Clay Haley, owner and creator of L.A. Bikini, a sugaring hair-removal studio, entered the business world with the sole desire to offer clients the absolute best customer experience. In 2011, Haley was introduced to a concept that was unfamiliar to most in his Birmingham, Alabama, community: sugaring for hair removal. By Elice Morgenson
Clay Haley, owner and creator of L.A. Bikini, a sugaring hair-removal studio, entered the business world with the sole desire to offer clients the absolute best customer experience. In 2011, Haley was introduced to a concept that was unfamiliar to most in his Birmingham, Alabama, community: sugaring for hair removal. The concept took off practically overnight, and L.A. Bikini has since gained popularity, spreading to 12 franchised locations in seven states.
After leaving an advertising and marketing career in 2008, Haley opened a massage franchise. However, when he didn’t get the results he had expected from the business, he turned to sugaring. “I always wanted a strong work culture, but within my first company, I could never establish one. We had a high turnover rate, so we were always training, always hiring and never focusing on expanding the business. It was around this time that a friend introduced me to the sugaring method of hair removal. No one around did this process. That is when we changed our name, and in 2013 officially became L.A. Bikini,” he said.
Haley soon recognized the high demands in the service industry and built a company modeled around maximizing the employee and company earning potential while providing exemplary client offerings.
Haley explained: “I asked myself, ‘What can we do as a business to provide the best customer experience?’ and when we discovered sugaring, that answered that question. Now that we have founded a service that we believe is the best out there, that was an important part. This was organic growth. I created a business so I could survive, and we found something like sugaring, which changed the game.”
L.A. Bikini offers clients a sugaring technique for hair removal that is 100% organic. The room-temperature sugar paste adheres only to the hair and not the skin, so it is less painful than traditional waxing techniques, which allows customers to visit more often. A monthly membership fee reduces costs, making the service more affordable for clients, and members that keep their membership for longer than six months are rewarded with a permanent reduction in the cost of the services.
The professionals at L.A. Bikini provide extensive experience and well-developed processes that help the business run smoothly without any burdens for franchisees. “I created a business that I enjoy going to each day,” Haley said. “We have reduced the pressure on our employees, and our turnover rate is extremely low, so my days are not filled with people calling out of work or leaving. We make sure that the environment, even when it is busy, is low-pressure, and they can just come in and do their job. It is hard work but simplified.”
Haley added: “As we started making changes, we saw how well the business was doing. This was our watershed moment. We realized that this was an opportunity where everybody wins.
The client wins, the employee wins, the owner wins. That was what I ultimately wanted from my business, and I know that many other people are looking for that as well.”