Founder, Brazilian Wax by Andreia
Since 2001, Andreia Guilmet has made life smoother for thousands of Atlanta women. In those years, Guilmet launched 17 upscale Brazilian Wax by Andreia salons, all around metro Atlanta, including one at 950 W. Peachtree Street in Midtown. With a reputation for exceptional service, Guilmet has created a waxing empire noted for its imported, organic hard wax, low pricing and Guilmet’s own proprietary wax removal technique. Each one of her boutiques—some with as many as 12 rooms—is emblazoned with a hot pink sign, a design choice that, together with the company’s four pink VW Beetles that zip from location to location, has helped to establish her brand.
As a young woman in Brazil, Guilmet, who has four children and lives in Marietta, dreamed of moving to the United States. She was first drawn to Atlanta during the 1996 Summer Olympics. “I could feel the energy all the way from my small home town of Goiania,” she says. “I also had friends here, so Atlanta was a likely choice.”
Although Guilmet, who was introduced to waxing as a teenager while assisting her aunt in Brazil, is now living an entrepreneur’s dream, bringing the business to fruition brought with it some challenges: “When I immigrated to the United States in January of 2000, I saw an untapped market in the beauty industry,” she says. But once here, she had to face Americans’ relatively puritanical position on waxing, as well as master both English and the very different American way of doing business.
Though waxing was already mainstream in Brazil, thanks to the prevalence of itsy-bitsy swimsuits worn on the country’s beaches, Guilmet found it was essentially non-existent in Atlanta and saw an opportunity. By the time she opened her first salon in Marietta in 2005, she already had more than 10 years of experience. She was soon flooded with customers who came in for Brazilian, bikini and full-body waxes, as well as other services, including those designed just for men—which was nearly unheard of at the time. Guilmet continued to add new locations as demand built.
Her formula was simple: “I am quite certain I was the first to offer a $35 Brazilian wax for women. And there’s a strong probability that I was the first to offer full-body waxing for men in Atlanta and the Southeast. All of this was new, and the demand was tremendous,” she says.
Though successfully managing locations around the metro area, Guilmet still has an appetite for expansion and plans to open new salons, in Memphis this month and in Tampa in early 2017. Guilmet’s master plan: to go nationwide, with her eldest daughter, Beatriz at the company’s helm.
Guilmet credits her 150-person, fully-licensed staff of aestheticans and salon managers—many of whom are mothers, daughters and friends of friends from Marietta’s Brazilian community—for the chain’s success. Her husband, Chris, and Beatriz help run the company’s day-to-day operations, allowing Guilmet to stay on the front lines, interacting with her clients and doing what she loves best: “Building a base of loyal customers who often become good friends.”
To learn more about Brazilian Wax by Andreia, including salon locations and hours, visit brazilianwax.com
STORY: Cathy H. Burroughs