Blingy Hair Removal Brand Wakse Is Changing The Waxing Segment While Piling Up Anything But Chump Change
It’s not typical to run across a brand pitching itself as owned by two hairy guys, but Wakse isn’t a typical waxing brand.
Rolling out to Ricky’s NYC, it’s shaking up a sleepy category with glistening rose gold, gold and silver wax that’s instant Instagram bait for millennials who’ve splashed social media with posts of glitter face masks and hair roots. Paired with Wakse’s eye-catching aesthetics is eye-catching early sales results. The brand racked up 8,000 pre-orders prior to its October launch and is on track to surpass $1 million in revenues during its initial year on the market.
“We feel as though Wakse is reinventing the waxing category and have an aggressive distribution strategy with a broad reach,” says Andrew Glass, one of the two aforementioned hairy guys. “We’re providing premium packaging and stunning formulas to both premium retailers as well as mass, differentiating the two by providing multiple size options to hit various price point levels. We want everyone to be able to enjoy a sensorial at-home waxing experience.”
Made for the modern beauty industry age in which channels are merging, Wakse is primed to team up with vastly different sorts of distribution partners ranging from prestige to mass and professional salons to television home shopping powerhouses. In addition to Ricky’s NYC, stockists on the docket include Neiman Marcus, House of Fraser and Urban Outfitters. Wakse has designed products to suit multiple outlets. Its 12.8-oz. size of hard wax beans is $26, but a 6-oz. and larger back-bar sizes are coming as a well as hanging packaging.
“We feel as though Wakse is reinventing the waxing category and have an aggressive distribution strategy with a broad reach. We’re providing premium packaging and stunning formulas to both premium retailers as well as mass, differentiating the two by providing multiple size options to hit various price point levels.”
Wakse’s immediate task is to get its entrance into Ricky’s NYC right, and it plans to hold in-store brow waxing events, pursue influencer collaborations and amplify press relations efforts to push performance at the chain. Makeup artist Vlada Haggerty, an Instagram darling, has already spotlighted the brand in her Instagram Stories. “Our stunning metallic colors offer a first for the personal waxing category – viral social media appeal for both genders,” says Glass. “We’re taking a traditionally unpleasant experience and making it fun, exciting and Instagrammable.”
Glass and the other hairy guy, Shayan Sadrolashrafi, a user interface and experience specialist by trade, aren’t heading into the retail milieu blindly. Also global brand manager at La-tweez and founder of Non Gender Specific, a skincare brand that’s hit Credo stores, Glass is aware it takes more than social media flash to move the distribution needle. “The biggest challenge for us has been bringing innovation to a category that hasn’t seen innovation for a very long time,” he says. “On one side buyers are very excited to try new products they’ve never seen before and, on the other side, we’re forcing them to look beyond the Nair’s and Gillette’s of the world.”
Here’s what the buyers are looking at: Wakse’s tiny, shimmery wax pellets fill clear jars wrapped in graphic black-and-white labels. For $10, customers can purchase a reusable melting pot to pop the pellets into the microwave and heat the strip-less wax to the desired temperature that turns it into the consistency of honey. The Liquid Mercury silver wax has a lavender scent while the Rose Gold and Gold options have chocolate and pineapple scents, respectively.
“The biggest challenge for us has been bringing innovation to a category that hasn’t seen innovation for a very long time. On one side buyers are very excited to try new products they’ve never seen before and, on the other side, we’re forcing them to look beyond the Nair’s and Gillette’s of the world.”
“People don’t like waxing. It’s a really ugly and painful process. With us, the process is beautiful and much easier. People can enjoy it when they are actually doing it,” says Sadrolashrafi. “The formula itself is very easy to spread on the skin and, because of the essential oils we have in it, it’s not painful to remove.”
Wakse began with Sadrolashrafi and Glass discussing color trends and tweezing. The two threw around the idea of creating a gold wax. In concept, it sounded simple. In execution, it wasn’t at all. Perfecting a non-transparent wax was tricky. Wakse’s manufacturer hadn’t done opaque iridescence until the brand requested it, and it required a custom wax recipe. With the custom recipe down pat, Wakse is set to introduce additional shades in the future. Natural, vegan and cruelty-free pre- and post-waxing skincare products are in the pipeline, too. Post-wax serum Cactus H20 is up next.
As for Sadrolashrafi and Glass, they’re not so hairy at the moment. Sadrolashrafi swears by Wakse’s products to de-fuzz his fuzzy parts. “It doesn’t break when you’re taking it off. It’s very flexible and comfortable,” he reports. “I can honestly say there’s very little pain. It’s sore for like five seconds or so and, then, it’s done.”