With new leadership team additions, enhanced training and additional customer offerings in place, the natural waxing franchise is prepared to bring its model to communities across the U.S. and plans to open up to 50 new studios per year.
Uni K Wax was developed to provide a more comfortable, clean and refreshing waxing experience. Founder Noemi Grupenmager recognized the gaps that exist in the waxing space, and she worked to create a better waxing experience for her she and her daughters. Using a proprietary pine-based elastic-wax formula that is applied at body temperature, Uni K Wax’s services are far more comfortable and nourishing for the skin, making its services something that many customers simply can’t go back from after trying.
As Grupenmager grew her brand, demand continued to climb. Now, Uni K Wax has 33 franchised locations and one corporate location across Florida, New York, New Jersey and Texas. Recently, when she decided to retire and sell the business, Uni K Wax was acquired by Exaltare Capital Management and Heather Elrod, former CEO of Amazing Lash Studio, managing partner at Conscious Capital Growth and now executive chair for Uni K Wax. This prepared the brand for another incredible wave of growth with the leadership team aiming to award between 30 and 50 new locations each year for the foreseeable future.
“This is a franchise opportunity 30 years in the making,” explained Elrod. “This is the most innovative brand in the marketplace thanks to our natural, flexible, body temperature wax. That product differentiation is really the foundation of everything. I’ve tried it all, and nothing matches the comfort and speed of Uni K Wax. The product is superior, the experience is superior – that is why we have such raving fans, and why we believe Uni K Wax will be one of the fastest growing franchises in the country.”
“Heather’s name behind the business is a big selling point,” added Ozzie Grupenmager, the brother of the original founder and now-chief information officer at Uni K Wax. “It really is a testament to the strength of the franchise. She is also partnering with the experienced franchsiee team of Exaltare Capital. This experience brings a very unique, franchisee-forward and franchisee-focused brand, which will be essential as we move forward.” After last year’s acquisition, the refreshed leadership team focused on further strengthening the franchise model to develop a compelling investment opportunity that continued to appeal to potential franchisees and customers alike.
For example, 2023 brought the introduction of a new, decentralized training program that will allow local waxers to learn the Uni K Way in their own domain. In-house training also allows for a quicker launch for franchisees. A new technology dashboard and franchise performance scorecards that will allow for streamlined franchisee evaluation and support were also launched,meaning individual owners will have additional scaffolding as they scale.
On the consumer side, Uni K Wax piloted a new membership program across Florida and in select New York studios. With this, customers can pay a fixed monthly fee — the average price that a non-member would pay for a single service of the same kind — for as many services of one kind, as they need. The membership is non-contractual and functions on a month-to-month basis, but it encourages predictable repeat revenue that, again, supports franchisee scale and the continued growth of the entire system. And since the brand’s proprietary elastic wax adheres to short, fine hair that allows customers to wax more frequently than others, they can actually take advantage of the monthly service. Other memberships may be paid monthly, but the customer usually has to wait for a longer growth cycle before they even need to wax again.
“The response has been amazing so far,” said Frank Ponce, Uni K Wax’s executive director of operations and a franchise owner in Florida. “The price point, ease of the terms and offering makes it a no-brainer for a lot of our customers. Our customer retention rate far exceeds the industry standard. We are doing an amazing job.” While the team is adapting the model to power aggressive expansion throughout the U.S., it is in no way compromising the values at the heart of the Uni K Wax brand. Uni K Wax was initially founded with comfort, precision and hygiene in mind, and these are the differentiating factors that have allowed it to stand out and grow to its current size. As such, Elrod explained that, while the new team is pursuing aggressive growth, it is not doing so recklessly.
“Our approach focuses on wholesome growth rather than growth for its own sake,” she said. “We intentionally want to retain the soul of the entrepreneurial spirit within the business. I’ve experienced instances where, after institutional capital comes in, things change drastically. Although additional capital provides resources for requisite growth systems and processes, it sometimes introduces bureaucracy and mandates that can alter the original mission of the business. This can stifle the energy and creativity within the brand. We strive to avoid this.” Looking toward the future, Elrod said the team is eyeing growth in nation-wide with a focus on Texas, Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Nevada.
For franchisees who are prepared to revolutionize the $11 billion waxing sector and embrace the history and heart of the brand, Uni K Wax is a clear winner. “This will be one of the fastest-growing franchises in the country — I am convinced of that,” said Elrod. “Our goal is to bring our services to every market worldwide. For those looking to come along for the ride, the time has never been better to join the Uni K Wax family.”