Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Allure Body Bar Co-founder and Creative Director Alaa Abdullah, whose innovative Brazilian waxing technique has made her Danforth shop one of the city’s top beauty bars since opening…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
You grow it, we mow it – this should describe my job! I am the Co-founder and Creative Director of Allure BODY BAR, Toronto’s wax bar for men and women. I run this successful wax bar with my husband, who is an awesome business partner to have. I have created the “Quickzilian Brazilian Bikini Wax,” which is a Brazilian wax done in eight minutes. With my special wax technique, it makes a little less terrifying than the traditional Brazilian wax.
Why did you start your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I have always had a passion for what I do and I love making people feel at ease. My Brazilian wax technique needed to be introduced to men and women of Toronto who have been scared of waxing or have had a terrible experience. I always knew that I wanted to work for myself but the real inspiration came when my son was only two months old. It was a tough decision, but with my husband’s encouragement, at the age of 26 I opened the doors for Allure BODY BAR on the Danforth. It was hard being a new mom and making this life-changing decision but it was all worth it in the end.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my day everyday is to come and see our team of waxologists who are just as excited to be a part of Allure BODY BAR as I am and to make sure that all our nervous wax virgins have a great experience and leave the place laughing with positive feedback.
As for the challenging part, I think life wouldn’t be fun if there weren’t any challenges. The most challenging part of my position at Allure would be to make the right decision when we hire our waxologists. We have a very strong interview process that sets us apart from others, but at the same time it is very challenging to make sure we find the right fit since this person will be representing my vision to our clients.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
I don’t believe that my work/life balance is off since I do have the perfect balance. My inspiration to become an entrepreneur at the age of 26 was my son and I made sure to always have the perfect balance for both work and life. Life is too short to make it complicated and it is what you make of it!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I see myself in the same position but just a little more relaxed surrounded by great people. I believe in quality not quantity, whether it is my personal life or my business. Saying that, we have plans that there will be more than one location for our wax bar. Hopefully have one or two more kids and cross a few things off my bucket list while making a lot of beautiful memories.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
I believe life in general has many challenges that get thrown our way. Some are a little more complicated than others, which makes them a little more exciting to overcome. I knew my wax technique was different and I had a vision of where I wanted to take that concept. Since this is a family-owned business, clearly we didn’t have huge financial backup or loans behind us. But with a big leap of confidence we invested all we had and it turned out to be out of the best decisions ever made. My Quickzilian wax technique has become very popular. We get a lot of love from our clients from all across Ontario, not just the GTA.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success to me is making an effort to reach your desire even if it means you might fall. It’s also being able to get up and re-attempt your desire until you get somewhere. I am known to be a risk-taker and a go-getter. Money does not mean happiness to me, since most of my happy memories were not bought with money. Realistically speaking, money is important as long as you don’t let it control your happiness.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The first most memorable milestone was about a year and a half after we opened and we won NOW Magazine’s Toronto’s 1st runner up for the best beauty spa. We were up against a lot of well-known spas that were in operation way longer than us. So when we got the call saying we won first runner up, I was excited with tears of joy in my eyes. That is when I knew that Toronto voted for us for a reason and that this was the beginning of something amazing.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
You should wake up and look forward to doing what you do. If you are not happy, then do yourself a favour and find your passion. Life is too short to live a life not being happy. Our career is where we do end up spending most of our time and if it has brought you down then it’s time for you to reconnect with yourself and move on to a better place.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
I love supporting local businesses on the Danforth and one of my favourite go-to places is the Globe Bistro. You will always get excellent service and they have an amazing outdoor and rooftop patio. The food is delicious and presented very creatively. I can easily spend hours there.
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
I consider time with my son my “me” time. I just can’t seem to get enough of him. I also love getting massages and getting my hair done. I think it’s important to take care and pamper yourself from time to time. I am also a secret chef at heart sometimes; I even look forward to cooking a nice four-course meal for my husband and I. We unplug our phones and kick our feet up to enjoy “our” time.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
I just can’t get enough of Cuba. I have been to many different places around the world yet Cuba’s culture and people keep bringing me back at least once a year. Over the past few years I have made many fantastic Cuban friends who I look forward to reconnecting with. We really have a lot in Canada that we all take for granted but when I meet my friends in Cuba it is always such a humbling experience that makes me reanalyze who I am and what I want to be.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
It has to be Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life.” It’s a great motivational song and I can really relate to every word in the lyrics.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
If you have been to Allure BODY BAR you can get an idea that I clearly love art, design and decor. On my spare time I love coming up with projects to keep things interesting. I love it when our clients come back they say, “Oh wow, I love what you have done to the place.” There is always something new and unique that keeps things fresh.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Through my business I do support many small and big charities throughout the year, such as Sick Kids and Movember Canada. I personally contribute on a monthly basis to Plan Canada’s Because I Am a Girl campaign through which I have sponsored a little girl in Pakistan. To me this is important because my family roots are from Pakistan and I do want to help make a difference there in the future. This is the least I can do at the moment on my part, but trust me there is a larger scale plan that I am working on to help make a little difference.
What to you is notable?
Being notable to me is being content with life and being an awesome mom. I admire people who are honest and straightforward. I love hearing stories about people’s life journey and to me that’s notable.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
I’m a Mac girl! iPhone all the way.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)