Forget waxing, try sugaring!
Located in the upscale Bukit Timah district, Sugar(ed) is the first and only professional body-sugared studio in Singapore and dedicated to the all-natural hair removal technique of sugaring. Founder and master sugarist, Jasmine Yong is a certificated Alexandria Professional Body sugaring educator and has been practicing the art for over four years.
LadyBoss got the lowdown about the sugaring technique from Jasmine herself…
I’ve learnt valuable lessons from that journey and now approach my business in a different way. Starting out small and taking the time to build my business and create awareness about sugaring is what led me to where I am today, and I could not have done it better any other way.
Q: Tell us about your business, how long you’ve been doing it, and who your customers are?
A: When I was living in the US, I would get waxed very often and dreaded getting it done because of the pain. I discovered sugaring in Seattle, where I had one of the most painless experiences ever, and haven’t looked back since. I was trained in the States five years ago and started a partnership when I returned to Singapore. Unfortunately, the partnership failed and didn’t take off the way I had hoped due to a lack of experience and planning. Though I felt discouraged, I didn’t give up and continued to provide sugaring services from home, slowly building clientele, which allowed me to expand to a brick and mortar space, quadrupling my client base in a span of nine months.
I’ve learnt valuable lessons from that journey and now approach my business in a different way. Starting out small and taking the time to build my business and create awareness about sugaring is what led me to where I am today, and I could not have done it better any other way. It also helps that I have a very supportive husband, who is a co-founder of Sugar(ed). He was the one who encouraged me and pushed me to take the risk to expand from a home-based operation to our first flagship location. I started with just a handful of clients and they now consist of locals, for the most part, and a fair portion of expats.
Q: What were you doing before entrepreneurship?
A: I was a flight stewardess with Singapore Airlines before I moved to the US and discovered sugaring.
Q: In terms of sales and marketing, how do you reach your customers, and what works?
A: I started with five customers who were friends and with a lot of word-of-mouth and referrals, things took off. Now, our main marketing tools are Facebook and Instagram. Facebook works as word spreads quickly through sharing posts and comments. It also helps that we have over a hundred five-star reviews.
To create a consistent brand, I believe you need to stay true to your unique brand identity and never allow “naysayers” to compromise your goals or determination to achieve them.
Q: We love the branding of your studio; did you think of the concept yourself? Any advice to entrepreneurs for creating a consistent brand?
A: Yes, I thought up the concept myself and wanted to create that similar cosy and welcoming sensation to my clients, some of whom have been loyal patrons since I started from home. To create a consistent brand, I believe you need to stay true to your unique brand identity and never allow “naysayers” to compromise your goals or determination to achieve them. It’s no easy task but resilience is key.
Q: What is your best-selling product/service?
A: Our best-selling service would be the Virgin Brazilian. We have numerous first-timers who are afraid of the pain typically associated with waxing, and sugaring is a much gentler hair removal alternative. It’s also all-natural, which our pregnant clients love. We are also the exclusive partners of Alexandria Professional sugaring products and offer the range of products that we use in the treatment rooms, made especially for pre and post hair removal. Their line of body sugaring and skin condition products is developed and used for aftercare to achieve beautiful, smooth skin after hair removal. Our most popular product would be the Travel kit, which has all of our customer’s favorite products in travel sizes.
It consists of the detoxing Mud Puddle, skin repairing Phenomen-all and scrubs Sweet Cheeks and Salt Smoothie.
Although sugaring dates back to ancient times, I see sugaring as the next big thing in hair removal as it doesn’t discriminate against any particular skin type or colour and is even safe for sensitive skin.
Q: Where do you see the future of your business?
A: Although sugaring dates back to ancient times, I see sugaring as the next big thing in hair removal as it doesn’t discriminate against any particular skin type or colour and is even safe for sensitive skin. At the moment, the demand for sugaring is accelerating faster than we can supply, so plans for a second location may be underway a little sooner than expected.
Q: Tell us about your Number 1 business challenge?
A: Staffing and finding enough dependable manpower – sugaring is extremely skilled base and training takes time, requiring very determined and patient candidates.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part about running your own business?
A: Seeing the company you built from scratch grow, while knowing that you’re are creating jobs and opportunities for people who are passionate about beauty or self-improvement. Nurturing my staff to consistently improve and helping them reach their goals is equally rewarding to me.