Nicky Shore changed the way New Zealanders think about hair removal by opening the country’s first dedicated waxing salon in 2008. Now she’s also expanded into the business of putting hair back on, pioneering the microblading technique throughout NZ.

Nicky Shore is the founder and owner of OFF Wax & ON Brow House. With clinics across the nation, cutting edge technology, and an army of dedicated staff, Nicky Shore has firmly cemented herself as the industry’s leading expert in taking it off and putting it on.

Watch Nicky’s story above, or check out the full Q&A below:

How did you end up starting OFF & ON?

Getting into the beauty industry was easy for me. What I really love about beauty is that it has the ability to change how people feel about themselves. It’s such a misconception that it’s a vanity based industry.

I’m from a beauty marketing background, having worked for brands like Unilever, L’oreal, Dove and Sunsilk in the past. I already understood the power of brand, and how to create demand for a product like mascara for example, when there are hundreds out there.

I saw that there was huge dissatisfaction around beauty services in NZ. Therapists could do everything, there was no specialisation.

The industry felt like it was stuck in the 80s, and I saw a gap in the market to do beauty differently.

There was opportunity to create a brand, to give people a reason to come back. I wanted people to see beauty differently, not as a necessity, but as a transformation of themselves.

So my husband and I bought an old house and renovated it, all while holding full time jobs (worse than The Block!). Luckily we managed to sell the house just before the GFC and used the money from that to take the plunge.

I spent a year contracting, researching, and developing the concept before finally opening our first branch in Newmarket, Auckland.

What were the early years of OFF & ON like?

We worked so hard over this time in the initial years of the business. To build a successful business you have to put everything back into it. We lived a very conservative lifestyle: ‘Mince Mondays’ and ‘Toast Tuesdays’.

Our first shop had no aircon, no washing machine, and no dryer. We would take the laundry home and stay up all night doing washing.

About 6 years in we got to the tipping point. The brand we had worked so hard on begun to generate the momentum we needed to keep moving onwards, and upwards.

What makes OFF & ON different?

Specialisation – we’re the best at a few things, rather than trying to do everything averagely. We pride ourselves on providing an enjoyable customer experience and have created a brand that people can relate to, and want to come back to.

What did you want out of your business when you started?

I always wanted to create something from nothing and had a passion to do something different. I love consumer insights and could see the opportunity to create something for myself, rather than working for a corporate. We didn’t do what we did for an ego boost, we wanted to build a brand and a business that people would love.

How has Timely helped you achieve your dream?

We have been there since the beginning of Timely’s journey and have both really grown together. This meant that we have been able to directly influence feature development, not just for the benefit of us and our customers, but for the industry.

One of the synergies that we’ve really found with Timely is our philosophy on what really matters and what drives business at the end of the day. We do beauty services and they do software, but ultimately we have one thing in common and that’s clients and customers.

I look at Timely on a horse, I look at Timely on a tractor. It’s not there nagging at me, it’s there to give me what I need.

We often talk about Timely as being the frame, or the home of the business. It’s allowed us to scale our business but still feel like it’s got a heart and a pulse. We could move from 4 to 8, and now even more salons and so that for us has been really amazing. One of the biggest things we really tried to do with this business was disrupt the space that we were in. Take something that was mundane, and really turning it on it’s head so that it felt special, fun, and exciting.

It’s about those little things in people’s lives that can actually change how they feel about themselves.