1. How did you get to where you are today?
Ruby: Where we are today is a combination of sheer hard work, a love of the industry and the ability to meet the market or stay nimble.
2. What does it take to be successful in the industry today?
Ruby: This is a great question as the market has definitely changed with the introduction of cheaper operators who have essentially devalued what we do. My husband likes to say that cheap things are not good and good things are not cheap so we have made sure that we have only sought customers who know and want great service and good products. Sure you can get treatments cheaper down the road but, to be honest, they simply are not as good as what Rubywaxx offers.
3. What advice do you have for someone starting off new in our industry?
Ruby: You have to realise that a good treatment is what the customer wants but what the business needs is the ability to upsell and rebook. You are not a beauty therapist you are a sales person. Many girls will say “Oh I do not want to pressure the client” I reply “Princess you paid $15K to learn about our industry so for goodness sake be proud of your knowledge and share with it with the client. You are obliged to tell them what will help their skin!” Also be patient. I know you are 21, just out of college and want to be a Manager but life rewards workers.
4. What are the qualities you look for in a Rubywaxx team member?
Ruby: Attitude. Attitude and Attitude. Skills can be taught but attitude can not be. This means you take your profession seriously. You are a Beauty Therapist and you work at Rubywaxx so I believe you are the best there is so you have to believe the same thing so that our clients feel they are in safe hands. I hate whingers, people who run late and girls who see it as a job not a career. I want girls who say to me they are going to have their own salon one day and I will teach them how because these are the therapists who do not have Saturdays off, can deal with late clients efficiently and don’t call me 50 times a day.
5. How do you value and look after your team?
Ruby: I try and treat my Rubywaxx team like a family. I believe I pay fairly but I want to be treated fairly. We have social events and all staff are encouraged to act within their skill set. Staff require more than just a pay packet. They want to make decisions and feel important. Every one of my team is important to me personally and to the business. We offer company cars to some, free gym membership if they want and a host of other things to create a cohesive team. The other thing is that we have fun-you will not find a white smock in our salon and the girls wear make up, paint their nails, wear jeans and pink t shirts. A lot of salons play supermarket music and are as friendly as a morgue. Personally I find this intimidating so excluded it from Rubywaxx. I am always looking for therapists who have the smarts to call me and ask for a job and then tell me why I should hire them.
6. What qualities helped Rubywaxx to grow as successfully as it has in such a short time?
Ruby: Short time? 17 years of 6 days a week, late nights and no holidays has seen Rubywaxx grow to the stage where now we have an aggressive expansion plan about to be unleashed. We have offered on time treatments since day one and believe we offer exceptional service. If you do not like your treatment you can have your money back. No problem. I think the decision to move into Les Mills was a good one-we loved the gym and really believe in what they offered so we were happy to locate a salon there.
7. Where would you like to be in 2 years time?
Ruby: Some things are underway that I can not let out of the bag yet but basically I think in 24 months Rubywaxx will simply be bigger, better, stronger.
8. What is your mission statement- or value statement?
Ruby: If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got. This means we are continuously looking at our processes and results and searching for ways to be more profitable and better equipped to meet market shifts.
9. Did you seek advice, and who was your biggest inspiration?
Ruby: Believe it or not the first people to offer us great advice was IRD to help us set up a solid business base. On a personal note I have always admired/fancied Richie McCaw but this has nothing to do with the beauty industry. Seriously I can not advise of a particular person or theory that motivated me but I have approached business like I do life. Balls out, foot on the accelerator…..hurdle the weak and trample the dead.
10. You are a real success and testimony to our industry, if there is one thing that could sum up your success to date, what is it?
Ruby: Am I a success? How do you define success? I think a mum who has a salon at home while she looks after kids, offers good treatments and is making some money to supplement her income is a success in the same way Rubywaxx is by doing 400 braz waxes a week. The idea of a salon is to make people feel gorgeous inside and out-so gorgeous that they come back again, tell their friends and enjoy the experience.
PS I was serious about Richie MCaw!