Katherine Goldman is the founder and owner of Stript Wax Bar, the lead waxing salon in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
Her dream was to transform how the spa industry approaches the art of waxing and hair removal. After years of wearing many hats and overcoming the challenges of building clientele, developing protocols, selecting vendors, and learning the ins and outs of entrepreneurship, Katherine’s business has been up and running for over 3 years in 6 locations.
Stript Wax Bar has been recognized by the nation's hottest lifestyle magazines such as Allure, Cosmopolitan UK, and InStyle.
Who are the people that inspired you to follow your dreams?
There have been a few people that have inspired me to follow my dream. First of all, my family. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, as my great grandfather immigrated to this country from Denmark and opened a hardware store in the Bay Area. My family has always been very supportive of my dream to open my own business and has really guided me through the years. My husband has also been very encouraging and has really helped me take my business to the next level. Without a single business class behind me, I decided to open up a one room beauty studio in an existing hair salon. In just three short years, I turned this into a 6 location specialty waxing salon servicing thousands of people.
Was there a turning point in your life that led to your current direction?
Yes, there was a point at which I thought about what would truly make me happy and it started with the concept of owning my own salon or spa one day. The dream to be a business owner led me to attend beauty school and become an esthetician. I knew that it would be a long road and it sure has not been instant success, but I was willing to stick it out and really follow my dream. I wanted to get plenty of experience working for other people first, so I spent the first seven years of my career doing that. That made me realize what was missing in the beauty industry and what I could do differently.
What is your biggest tip for entrepreneurs?
My biggest tip for entrepreneurs would be to set realistic goals for yourself. When I first started in the industry I had 1 year, 5 year and 10 year goals for myself. This gives you a timeline to follow and you can clearly lay out a plan to get you where you want to be. I knew that it would take many years to get me where I wanted to be and knew that I was definitely in it for the long haul. I think many people give up their dream because it is not happening fast enough. It takes time to cultivate a good business and having realistic goals is a huge part of that.
Everyone aspires for success, what drives you to work so hard?
Having the passion for what I am trying to achieve in my business drives me to work as hard as I do. Being a successful business owner means rarely getting a day off because so many people depend on you. I truly believe I have changed the face of the beauty industry and I love what I do…making people look and feel beautiful every day. My salon concept was very different as I put the focus on waxing, whereas typical salons were centered around hair, nails and facials. Our concept to do one thing and do it well struck a chord as people were looking for high quality waxing services.
Whose career inspires you the most?
I was inspired early on in my career by another esthetician, Marcia Kilgore. She is the founder of Bliss Spas, which was one of the first chain of spas in the country and has been very successful. I read that she started doing facials in her loft and grew that practice into a spa business which eventually landed in many of the W hotels. It really inspired me to dream big and know that if you have a good concept it can be replicated into many new locations.
What is your dream accomplishment?
My dream accomplishment is to become national and have Stript Wax Bar in every state across the country. I truly believe that our concept for high quality body waxing is universal and that every city we put our salon in can benefit from it.
How do you deal with failure?
I like to think that failure increases the learning curve as you learn immensely from your mistakes. Smart people make mistakes but wise people learn from them and you can actually make your business better by learning what not to do.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
In 10 years I see myself running a chain of Stript Wax Bars across the country and introducing many new people to my concept of delivering high quality waxing services in a clean and comfortable environment.