lip gloss contain NO Formaldehyde, NO Toluene, NO DBP, and NEVER have.

You. Will. Love…luv!







Happy 5 Years, UW!

During the Waxx-a-thon, we had a moment where all of the employees gathered in the salon, with some close friends, significant others, and assorted other people that we love. I just had to thank everyone for the past 5 years. It is not something that I do enough.

It is incredibly moving that there are people that surround us that really GET what we are doing. People that have loved Urban Waxx and wanted to see it succeed since day one. It has been a crazy journey for me over the past 5 years. I have said before, owning a business and being a parent have been the 2 most humbling experiences that I have ever had, and I did them both at the same time. Owning a business has taught me to listen (it is still teaching me…I always have to tell myself to zip it), to have empathy for my employees, and most importantly: to ask for help. And guess what? People really want to help! The people that I have met since I have been in Portland have been some of the most creative, generous, loving and authentic people that I have ever met. I don’t know if we would have flourished this quickly in any other city. Portlandia rules.

During my little toast I told everyone that although in the grand scheme of things, waxing may not seem like a life or death job. It might even seem silly to some people. However, we touch people every day with the interactions that we have, whether we know it or not. We have the power to change and empower with our words. And, if we let them, they will change and empower us.

The day of the Waxx-a-thon, Katie, one of our sweet front deskies, said to me that she felt like she was a part of something, a community. And, we are. A community of 35 employees (and growing) that has become with not only hair removal, but customer service. Obsessed with making our guests feel like, well, guests. Giving the people that walk through our doors a few moments of luxury, and kindness, and connection. And in the process, having some serious fun.

We raised over $6000 during the 24 hour Waxx-a-thon for 2 really great local charities. We hung out with clients, and friends, and neighbors. We drank a lot of champagne, ate a lot of tea sandwiches, played some way too much flip cup, and basically had a great time. Again, it reaffirmed how un-freaking-believably lucky I am to have so many amazing employees, clients, and friends in my life.

Urban Waxx is a community, and it’s one that I feel honored to be a part of.

Thank you all for the best 5 years of my life…so far.


The Waxx-a-thon details!

I have been remiss on my blogging duties, I am ashamed to admit. The last few months have been a whirlwind of activities, and blogging keeps getting bumped lower on the list of priorities. But, SO much has happened so let me fill you in:

First off, yesterday, October 6, was our first ever Waxx-a-thon! What the heck is a Waxx-a-thon, you ask? Well, friend, it is 24 fun filled hours where we stay open, wax, have music, food, cocktails, and amazing raffle gifts. For the past month we have been selling raffle tickets at our 3 locations, and the prizes have been pretty fantastic. All of the money from the event is going to 2 local charities: Friends of Trees and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

This event was completely handled by the Urban Waxx Project Coordinator, Adriana Ryding. It was an amazing amount of work for her to take on, with the help of her Philanthropy Task Force, and I am absolutely thrilled with all that she made happen.

Below is the list of all of the prizes and the winners.

Sterling Coffee Sarah Esterman
Stubby Pencil Gift Basket Jen Keesee
Hunan Pearl GC Sharde Werth
Facial from Skin by Marywynn Mary Breaden
Sterling Coffee Jen Olson
Morrison B&G/Eat Pizza Angie Major
Serious/FOT Stephanie Gudekunst
Sterling Coffee Julia Duncan
PBJ/Insomnia GC Jennifer Johnson
Stubby Pencil/Eat Pizza Andrea Beaulier-Reavis
Hunan Pearl GC Caitlin Macmillan
Facial from Skin by Marywynn Emily Hall
Slappy Cakes Ana Rieper
Hair Tie/Eat Pizza Ashton Thelin
Facial from Skin by Marywynn Leah Thompson
Amber Jewelry GC Brenna Kokernak
Facial from Skin by Marywynn Andrea Nelson
Oh Baby GC Nicole LaDouceur
Folly GC Kaitlin Peick
Facial from Skin by Marywynn Nisha Hall
Fringe/Mac GC Erica Jones
Urban Renewal GC Lee Stewart
Energy Fitness GC Vivian Aguilera
Azula GC Melissa Newhard
Southpark GC Ivana Mccarthy
Oh Baby GC Samantha Day
Oh Baby GC Angela Nelson


I am a lady that loves a project. As soon as one finishes, another one should start, in my opinion. As soon as Division opened it’s doors, I was scheming with my designer, Lexi Galton of Navy House, about how we could make the original Urban Waxx different.
So, here we are! In one month we will close the doors of the NW 18th location for 5 days, and in that time the following things will happen:

