Ellen Kavanagh and Trish O’Brien, founders of Waxperts, have launched their new at home waxing product, HEIRE. HEIRE is an Irish, female-led business that brings us beauty treatment goals from the comfort of our home and was born as a result of a gap identified in the global waxing market by Ellen and Trish. The devastating impacts caused by COVID leading to salons shutting down led to the duo noticing there was not an at home substitute where you could still achieve salon results at an impeccable standard. We sat down recently with Ellen and Trish to chat all thing Heire and being Women in business.
Can you tell our readers your background in the beauty industry?
We both had worked in different sectors before pursuing beauty and then our paths crossed and we met and really the rest is history. We have worked together since nearly the beginning of Waxperts salon opening in 2008 and became business partners once we knew we wanted to grow the business and how well we work together. Now we are like sisters, we are extremely close and forever grateful for what we have as we know how precious it is.
How did the idea of Heire come about for you?
In 2014 we decided we were going to do an at home waxing range. Unfortunately, we had to press pause on it at that time but it was always there in the background and something we knew we would do. In 2019 we decide the time was right and Heire was born. We knew we could bring a much better product to the market that current was available. We had decades of experience as professional waxers, and we wanted to bring that expertise to those people that chose to wax at home.
Where the message of don’t do DIY beauty at home has always been the message by experts, do you find the general public sceptical or apprehensive about the products and even possibly some resistance from those working in the beauty industry?
Heire is for people that are already buying home wax products. It is to give them a product that has a better wax, that is salon quality, that has easy to follow instructions from actual waxers. Anyone that goes to a salon will always go to a salon and that’s where Waxperts comes in. All our Waxperts trained salons know that they skill and training they have is very valuable. However, hair growth can be for so many a very personal issue and we know how many people talk to us that prefer to maintain their hair removal from the privacy of their own space. Waxing is a lot more than just bikini waxes. For the majority of home waxers it is for removing facial hair, upper lip hair for example, or nipple hair, or arm hair that they are extremely self-conscious about. Not to mention any accessibility or gender matters people may be managing. For some people home waxing has always been their waxing option of choice and we want to bring them a better quality of product than is currently on the market.
Has the pandemic changed how you do business?
I don’t think any business is the same since the pandemic started. We doubled down on our values of encouraging a good work life balance and managing stress. We know operate as a 4-day week company, Monday-Thursday and that has worked brilliantly.
How do you find working together in a partnership? When it comes to compromising on directions or ideas do you manage that aspect well?
We love it. We are very different in what we enjoy to do in the business and that compliments us. We can have opposing ideas but we always come around to agreeing on a plan. We definitely both agree on all the big picture stuff. Being in a partnership gives us both a constant source of support, understanding, cheerleading and a bond that is very unique. We have a fantastic team as well and we are aware that we are showing them not only an example of women business owners but of how women can support and help each other excel in life. And we are very proud of that.
Do you have aspirations to extend in to the international market?
Currently we are nationwide throughout the UK with both Waxperts and Heire. Heire has some very exciting expansion coming in the next couple of weeks that will see it grow exponentially so that’s very exciting!
What is different about Heire that is going to make it stand out and be more appealing to the customer?
It is made by professional waxers. Heire uses salon quality wax in both its Strip Wax Kit and How Wax Kits. As waxing professionals, we know how different a good wax and a quality wax preforms and how it can affect the results or the waxing treatment and the skin afterwards. We added in pre and post wax products to protect and nourish the skin so the finish will be as close to a salon wax as one can manage themselves. Having easy to follow instructions that were by a professional waxer and explained in a step by step way with top tips to help. Finally, Heire kits are in stylish packaging that would not look out of place on your bathroom or beauty area, and the instructions are printed on the inside of the kits so you never have to worry about losing the instructions.