Having a clear vision for what you’re most passionate about will always fuel your pursuit of that passion. This stands true for Michele Sottosanti. She always knew that she had a certain fondness for the beauty industry and worked several years as a regional and district manager for hair and beauty companies. By Jennifer Callender
Having a clear vision for what you’re most passionate about will always fuel your pursuit of that passion. This stands true for Michele Sottosanti. She always knew that she had a certain fondness for the beauty industry and worked several years as a regional and district manager for hair and beauty companies.
After a six-year career as a regional manager for Dermalogica, Sottosanti started her pursuit of her own business and invested in a franchise opportunity in the toy industry. She ran her New Jersey location successfully for seven years before selling in 2019.
However, drawn back to her passion, Sottosanti restarted her search for a franchise that was in the beauty industry and offered a forward-thinking concept. “I started to dig deeper and do my research for a unique business that offers a service that would set itself apart from other competitors,” she said. “I came across L.A. Bikini, and that was it for me. I jumped at the opportunity to bring the first sugaring franchise to New Jersey.”
In January 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, Sottosanti was awarded her Sea Girt, New Jersey location. While the pandemic created a lot of unknowns, she was confident in L.A. Bikini’s business model. “Everything was shut down in March 2020 due to COVID, but I knew that was temporary. I knew that once everything started opening up again, other hair-removal studios were going to be overwhelmed with customers that couldn’t get appointments. When we opened up in June, my business skyrocketed. It was actually a win-win for us,” Sottosanti recalled.
As an area developer, Sottosanti is scheduled to open six more L.A. Bikini’s around Monmouth County, New Jersey, in five years. Three locations have been sold already. Within the first year of operating, Sottosanti’s business doubled in revenue, and clients have shared their love for the all-natural hair-removal services. Instead of the harsh chemicals and painful techniques used by other salons, L.A. Bikini prides itself on its organic, sugar paste that makes hair removal less painful.
Sottosanti said her pursuit of her dream business has been realized, and she is looking forward to growing the brand throughout Monmouth County.