By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
HOMEGROWN SALON chain Lay Bare is bringing accessible waxing services to Southeast Asian countries, targeting to triple its current size in the next five years.
The Hilario family founded Lay Bare in 2006, after sisters Fiona and Monique wanted to offer better hair removal services after disappointing experiences at neighborhood salons.
Lay Bare employs the sugaring technique for its waxing services, where honey, sugar, and citrus fruits are used instead of hot wax. The company claims that this technique saves customers from experiencing cuts and burns, in addition to having smooth skin for two weeks.
Twelve years and more than a hundred stores later, the company has evolved into one that also advocates for the benefits of hair removal.
“We wanted to keep our message simple — hair removal is our passion and waxing is our expertise. Being passionate about hair removal is about advocating and educating the public about the benefits of hair removal, and why our all natural product and patch wax technique is superior compared to others,” Lay Bare President and Chief Executive Officer Juan Paolo Hilario said in an e-mail correspondence.
The company was not without birth pains. For the first six months of operations, Lay Bare failed to make a profit. It was then that the siblings contacted editors of major national publications to have their services known. This proved to be a turning point for the business, as it became a hit among beauty bloggers and allowed it to capture a bigger market.
Mr. Hilario and his sisters, who sit as co-chairwomen, opened up Lay Bare for franchising in 2008. To-date, the company has a total of 109 stores, 107 of which are in the Philippines. Of this, 64 are franchised.
Lay Bare has two stores in the United States, and are co-owned by the company.
Over the next five years, Lay Bare looks to pursue an expansion program that will bring the company overseas.
“We are looking at tripling our current size in terms of locations in the next five years. We want to be present not only all over the Philippines, but also become the region’s neighborhood waxing expert,” Mr. Hilario said.
The company has yet to finalize how much it will be spending for this Asian expansion program, but Mr. Hilario noted that they would have to get creative to meet their target.
Lay Bare is also preparing to introduce products to complement its hair removal services.
“We believe it’s good that the general public has been more informed with they being hair-free is good lifestyle choice. It also has allowed us to reflect on how we do things, and to remind ourselves the need to continuously innovate,” Mr. Hilario said.
Amid increasing competition, Lay Bare will continue to focus on the customer experience that has made it a dominant player in the market.
“Lay Bare’s purpose is to really make a mark in the lives of people by providing expert and quality services, focused on the complete customer experience. As long as we feel we have yet to fulfill this mission, we will continue charting a course that will guide us until we do,” Mr. Hilario said.