The booming multi-billion dollar esthetician industry has become a trade that has quickly taken off recently with the high demand of treatments and services women and men can’t seem to get enough of.
Women everywhere have honed in on their skills in the world of all things beauty! Kei Curry, Founder of Pretty Girls Get Waxed (PGGW), is no different. She has leveraged her decade-long waxing expertise into a multi-million dollar business venture alongside her husband.
“I got into esthetics for a few different reasons. I used to suffer from cystic acne. I always knew of dermatologists yet, could never get my skin under control. I went to school and learned about esthetics and eventually learned about my own skin, I absolutely fell in love with it,” Curry continued, “I didn’t know what esthetics was at first, it comprises of everything from eyebrows, facials, eyelashes and more. I began to see all the possibilities you could do with esthetics and began to see a difference in my skin.”
Curry served as one of the top wax specialists for European Wax for years before asking the owner about franchise opportunities. After being turned down by her boss to purchase a franchise, Curry and her husband decided to open their own wax center called Pretty Girl’s Get Waxed. Together they have taken the beauty industry by storm, one wax a time. The Memphis location has even been named the #1 wax center in the city, with September 2 marking their two-year anniversary.
“Waxing wasn’t my first choice. In fact nobody really wanted to wax but I ended up being really good at it. I did everything at first but I narrowed it down to only waxing because I noticed a number of Black women were still shaving or using Nair (hair remover), which causes a lot of discoloration. It wasn’t something we grew up seeing so we didn’t do it. I began to advocate for it but a lot of people were still hesitant because of the price point and the pain level,” Curry said.
Curry is the first woman of color to create a full body hard wax amid Covid-19. The PGGW Hard Wax really took off during the pandemic while Curry’s store front was closed, growing into a multi-million dollar business. Not just women and men purchase her wax but other spa owners have as well.
“My technique is different. I created my own hard wax specifically for courser hair. The wax doesn’t stick to skin it adheres to the hair, making it 100% less painful and making PGGW home of the painless wax,” Curry said.
PGGW offers two different locations that cater to it’s extensive and growing list of clientele, one in Memphis, Tennessee and a new location in Atlanta, Georgia. Choosing these as her target cities was a no brainer for Curry.
“Memphis was a given because I lived there, it was going to be a hub anyhow. I’ve always loved Atlanta, its energy and its culture. People are very supportive of businesses and the city caters to us. Whenever I would come to visit Atlanta I would feel so happy because I saw people who looked like me doing amazing things, you don’t see that everywhere. It seems like Atlanta allows their people to grow, they’ll give you the chance. Because of this I want to open a few more locations in Atlanta,” Curry said.
Although, PGGW Atlanta location just opened, the company’s ties and cultural influence from the city of Atlanta started from the very beginning.
“Pretty Girls Get Waxed” was actually inspired from 2 Chainz’s ‘Pretty Girls Love Trap Music.’ I posted it on social media one day and people kept reposting it. From that point, the name just stuck. Atlanta already had something to do with PGGW and didn’t even know it,” Curry said.
Curry and her husband devised and perfectly executed a plan that would allow them to open up their own waxing business without having to take out any private loans.
“The thing was they were requiring that all of our debt was gone, so we started saving a lot of money. Eventually we saved enough money and paid off our debt in full to the total of $70,000 in just 6 months. My husband owned a barbershop so we lived off of his money and the money I made we used to pay everything off,” Curry said.
Curry has built a highly successful business while making it her mission to create opportunities for other women to join in.
“We employ Black and we service Black. My stats blow my mind because 99% of my clientele are Black women and 95% of the people I employ are Black women. I truly understand our buying power because it’s definitely Black and Brown women who have put me in the position I’m in today, its mind blowing,” Curry said.
With 2022 just 4 months away, Curry has major plans for PGGW’s future.
“The rest of this year is definitely focused on making sure Atlanta knows we’re here and to get the PGGW name out there in the Atlanta market,” Curry said.
“I want to take Pretty Girls Get Waxed nationwide, however, I want my franchisees to be employees. I’m grooming these girls, all of my employees are trained by me so you are guaranteed exceptional service. They know the company and love the company so I want them to move up and have ownership in company as well,” Curry said.
Having a strong foundation and support system within Curry’s friends and family circle was critical and ultimately catapulted the beginning stages of the PGGW journey.
“I worked at a family friend’s hair salon where she allowed me to come in and rent her space. I couldn’t even pay my booth rent, I had to take money out of pocket. I was there for 18 months where I marketed and did a ton of free services,” Curry continued, “she had a pretty good clientele coming in and she would recommend me. I started meeting people and handing out my card and the word started spreading. A few clients from my previous job even followed me.”
“I worked 7 days a week from 8am until about 6:30pm. I even worked on Sundays, being the only person to do so. I made myself available,” Curry said.
PGGW has created a captivating environment that keep its clientele coming back for more services and products. They have dealt away with the traditional spa ambiance and revamped it to make it feel more aligned with culture and inspiration.
“We made waxing fun. We lead with professionalism and stay on trend but make it fun. Our music is not regular spa music, its music you listen to when you pull up in your own car. We’re all women, we know women love to take pictures so we’re always offering photos be taken throughout your PGGW experience. We also offer a complementary tequila shot before your service. We make it comfortable because we’re all women with our own insecurities,” Curry said.
Furthermore, health and safety concerns have become a huge issue that is currently being faced with the rise of the Delta Variant. PGGW has always made maintaining a clean space their top priority and even practiced certain cleanliness practices before Covid-19 began.
“We’ve always kept a clean working environment. We’ve always provided hand sanitizer all over our buildings including inside restrooms, wax suites, and near entrances. We disinfect our wax suites after each client and clean our restrooms 4 times a day. Wax specialists even wore masks before the pandemic,” Curry continued, “the only new practices we’ve had to implement are minimizing the amount of people in our buildings. Clients are also required to wear masks and sign a waiver as well.”
To celebrate the opening of their second location in Atlanta, PGGW is offering a generous 50% off sale where first time clients will receive 50% off of their first service throughout the entire month of September.
“I would tell any Black women entrepreneurs just beginning their career in esthetics to go somewhere and learn first. The industry changes everyday and is always improving. There are so many different things that go on and I feel like everyone should go somewhere and learn first. Its better to learn on someone else’s dollar than your own, because mistakes cost. You’re in the perfect situation and that is what I always tell my girls. You could put your name on any building but learn a few things first,” Curry said.