The European Wax center franchise expands its Brooklyn footprint with city focused Treatments
by Jessica Jones Gorman • photos by Jon Gordon
When Douglas Bauer was first introduced to the European Wax Center franchise in 2012, the licensed and practicing CPA and attorney initially discounted the investment opportunity. But, after reviewing the company’s numbers and checking projections, Bauer decided he wanted to bring this business to Brooklyn.
“The company and its business model are fantastic,” noted Maria Contreras, Bauer’s wife and chief operating officer of Federation Management Brooklyn, LLC, which was formed to operate the couple’s growing number of European Wax Center franchises. “When Doug and I started to look into this opportunity, we knew it was something unique that we wanted to be a part of.”
Bauer and Contreras opened their first European Wax Center in 2013. The Montague Street location was an instant success in its Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, so the pair opened a second location on Avenue U six months later. Since then, Bauer and his team have built two more, and have plans to open a fifth.
“I think what makes the business such a success is that it provides a superior product and service at a reasonable price in an inviting and professional environment that is simply better than its competitors’,” Contreras said. “Their product is all natural, made of bees wax, and applied lukewarm [as opposed to the typical hot wax application]. It is removed gently [rather than ripped] minutes after application. The result is a hair free skin area that has not weathered the heat and ripping elements of the typical waxing experience.”
Contreras added that the price of the typical European Wax Center service (bikini wax and Brazilian being the most popular) is lower than that of most, if not all, competitors. It also offers a myriad of opportunities for customers to lower the price further by using package deals and introducing friends to the service.
“The facilities are simply beautiful,” Contreras said. “They contain architectural elements, elegant appointments, and are designed to make the customers’ experiences easy, comfortable, and uniform.”
And because waxing is their sole focus, Contreras said that other multi service centers cannot compete.
“Other ‘all service’ spas typically perform waxing on a temporary table in a back room, [almost] as an after thought,” she said. “They often don’t do much waxing business, typically because of a lack of expertise concerning and commitment to this very personal service. And laser hair removal alternatives are expensive, require many visits, and are inorganic. When you remove hair using this technology, you are doing so by killing your hair follicles. Many people are reluctant to make permanent changes to their bodies in this fashion.”
For Bauer, who has spent many hours and enlisted the aid of a myriad of advisors to develop a plan for the business, and Contreras who left her job as the head of business banking for six Citibank locations in Queens and Brooklyn to become its COO, such a pivot was no small endeavor. Proof of their devotion is evident in company stats: Three of the couple’s Brooklyn European Wax Center locations are in the top 20 out of 600 in the country in terms of average sales per customer.
“While we ensure that we have the best locations to drive traffic through the doors, Maria ensures that we get the most sales we can per customer,” Bauer said. “She has installed several management layers between herself and our employees and looks forward to the challenge of bringing success to two more locations in North Brooklyn.”
“All of our employees are trained in house and are informed about proper skincare,” added Contreras. “We understand hair follicles, work to rejuvenate and moisturize skin, and use a completely chemical free product.” Both Bauer and Contreras look forward to expansion.
“We are excited to be part of this inventive and lucrative concept and are proud to say that we have enjoyed success in our endeavors so far,” Contreras concluded. “We are especially thrilled to bring hundreds of jobs to the borough we love so much.
European Wax Center
4008 Avenue U / 718.407.0107
130 Montague Street / 718.407.0177
199 7th Avenue / 718.775.3001
531 Myrtle Avenue / 718.530.0307