No Thanks

Word on the street is that people are confused and/or concerned about our price increases and we totally get it. Three times in 2 years, crazy right?! But before you go thinking that we are ballin’ all over the place, ripping off all our fave babes and getting bottle service on the daily please let us put it in perspective. (My 16 year old banged up, bald tyred, barely starting Hyundai won’t pay for itself people!)

We are a boutique niche beauty studio, we offer one thing and that’s brows. We do not defluff your lady parts or wax lyrical on your limbs (which would dramatically increase our bottom line) nor do we offer fluffy facials for a hefty fee.  We are not a one man show nor are we a home salon so when you pay for your service that money is not subsidising our personal rent or our mortgage. We are a small group of committed humans that are trying to create something unique and cool in Canberra and to do that we need some cash to pay our bills!

It always astounds me how much people are willing to pay for their daily coffees, high end cosmetics, clothes, shoes,  luxury brands (not that we discourage any of that, cause retail therapy is your god given right!) you know the things that aren’t permanently attached to their faces, like hmmm let me think…EYEBROWS!  But consider $45 for a tidy every 6 to 8 weeks unfathomable. Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to tell you how to spend your money (for the record I spend all mine at McDonalds) but I am here to hopefully help you understand why we need to create and maintain a sustainable business.

Tegan and I started a tiny two woman show with absolutely no idea how to run it (the prices reflected our ignorance) but with big ideas and a ridiculous work ethic we persevered! Opening in the corner of our friends clothing boutique we were charging $29 for a full brow service and $10 for a tint or $35 for both– looking back on it I have no idea how we made any money at all.

Once we moved and employed more amazing humans it became apparent to us that less than $30 for a 30 minute appointment would drive us straight into the ground.  We were far too cheap; we were hearing it on the daily from clients and from friends in the industry around the country. We needed to increase our prices but were petrified that people would walk away and return to the $10 brow waxes from once they came. So we slowly started to increase and everyone was happy until price increase numero 3 and we totally understand why. Our OG’s, those babes that have been with us from the beginning, have witnessed 3 price increases in less then that many years and are starting to lose their SH#t without realising that as we grow so do our costs, as does our understanding of running a small business and valuing our time (and trust us a lot of time goes into running a business).

Why can’t we just hire more staff you ask? or cut down our timing and keep prices as they are? We could but in doing so we would lose our culture, our quality and our identity. We don’t want to be a mass production operation, we want you to be able to go back and see the same girl every session, we want to give all our clients the time so we can give them quality service and we want to give you all the same stellar experience that we have become renowned for.

It was never our aim to alienate anyone but the increase is necessary for us to run a sustainable business and as far as comparable prices around the country we are still pretty dam cheap. Another option to increase our bottom line would be to increase the average retail spend and we have spent many hours and dollars curating a collection of all our favourite brands for all our fave babes but we never have and never will focus on sales, pressure selling or annoying sales tactics because we are all about the service and the experience, unlike a lot of other businesses.

The beauty industry as a whole is moving into niche markets where instead of going to one place for everything boutique salons that specialise in one area are exploding onto the scene as consumers recognise the difference between a person who dedicates their life to perfecting one aspect of beauty and someone who upsells services like adding a quick brow wax to your nail appointment or a brow sculpt to a facial #byebrows.

In all honesty sometimes it does get to the point where you question if it’s worth it, the hours are long, the money really isn’t amazing (especially considering we are booked out for weeks in advance) and on the rare occassion we do have to deal with the odd shit human but at the end of the day we love what we do, our clients are the best babes out, we get to work in a beautiful space with some beautiful humans that we now consider family and it’s all ours! So before you question our worth please understand what it really takes to run a small, service based business.

Below is a list of things that your hard earned money goes towards…

Wages including PAYG and super (this one is massive but only going to increase as we are able to pay our incredible team what they really deserve)

Tax (this one really sucks)

More Tax

Bank fees (just as sucky)

All the bank fees

Rent

Car parks (for our staff so that they aren’t out of pocket)

Software including your reminder texts

Electricity

Phone (landline and mobile)

Website and related costs

Consumables (things we use and dispose of for every service)

Retail products

ACT Health Licensing

Events (we don’t make money from the events we host in fact we generally lose money but it is part of the lab experience, part of our initial dream to cultivate creativity, empower women and bring something cool to Canberra)

…And these are just to name a few!

I hope I have shed some light on our recent price increase and if you really do the math and consider how much you spend on any other quality service you can see that we are simply trying to run a business where our staff get paid what they deserve, where we can create something a little different and have some fun doing it!

 Sianne x

Co Boss Lady

The Lab.