This female entrepreneur pretty much got Singaporean women on the Brazilian waxing bandwagon 14 years ago. Thanks to her, we can’t imagine not grooming ourselves down there.
Cynthia Chua, 44, founder and CEO of Spa Esprit Group
Browhaus, Strip, Qi Mantra. Chances are, you would’ve visited at least one of these salons before. What they have in common: they’re all Cynthia Chua’s babies. The founder and CEO of Spa Esprit Group started her lifestyle empire with a humble Spa Esprit boutique spa at Holland Village in 1996, then went on to open Strip, the first dedicated waxing salon in Singapore, in 2002.
Back then, a Brazilian wax was an unfamiliar Western concept, and Cynthia was frustrated by how Asian women were perceived to be poorly groomed. The few beauty parlours that offered waxing services at that time were sometimes unhygienic and left women traumatised by how painful the experience was.
Strip filled the gap in the market by offering fast, hygienic and more comfortable waxes. For every new session, the waxers at Strip will open a new, sealed Hygiene Pack and use the disposable waxing equipment housed within – such as gloves, wet wipes and spatulas – to perform the waxing. They are also trained not to double-dip spatulas into the wax pot.
There are now 46 Strip outlets worldwide, from Hong Kong to London. Cynthia also launched brow-grooming salon Browhaus in 2004, at the height of the eyebrow-grooming trend, and We Need a Hero, one of Singapore’s first male-grooming concept stores. Since the latter’s launch in April 2013, we’ve seen many other male-grooming salons sprouting up (Jermyn Street and The Golden Rule Barber Co., to name a few), proving that Cynthia is way ahead of the curve when it comes to spotting trends in the industry. We just can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!