MY SUCCESS STORY
From Navy Recruit To A Successful Boutique Brand – The Pretty Kitty
ricia Hetherington- just a small town girl… who went to fashion school, dabbled in acting and modeling, decided to join the Navy to launch and recover F-14 fighter planes, then become an aesthetician, to eventually open up twelve and license an additional thirteen wax boutiques in the United States, “The Pretty Kitty”. “I have a bit of a unique background. It was after I left the Navy that I decided to use my GI bill and go back to school to become an aesthetician, but it was hard to make a living. After being in the industry for several years I was still struggling. That’s when I met (my partner) Dane- at a charity event. We started dating, and he kept telling me we should go into business together, but I thought he was absolutely crazy!” One night in 2006 while living in San Diego, Tricia realized that the main focus in the beauty industry had been day-spas- where you spend an afternoon getting all of your beauty regimens done at once. There were no cute-named boutique specialty spas- especially focusing on waxing. She decided to take a risk with her boyfriend and become business partners, opening up a boutique salon specializing in fast Brazilian waxing services.
“I decided to just say, Okay, what the heck- if we are going to do this, let’s do something completely different, that’s never been done before, and come up with a funny name that get’s people’s attention. That same night, all within a few minutes of conversation, we brainstormed a name- Pretty Kitty came out like- BAM! A light bulb moment went off, and I got the chills. I looked at him and said, Oh My God this is it. This is what we are doing.” Tricia and Dane opened their first store three months later. It was a very small, run down, 430 square feet building in Pacific Beach, San Diego, but they just knew they were going to make it into something special. They did all of the renovation themselves, and turned their brand new store into a chic, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” inspired boutique salon. They worked seven days a week for months- and eventually had their clientele grow enough to hire employees. Just two years after opening their first wax boutique, they opened a second “The Pretty Kitty” in Chula Vista. A year after that, they opened the next one... all without a single penny of debt. “We moved to Vegas for the first time in 2009, and that was the third store we opened, but the first store in another state. Then a year after that, we opened up the second Las Vegas store- off of Flamingo. After that one opened, we moved back to Orange County. We now have 7 in Orange County, and also license our concept; kind of like franchising… we have about 25 locations now. Three of which are in Las Vegas. We moved back here a few years ago, built a house, and we love it. It’s been a pretty cool ride- a lot of hard work, but things are much easier now.” Talking with Tricia, I was impressed by her vivacious personality, her professionalism, and passion for her business. She exudes confidence and pride over her boutiques- qualities that are excitable for the customer to experience firsthand. Tricia also designs all of the “The Pretty Kitty” boutique stores herself, and after hearing her story I was anxious to be invited to come check out the boutiques myself… so I booked an appointment.
By Lisa Marie
All of Tricia’s stores are unique, but with a distinct style and detailed polish that only “The Pretty Kitty” offers. The décor is chic, the atmosphere is mellow, and the salon is pristinely clean. The women running the front desk were bubbling with positive energy, kind, and welcoming. At “The Pretty Kitty” in Summerlin, I was greeted by a super sweet woman named Kirsty, who was going to give me an underarm, Brazilian, and leg wax. Usually, when I get these services done together, it can take about an hour, or sometimes more. Kirsty had me out in 26 minutes, with even more precision and less pain than I had ever experienced before! She was absolutely amazing. She chatted with me the entire time to keep my mind off of the uncomfortable, sometimes awkward, and painful concept of having your hair ripped out of your skin. Kirsty explained how Tricia trains all of her employees to remove hair the exact same way, and I now understand why. Somehow, the way that she was able to swiftly, efficiently, and (relatively) pain-freely remove my unwanted fuzzies was nothing short of impressive. Even the wax was special! Not only was it a sassy shade of pink, it was applied with high-end equipment that made the removal process so much easier. I was so impressed with my services at “The Pretty Kitty” that I have vowed to transfer my monthly visits to this salon… especially since they can get me in an out that quickly! I always have to convince myself to get up the courage to go to the waxing boutique… and now, I think I’m actually going to look forward to it! Tricia was at the forefront of the boutique beauty salon wave, and has developed a very unique way to make her customers feel special and relaxed, all while receiving high-end salon quality waxing at a remarkably affordable price. If that alone doesn’t convince you to throw your razors away, go witness the success story of “The Pretty Kitty” yourself. I am so glad I did! MV