Five years ago, Adele Mans – an entrepreneur from the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, South Africa – left her salon job and set up her own specialist waxing company: Fast & Furious Waxing.
We recently spoke to Adele about the journey she’s been on, her experience working with the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, and her tips on starting a business.
Tell us about Fast & Furious Waxing
I started Fast & Furious Waxing in September 2010 after a client once noted that I wax ‘like a machine’ – saying that I should one day run my own 'fast and furious' business. I’ve always remembered the name and the conversation.
My business now provides hair removal services for males and females, including intimate waxes specifically for males who require a better, more efficient waxing experience. There are no other waxing specialists in my city that cater specifically for male waxing.
What appealed to you most about starting your own business?
I grew up a shy Afrikaans girl in small towns around South Africa, with traditional values and morals. I worked as a beauty therapist in spas and salons in Gauteng and Cape Town for 16 years before starting Fast & Furious Waxing. I'd dealt with numerous bosses and colleaugues by the time I started Fast and Furious and had built up quite a dislike of employers who had no respect for workers – this drove me to create my own business.
Working in the industry for over 16 years I knew that there was no excuse for bad waxing jobs and I couldn’t believe the low standard of care that was being provided. Too many beauticians were working with poor performing products, which resulted in poor results for clients.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced starting your own business?
The day I left my salon job I went straight home to my husband who immediately wondered why I was back so early. I explained that the time was right for me to start something new – that I wasn’t happy with the work I was doing or the environment I was working in.
I immediately set out to find a local salon that didn’t offer waxing. I put a board on the street with discount vouchers and basically waited and hoped that I'd made the right decision. I had no money for rent for the first month so negotiated paying rent for my waxing room over the course of the next two - three months. I eventually caught up with my payments and kept moving from there.
I now have three branches across South Africa and we’ll be generating our first million dollar turnover this year.
When did the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship become part of the equation?
I owe this to my husband. He’s a huge Richard Branson fan and has Richard Branson books lying around the house. He did some online research for me and then recommended that I make contact.
What difference has joining Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship made to your business?
The training offered by the Branson Centre South Africa really improved my decision making and provided answers to questions tha I'd never even considered. Since receiving the training I’ve been able to expand my business – opening more branches and employing more staff members. Not only has this benefited my company’s annual turnover, but it’s also allowed me to train and upskill people from the local community.
If you could take away one lesson from this year, what would it be?
That you don’t need to be the face of your business – you just make sure you’re manging it well. Treat people how you'd like to be treated and if you're unhappy with a situation take action and change it.