A single mother from Australia is now turning over hundreds of thousands of pounds after launching her business in London with just £1,000.
Trish Coulton, 48, founder of Bondi Body based in Fulham, west London, told Express.co.uk her financial success has now given her “room to breathe” after previously surviving on welfare benefits and “foraging down the back of the sofa” for coins.
Sharing her story with Express Money, Ms Coulton said: “In 2003, I moved to the beautiful Byron Bay, and as no one would employ me as I was a single mother, broke on benefits, I decided to open my own salon.”
Initially, Ms Coulton began renting a room from a local chiropractor in Byron Bay for $150 a week to offer her waxing services through her first company, The Wax Room, before selling up and moving to London in 2010.
Ms Coulton launched that business with less than $500 – paying for three wax kits, a massage table, a bin and a waxing trolley – and spread the word with a “genius” marketing campaign to display advertisements on the back of ladies’ loo doors.
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She witnessed fast success and “never made less than $4,000 a week”, but, yearning for a new life experience, Ms Coulton spotted a “fantastic opportunity” for hair removal in London.
Ms Coulton launched her new salon in 2014 with a new name, Bondi Wax.
She said: “I changed the name to Bondi Wax, which allowed the customer to pretty quickly realise there could be an Australian connection. Australian-trained beauty therapists are known for their waxing technique – 15 minutes from start to finish.
“The concept remained the same. The best wax, an excellent price point with the best customer service, which is really what I feel has been the most important factor to my success.”
Ms Coulton added: “It takes nothing to simply say hello, I am Trish. That, and being open from 10am to 10pm on weekdays. My London girls loved that a service industry business was open after they finished work – and I knew that women talk.
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“In my first month of opening, all treatments were £15. It didn’t take long for the word to spread, and Fulham has been my beloved home ever since. Nearly nine years on, I have been through it all with my clients: the dating life, what to wear, the boyfriends, the weddings, the first baby, and for some, the second. This is why I love what I do — it’s the people I am so lucky to meet.”
Four months after opening in 2014, Ms Coutlon had “a minimum” of 10 bookings a day, soon growing to be fully booked most days by the end of summer.
Ms Coulton said: “I started Bondi Wax in 2014 on a loan from a friend of £1,000. In the first year, we turned over £150,000, and we have been growing since then.”
Noticing a shift in the market with customers looking for more permanent hair removal solutions, Ms Coulton launched a laser removal home device, Bondi Body @ Home, in 2019.
Ms Coulton said: “While focusing on permanent hair reduction, this at-home device would also reduce sun-damaged skin and pigmentation.
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“Taking my knowledge of hair removal and diversifying into online retail allowed me to increase my audience and revenue. Aside from the time during Covid, I have grown rapidly each year.”
Ms Coulton added: “Being financially successful has given me room to breathe. I [used to be] a single mother on welfare, and there were many, many times when I would forage down the back of the sofa looking for coins to buy milk for my son.
“To be honest, while I have mild success the pressure is still there. While I keep a close eye on market trends, I am always looking for ways to improve my technique, my customer service, and my products. I have to make £8,000 a week to break even.
“I don’t think I will ever stop competing against myself – my work is never good enough for me. This is what I believe has, in part, given me some success. That, and my belligerence never to give up.
“As the saying goes – you are only as good as your last week of sales and the only guarantee in life is death and tax.”
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