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Former Amazing Lash CEO Takes the Helm at Uni K Wax; Poised to Revolutionize the U.S. Beauty Sector with Innovative Wax and Unmatched AUVs

With an impressive AUV of $1.3 million for top quartile studios and an explosive growth plan to add up to 50 new locations per year, Uni K Wax is quickly becoming one of the most talked about waxing franchise opportunities in the beauty industry.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 8:08AM 10/23/23

Born from a mother's quest to find the best waxing options for her teenage daughters, Uni K Wax has made a name for itself in the fragmented beauty industry as a franchise truly redefining the $11 billion waxing sector. With a natural wax that offers unmatched comfort, and a unique approach to skin-friendly hair removal, Uni K Wax has paved a path for those looking to enter the world of franchising with a proven, game-changing concept. Today, the brand has expanded to 32 franchised and two corporate locations in states including Florida, New York, New Jersey and Texas.

"This is a franchise opportunity 30 years in the making," said Heather Elrod, Uni K Wax’s Executive Chair and Managing Partner at Conscious Capital Growth. "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 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.”

Now, fueled by a recent acquisition and the backing of the franchise growth experts like Heather Elrod and Exaltare Capital, Uni K Wax is set for massive expansion, aiming to add 30 to 50 locations per year. 

Uni K Wax: Pioneering a Better Way since 1993, Driven by a Mother's Quest for Excellence in Waxing Services

Uni K Wax was founded in 1993 when Noemi Grupenmager, frustrated by the poor waxing options for her daughters, began her pursuit for a better way to deliver waxing services. She created a proprietary, natural and elastic wax to replace the industry’s standard process of using painful honey wax and paper strips. To accompany this skin-friendly wax, she designed a precise technique of application and removal to optimize comfort and reduce service time, applying at body temperature and across wider surfaces. With a dynamic blend of 160 waxing services — body, bikini/commando and face — for unisex customers, the flagship salon was servicing 200 customers a day within just six months of opening. 

Uni K Wax isn’t about conventional waxing. It's about a holistic, hygienic and unparalleled experience. “We are the only brand that provides each client with an individual wax warmer, ensuring maximum hygiene,” said Elrod. “We have an average Yelp rating of 4.9, which really demonstrates our unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction.”

Having begun its franchising journey in 2007, Uni K Wax boasts not just of a rich history but also a future filled with promise. Earlier in 2023, when Grupenmager decided to retire and sell the company, Exaltare Capital Management, a Boston-based private equity firm with a focus on franchise and multi-unit businesses and Heather Elrod, acquired the Uni K Wax brand. 

Elrod, former CEO of Amazing Lash Studio, the nation's largest and fastest growing lash studio franchise, and current Managing Partner of Conscious Capital Growth, joined as Managing Chair to leverage her impressive 30-year franchising resume to spearhead a new era of expansion for Uni K Wax. 

“Heather’s name behind the business is a big selling point,” said Ozzie Grupenmager, Uni K Wax COO. “It is really testament to the strength of the franchise. She is also partnering with Omar Simmons, a Planet Fitness multi-unit franchise investor and the president of Exaltare. This experience brings a very unique, franchisee-forward and franchisee-focused brand, which will be essential as we move forward.”

Overall, the recent acquisition of Uni K Wax marks a pivotal tipping point for the brand, transitioning it from a family-run business to a powerhouse franchise that carries the same values and vision.

“I founded Uni K Wax in search of a better waxing experience for my then teenage daughters,” Grupenmager said in a statement. “Almost 30 years later, I am excited to welcome investor-operators who share my passion for the brand. Exaltare's track record of successfully scaling franchisee investments and Heather's experience in Amazing Lash is the perfect combination to accelerate Uni K Wax's growth.”

A Forward-Thinking and Franchisee-Focused Business Model

So, why should prospective franchisees be excited about the Uni K Wax franchise? 

For one, the brand’s impressive investment model and unit level economics are already turning heads throughout the franchising industry. The total investment necessary to begin operation of a Uni K Wax studio ranges from $390,135 to $650,345, depending upon the size of the location and the type of market in which it is located. In terms of ROI, top Uni K Wax studios grossed over $1.3 million in 2023, with the system’s top studio grossing $1.7 million, according to the brand’s FDD. 

When it comes to the operations, Uni K Wax is designed to streamline the waxing experience for both customers and franchise owners. The brand's elastic wax, for example, is applied at body temperature, which allows for a smoother and faster application. This not only ensures comfort but also results in shorter treatment times, Elrod says. 

Another operational differentiator is the Wax Lab TM within each studio, managed by a lab technician, ensuring precision in preparation and leading to minimal waste. 

“Other competitors need a larger treatment room because the waxer has to walk the whole circumference of the treatment table in order to perform the services,” said Elrod. “With Uni K, it is a much easier application process, which transforms the whole business model and industry. You need half the space and often half the time to offer waxing services, which makes room for more clients.”

But perhaps the biggest factor that makes Uni K Wax stand out in the beauty space is right in the name: the wax. 

“This is the most comfortable, spa-like waxing experience in the industry,” said Elrod. “Noemi truly saw the future, and our proprietary wax stands testament to her vision. The difference is day and night with other waxes. Other brands claim to have proprietary wax, but it's really the same product everyone else uses with a different label.”

In terms of actually offering a one-of-a-kind product, Uni K Wax puts its money where its mouth is. Uni K Wax franchisees are granted easy access to proprietary products thanks to the brand’s in-house distribution facility in Miami. This also does away with many of the third-party manufacturer fees most competitors are forced to pay. 

Beyond distribution, Uni K Wax supports franchise owners on every level, Elrod says, including marketing assistance, real estate and site development, technology, recruitment tools, training, vendors and equipment, grand opening and much more. And this robust support is only set to grow stronger with the recent acquisition. 

“Franchising fundamentally revolves around relationships,” said Elrod. “It's about the franchisor supporting the franchisee's success. Both the franchisor and franchisee must benefit. If this balance is skewed, things can easily go awry. With the influx of institutional capital and private equity, the franchise landscape is evolving. While this is largely positive, it's crucial to not lose sight of the relationship's value and ensure it's not solely about franchisor profitability, especially at the expense of the franchisee. Not all companies prioritize this franchisee-centric approach in the boardroom.”

Why Now is the Time to Join the Uni K Wax Family

Looking ahead, the Uni K Wax team is aiming for purposeful franchise growth as it sets out to fill pent-up consumer demand across the country. “We want to partner with the right franchisees, aiming for 30 to 50 new franchise locations annually,” said Wanamaker. The team sees major potential in Texas, Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Nevada.

“Our brand culture is very organic — most Uni K franchisees were either first customers or referred by existing owners,” said Elrod. “The ideal Uni K franchisee should be very involved in the day to day or have a solid managing partner in place. They come from many walks of life, but they do not need prior industry experience.”

Overall, Uni K Wax isn't just another franchise opportunity; it's a brand with a soul, a history and a future. For entrepreneurs eager to rewrite the narrative of the waxing industry and offer a comfortable, skin-friendly experience to customers, Uni K Wax is hard to beat.

“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.”

The total investment necessary to begin operation of a Uni K Wax Studio ranges from $390,135 to $650,345, depending upon the size of the location and the type of market in which it is located. If you sign a Multi-Unit Development Agreement, your Initial Franchise Fee will be reduced to $355,000 for your third Studio and $330,000 for all Studios you agree to develop for 6+.

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