Meet Lindy Barbour, a driven businesswoman who makes up half the dynamic franchisee team at WAXIT Southdowns, a wax bar known for their luxury wax services and attention to detail when it comes to all things “smooth”.
As the co-owner of WAXIT Southdowns, alongside business partner Nicola Mare, Lindy, who lives by the motto “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”, embodies the true essence of a hard working entrepreneur with clear goals and a supported vision.
Their store, which opened in June 2020, is just one of the many WAXIT wax bars around the country, which is defined as a 'refuge of removal, a haven of hairlessness, and a sanctuary of smooth'.
WAXIT have created a place where men and women alike can go to wax it expertly and discreetly, free from the intrusions that come with visiting full service salons.
But what does it take to run a successful business in the heart of Centurion – we caught up with Lindy to see what makes her franchise so successful – check it out!
What does it mean to you to be a vital part of the brands growth and success?
It means a great deal to me, especially being in the handful of franchisees who first took the plunge. We get to take the journey, from the start to its explosion and hopefully have contributed along the way.
What drew you to the WAXIT brand and ideally, to the idea of opening up your own branch?
That is a memory I won’t forget. Having been in franchise development for some time we were always on the lookout for brands especially those that that were unique but showed great potential to be standardised and duplicated. I walked past the Lonehill branch and stopped in my tracks – mesmerised by the smart simplicity of it. I think I was the hairiest person at the time but I could see a smooth new me in the future. I may have stalked its owner Michelle Royston before she eventually agreed to meet me at the Mugg & Bean. She was so animated and incredibly passionate about the brand. I knew when I got into my car that becoming a franchisee could well be a reality for Nicola and I.
What was your journey to becoming a WAXIT business-owner like?
Owning a small business I assumed it would be a smooth walk in the park. Instead it was a seesaw of emotions from euphoria to nausea. We also couldn’t have foreseen a hard lockdown halfway into our build. Thankfully Nicola and I took turns on our down days and reminded ourselves of our end game.
What do you lend the success of your brand to?
- The champion of the brand lends a great deal to its success.
- Very sticky, uncompromising hygiene standards.
- Well-trained WAXITologist who know their business back and front.
Let’s face it – you wouldn’t envisage looking forward to a wax?
Once our clients WAXIT they don’t look back.
What vital advice and support did you gain from the team in the opening stages?
The team were very hands on. Having not physically been involved in a store build from a white box we were very reliant on their direction and practical advice. In moments that didn’t quite go as planned they were calming and reassuring. Otherwise hyperventilating into a brown paper bag during the opening stages also did the trick.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur and businesswoman?
It’s very cliché but, being the masters of our own destiny. What we put in, is what we get out. Not doing it alone has also made it somewhat less daunting and we celebrate our wins together.
With more woman starting their own businesses and becoming entrepreneurs in our country, what advice would you give them when facing hardships and challenges?
Before getting off the starting blocks make sure you have a sound support base. The buy in from your partner or spouse is critical especially if you have a young family.
We have a natural instinct of nurturing and being precise, use these qualities to your advantage. Once on the go don’t be so hard on yourself, women are especially critical of themselves.
What makes your location ideal for your store?
I may be biased but we have been fortunate to have the most incredible community of clients at Southdowns. We may start with a teen underarm but it isn’t before long that we have the entire family feeling comfortable and frequenting our store.
Who are you when the clock strikes 17h00 and your business doors close and your “boss-hat” comes off?
Generally my shoes and bra come off too haha. My favourite times are spent with family and friends. Even better enjoyed with a crisp glass of wine and a dinner I didn’t have to cook myself. Relaxing for me is a décor magazine or mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest, for some reason pinning recipes I know I will never attempt. My husband and I travelled before we had our two kids – hopefully we will get back into jet setting before we need zimmer frames.
What are the 3 most important must-haves for the perfect business recipe?
1) An exceptional, accountable team.
2) Hands-on owner operators.
3) To manage your cashflow with a fine tooth comb and save for rainy days. Nicola and I are extravagant with our marketing spend but other than that every penny is a prisoner. There were very sad lessons learnt especially during the pandemic about saving for a rainy day.
What do you look for in a staff member, your WAXITologists?
We look for ambitious, accountable and personable team members. Hair grows back (albeit with waxing its finer and patchy) which makes this a recurring business model. We need to ensure that clients look forward to coming back to us.
How do you find the perfect balance between work, personal life and all the daily admin and duties?
I can let you know when I find the perfect balance! To be honest I am not sure there is a perfect balance. Work, personal and admin demands are unevenly weighted most of the time. The trick is to prioritise and to be disciplined enough to know which needs you the most at the right time. You can’t neglect any of them – especially family commitments.
Looking back, what has been one of the greatest highlights in your career to date and why?
Owning my own business without doubt was the greatest highlight of my career. I felt like I had finally arrived. Without the constraints of someone else’s vision or plan. We spent years preaching the magic an owner-operator but you never really get it until it truly is your own.
How do you deal with the stresses of daily life?
Some days not very well. I find the more prepared I am the better the next day flows so I do my best to be organised. However, I fail dismally at least 50% of the time.
With so much of business having gone technological, how do you remain unique and on top of trends?
Thankfully being part of a franchise means that these are anticipated for you.
Describe your perfect customer?
A hairy one that arrives on time, is polite to our team and makes the effort to post a review if the service and experience was exceptional. As customers we can be quick to complain but rarely (including myself!) take the time to compliment businesses when they get it right.
At WAXIT, they are committed to cleanliness, which is why they deliver their services in an environment that is clean and professional and sets the standard for hygiene, sanitation and wax care. They don’t reuse sheets, and gloves are mandatory for their WAXITologists®.
They sanitise their rooms between each appointment and they’ll provide you with fresh wipes for your comfort.
Worried about privacy? Don’t be! Their WAXITologists® are there to make your experience as comfortable as possible. They’ll lend you their ears if you would like to chat, but if you would like to relax, their rooms are equipped with music to help you relax.
Whether it’s low-rise jeans, itsy bitsy bikinis or button downs, WAXIT makes sure you achieve your best look – smooth.
Check them out at Shop 33B Southdowns Shopping Centre, Corner John Vorster and Karee, Southdowns, Centurion.