For the past nine years, S.h.a.p.e.s Brow Bar has been known for its mall kiosks where women can get their eyebrows styled with an Indian hair-removal technique called threading.
The procedure, which involves using thread to twist and pull out hairs, has become so popular that the L.A. couple behind S.h.a.p.e.s has seen their business expand to 45 kiosks and 15 stores in malls from Arizona to Illinois.
Now, co-owners Reema and Mosin Khan have a new twist on their business – a kiosk called She Bar in the Westfield Century City Mall.
The shop, which opened in July, offers not only threading but hair blow-drying – so called “blowouts” – makeup application and nail polish changes. The idea is to capture the business of women getting dolled up before a night out.
“This is a place where any girl would like to come before going to a party,” said Reema Khan, 35, who works out of executive offices in Cerritos, though the company still maintains corporate offices in Chicago where it was founded. They said the business rang up sales of $14 million last year.
One reason threading has become popular is that it can be done by skilled but unlicensed practitioners, while the leading procedure for shaping brows is waxing, which must be done by licensed aestheticians. As a result, S.h.a.p.e.s charges just $10 for threading while salons can charge $20 or more for waxing.
With She Bar, the Khans are similarly taking advantage of that price differential, as only the hair styling and nails are done by a licensed stylist. A complete package of hair, eyebrow, makeup and nail services sells for under $100, about $60 to $100 less than a typical L.A. salon. Also keeping costs down is the location.
“Businesswise, if you look at the kiosk, it makes more sense because the overall cost of operating a kiosk is less than a store. And putting all these services together also made sense,” said Mosin Kahn.
Elizabeth Fantetti, director of membership for the Professional Beauty Association, a beauty industry trade association based in Phoenix, said the Khans seem to be on the leading edge in the industry. She noted that quick-service blowout shops where women can get their hair quickly styled are taking off, but She Bar is a step beyond that.
“This is a relatively new entry in the beauty world,” she said.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.