  • Existing floors will be demoed and replaced.
  • Existing pocket doors will be removed and new swing doors put in.
  • All furniture will be removed and new furniture moved in.
  • Whole place will be painted.
  • New desk moved in.
  • Bathroom demoed and new fixtures installed.
  • New metal screen wall installed.
  • All new art hung.
  • Current back room/ break room will be demoed and turned into a 4th treatment room.
  • All lighting will be removed and new lighting will be installed.
  • Office space next door converted to new break room.
  • Shannon drinks 1+ bottles of wine per day, depending on the stress level.

Ok, that last one was a joke, sort of. I feel eerily calm about this project, partly because we have done this recently and partly because I have an amazing team that helps me do everything 100% better.

I cannot wait for you to see it!


What’s the haps.

I cannot believe how long it has been since I have blogged! Time gets away, and although I try to keep up with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (my latest obsession), sometimes the blogging takes a back seat. Plus, we had an amazing family vacation in Kauai recently and I feel like it has taken me a few to get back from the “aloha spirit.” Have you been? It was so lovely. I ate shave ice every day and could probably fill a bath tub with the mai-tais that I consumed. And the beaches…ohhh so fabulous. Anyway, I am back in the driver’s seat and ready to go, go, go!

So what has been happening in the world of Urban Waxx, you ask? Well, a lot. Our Division location has been open for 2 months and it has been really fantastic. The interior is beautiful, by far my favorite, so much that we will be closing the NW 18th location for a week in September to completely re-do it. That will be really fun. Can’t wait. Tanasbourne will get a facelift in January. We are also redoing all of our marketing materials and our website, thanks to Liam Flaherty. And new pics on the website thanks to Mark McInnis.

My partner at UW (and in life), Cody, has decided to go back to his chosen career and return to cooking. When we had Dino and and we were trying to juggle businesses and babies, Cody took a sabbatical from the kitchen. He was a Sous Chef at Southpark Restaurant for 3 years when we moved here. A few weeks ago, they asked him back, and honestly, there was no hesitation. Although I adore having Cody work with me and help me on all fronts, I have always known that without the kitchen his life is not complete. He has put in some serious time working at Urban Waxx and involving himself with the daily goings on of 35 women (you would think it would be a fantasy, but imagine having 35 sisters), and it is his time to get back to what he loves.

As always, I have more projects on the horizon that have been keeping me up at night fantasizing about. But for now, summer is here and we are keeping those wax pots ready for our busiest time of year.


UW 3!

I really cannot believe that we have 3 locations. It is almost shocking to think about it when I actually do sit and think, which doesn’t happen too much these days.
Urban Waxx on Division was by far the biggest project that I have ever taken on. It was the first time I ever worked with a General Contractor (Scott from PHI Construction-amazing), first time we ever completely built out a space from a shell, first time we built out 5 rooms instead of the usual 3, first time working with a designer (Lexi Galton from Navy House, again ahh-mazing), first time we did a lot of things. You get the idea. The entire process came together beautifully with only a few hiccups. It reinforced my belief that if you want to be successful you focus on what you are good at. For everything else, you hire the best. I am NOT a designer, or a general contractor. So working with people who are talented and honest is a real delight.

The weekend before the opening so many people came to pitch in. It really warms my heart to know that my employees are so excited about the space. Megan literally spent 9 hours on her Saturday off organizing the rooms and helping to set up. Jenny, Adriana and Kim all were helping to put everything together. Without them, I’m not sure we would have made it! We had so many friends and employees stopping by to offer help and wish us well. It was amazing.

The opening was CRAZY. We had 115 appointments booked. That is a significant amount more than our busiest day at NW, simply because we can’t take any more appointments at NW. We don’t have the room! And even with all of the clients and all of the additional clients coming in to visit, it went smoothly! I almost can’t believe it!

I really want to thank everyone, sincerely, for the continued love and support for Urban Waxx. We have a strong, lovely team that has believed in the Urban Waxx dream since the beginning, and that has made the growth and change so much easier. But without clients, there wouldn’t be a need to grow. We wouldn’t even be open! Our clients, our cherished clients, are the reason that we open our door each day.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.





a footnote: 3 minutes after I posted this blog, all of the computers at Urban Waxx stopped connecting. HA HA HA, Universe. Joke is on me!