Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The Beauty Spot - Cynthia Chua

In the beauty hot seat today is Cynthia Chua, CEO, Ministry of Waxing.

1. Describe who you are and what you do?
I’m the founder of 9 businesses and like to think of myself as an entrepreneur in the lifestyle arena. I first started out in the spa business and have grown the business (SEG) into a lifestyle empire. I am very passionate in creating brands which are missing in the market, offering the consumers interesting services previously lacking, or to refresh and improve the existing offerings.

2. What's your background?
I dabbled in marketing in a corporate environment when I first joined the workforce and realized that the lifestyle industry was my calling. I started in spa esprit, a unique and uplifting day spa which was very different as most spas tend to gear towards the ‘zen’ concept. From there, created Ministry of Waxing , Browhaus (lash and brow grooming), Mask (unique and effective facials and cult products), Qi Mantra (acupressure massage in a western environment), House (a 35.000sqft space which encourage socalising and the growth of the art scene. House also consist of Barracks Café, Camp Bar and my newest offering, Beauty Emporium, a grocery concept and treatment orientated beauty space), Tippling Club (a marriage between progressive cocktails and dishes) as well as Skinny Pizza (fresh unique pizza using the best produce on a thin healthy crust.)

3. Do you think the waxing market is saturated and, if so, what is Ministry of Wax's point of difference?
The waxing market is saturated but not Brazilian wax stores. Many consumers have commented that it’s so hard to get a good Brazilian done. This is the point of difference for Ministry of Waxing. We are a dedicated concept store focusing mainly on Brazilian wax and we do it well. Many women have shared their experience of bad wax job and have completely abstained from Brazilian waxing.After they tried Ministry of Waxing they were surprised with the level of expertise and comfort and we managed to regain their confidence again.The entire concept is to make Brazilian wax fun and part of our growing grooming culture. The innovative spirit behind the company, be it products, interior design, marketing campaigns, they are such a breath of life and refreshing. The level of expertise, the focus on hygiene are all different from what is available out there in the current market. In Ministry of Waxing, it is not just a treatment, it's an entire experience the minute you step into the door.

4. Why do you think the Brazilian wax is such a popular choice for women?
The two keys things about Brazilian waxing is grooming and hygiene. Modern women are very interested in grooming and invest to ensure that they look good. What is the point of looking gorgeous on the surface and spot a wild messy bush under those stylish clothes!. Being well groomed on all parts of the body gives you that extra boost of confidence. Brazilian waxing is also a good way to keep yourself clean and feeling gorgeous at all times. But who say this only applies to the females, a lot of men are also very savvy about grooming these days and our Boyzilians are a winner with the male population! It's all part of progression and a new body culture that is prevalent in the cities of style, fashion and design.

5. Your stores are reknowned for their quirkiness/attention to detail - who designs them and what's the inspiration behind the theme?
All our Singapore and international outlets are designed by my Creative Director, Jerry De Souza. We are inspired by anything and everything - things that happen around us, by things we see and feel. The theme changes with every outlet as we are very adamant not to fall into a cookie cutter mould. We want every store and campaign to give our consumers a different feel and experience.

6. You send all your 'waxperts' for an intensive month-long training course. What do you believe the benefits of this are?
Waxing is a delicate process and we strongly believe that each and every waxpert should provide our consumers with the best treatment possible. At Ministry of Waxing all our therapists are trained to execute our style of waxing. A lot of research and development goes into perfecting our skills and we never stop improving and advancing. Our waxperts are constantly invited back to upgrade their skills and hone it to perfection! The waxperts have intensive month long training in Singapore and another month long follow up training back in London and subsequently an upgrading course 6 months into the job.

7. What celebrities visit The Ministry of Wax?
The London salon has only just opened, however, we already seem to be proving really popular with some great high profile celebrities you have in London however, I’m afraid at the moment, my lips are sealed!

8. What's the optimum time between waxing?
I would recommend a waxing session every 3 weeks to a month. Having said that, it also depends on individual hair growth rate. Normally, the long you have been waxing, the finer/slower is the hair growth. Taking care of your beautifully waxed skin is also very important. Regular application of our X-ed Out Cream as well as exfoliating with a fine grain scrub such as the refreshing Malin+Goetz Peppermint Scrub keeps your skin in tip top condition. If discomfort during waxing is a concern, I would also advise the consumers not to wax a week before and after their period. Our wax formula is also created to remove hair as short as 1 mm.

9. Who else (people/brands) do you admire in the beauty industry globally?
I love Ilcsi, a Hungarian Organic skincare brand that is created by Ilcsi Molnar, who is in her 80s. She uses natural fruit and vegetable to concoct these effective products and is still researching and blending to create more stunning potions and lotions. Her spirit and innovation is amazing. Malin + Goetz is also another brand that I love, with their easy to use yet effective products in stylish packaging and we are very proud to stock such an exciting brand in our salons.

10. What does the future look like for Ministry of Wax?
Ministry of Waxing is already causing such a buzz! We are already looking to open more stores in London very soon and have big expansion plans for the UK and the rest of Europe. Internationally, we will be launching in Shanghai, New York, Thailand and Beijing by 2010. It is very heartening for me to see this growth and it certainly spurs me on to work my brands onto a global platform. It has always been a dream to demonstrate to the world that local (Singaporean) businesses can be innovative and trend setting. This has also proven that the brands that we have created appeals across different culture and nationality. Look out for new concepts and exciting treatments and products coming your way soon!

Thanks Cynthia. Trust me ladies, I had my first Ministry of Waxing experience a few weeks' ago and I can hand-on-heart confirm that it was the best wax of my life. It's a must-visit beauty destination.

Ministry of Waxing
17 South Molton Street
London W1
Tel : 020 7409 7343

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