Andreia Longshore | Brazilian Waxing by Andreia
Brazilian-born entrepreneur makes her American dream come true
Authenticity and family roots are keys to her success
By Felicia Joy
Meticulous grooming and rigorous beauty regiments are part of the Brazilian culture. Taking an active role in caring for family is too. This combination—image, strong family ties and hard work—gave Andreia Longshore the experiences, from yay high, that are now the makings of her tremendous success. Owner of “Brazilian Waxing by Andreia,” a chain of full-service waxing boutiques in Atlanta, she has grown her business from a one-woman mobile operation to five booming storefront locations with full staffs.
“Growing up in Brazil, the kind of work I do was very common. I helped support my family by waxing from the age of 16,” Andreia said. When I moved to the United States I learned that very few people had been exposed to ‘real’ waxing. Before moving to the U.S. I had never heard of waxing referred to as specifically ‘brazilian.’ I strongly believed an authentic experience was an untapped niche in the Atlanta area,” she said.
Andreia came to the United States in 1999 and launched her business in 2006 using her own funds. “I had saved some money back home in Brazil. When I moved to the United States, I provided service within the Brazilian community; during that time I would go to the customer. I developed a steady clientele and quickly realized that it would be much more beneficial to have them come to me. With that I set up my first waxing salon,” Andreia said.
Not allowing anything to hold her back—including a language barrier—Andreia discovered the American Dream and turned one location into two within 18 months. “Even though I am fluent in English, America is such a melting pot of people, sometimes I find the language challenging because of all the various dialects and accents used. I am multi-lingual but I did not experience such variations in dialect or accents in Brazil or speaking Portuguese.”
(Check out fun facts about Andreia Longshore.)
With a constant flow of customers, Andreia set her sights on expansion by focusing on her marketing strategy, which included an unexpected twist that, for her, was the obvious; and it paid off. “Waxing for men was a no brainer. A few years ago, most salons did not offer any waxing services to men for their backs, arms, legs, or a men’s brazilian. So, I decided to offer them the same services I offer women. When I started marketing for it I placed an ad in a local paper that simply stated ‘Waxing available for men.’ The response was unbelievable and I have developed a very strong male client base, and it continues to grow ever since,” Andreia said.
Perfect pricing has been a pot of gold for Andreia as well. “The $35 price for a ladies brazilian is very inexpensive and affordable. When I learned how much other salons were charging, I knew I could offer Atlanta’s first authentic brazilian waxing experience for about half the price other salons were charging,” Andreia said.
“I also knew I had to catch every lady’s eye to stand out against the competition so I got a pink branded Volkswagen Beetle. I believe it is a very feminine car and the pink makes it look like a cute little toy. I couldn’t think of a better vehicle to market my business,” she said.
Marketing savvy is a definite part of Andreia’s success but ultimately she attributes her fortune to good old fashioned values and faith.
“There is no secret. It is a combination of hard work and determination, in addition to being driven and self-motivated. Also, growing up in Brazil instilled very strong family values in my life. Plus, I believe in leading a healthy lifestyle and staying active; that is essential to maintaining beauty and staying in shape,” Andreia said. “Being passionate about my business keeps me energized. My faith in God has given me strength when I needed it the most and has taught me that there is no mountain too big to climb.”