ll archives: WAX Studio Tour with Myka Harris Barbato
Myka Harris Barbato is a ladypreneur to be marveled. She runs a gorgeous "get-beautified" studio in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward, is one half of the blogging duo at Highbrow Hippie, finished from both Spelman College and Parsons School of Design, trots the globe and is truly a pleasure to meet. We visited Myka at WAX to tour of all of the lovely and learn her ladypreneur philosophy.
Current location: Studioplex, Atlanta, GA
Where are you from? Atlanta, GA
Education: Parsons School of Design, Spelman College
Formal Title: Owner, WAX Studio
What is WAX/Buff/Blink and where did you come up with the concept?
WAX is Atlanta’s premier body waxing studio. I came up with the concept when I moved back from Munich to Atlanta in 2009. I couldn’t find a place to get waxed that met my standards so I decided to open my own. I wanted to take a service that used to be an afterthought to people, bring it to the forefront and really educate people about waxing.
We take what we do seriously at WAX. We ask questions and keep notes on client preferences, allergies, skin care routines etc. We want for each person to have the best experience possible so that they not only continue to come to us, but continue to have a positive experience with waxing in general. You hear so many horror stories about people’s experience with waxing and we want to change that.
Work Space Style
Your office space style in a few words: Modern, clean and airy.
How does your office décor inspire your work? I don’t know if this counts as office décor, but the view from my window of the sky allows me to remember that the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.
What are a few pieces in your space that you can’t live without? My bulletin board, my headdress & my fiddle leaf fig. The bulletin board lets me have a space to pin whatever is inspiring me, the headdress I put on when I get bored and the fiddle leaf fig reminds me to drink water. I can tell when I haven’t watered it enough...it looks so sullen - great reminder that all living things need water!
With WAX being a beauty haven, is it hard to work around the glam without partaking all day? Not as hard as you might think. Fortunately part of my job involves playing with products, talking to clients about their experience and trying new things so I get my fix. However, my staff teases me because I can barely sit still for a manicure because I’m looking around and thinking about all the things that need to be done.
How do you want WAX clientele to feel entering the space? How does that translate to the interior? I want for clients to be surprised and inspired when they enter WAX. We don’t have the typical salon or spa decor - it’s very mid century modern and lofty with skylights and great windows. We’re tucked away in an awesome industrial development with lots of concrete and you don’t really know what you’re in for until you walk in the door and then it’s like “This is pretty cool.”
My aesthetic is pretty much the same at WAX as it is at my home. I like clean lines, vintage furniture & splashes of color. We just moved into this new space a few months ago so it’s not finished yet, but everyday I find something else I want to do. I want it to just feel like a really cool space that happens to house a waxing studio and nail bar.
What types of events are held in the space when WAX isn’t being used to create Glamorai? We host a quarterly event called CURATE that has grown over the past year. We use it as a forum to discuss new trends and each event is different. We’ve partnered with other local brands to offer free services, done custom nail art and even had a mini market once with local vendors selling handmade items.
We can’t get enough of Old Fourth Ward. How did you pick O4W as your studio home? Part of my vision for WAX was to create a gathering place where you could run into your neighbors and friends when getting services. A neighborhood spot that brought people together and allowed us to get to know each other better.
I’m lucky enough to live in O4W so I purposefully picked a location that I could walk or bike to. We used to be located down the street in Inman Park (which we loved as well) but when they tore our building down to build a new development, it only made sense to stay close by and O4W was the logical choice. I love being located close to our clients and really being part of a community.
What are your favorite business lady apps? I don’t know if it’s a business lady app but I would be lost without my Spotify app. Music helps me work and keeps me sane!
At age 10, what did you think you’d be doing now? I thought I would be a veterinarian
You have to do it and you hate it – what is your least favorite task to do operating WAX? Changing lightbulbs. With fourteen foot ceilings. I swear we do it weekly...long life bulbs? I think not.
Favorite WAX product?ILIA Neon Angel lipstick. It’s my signature color.
On being a woman entrepreneur: Being a woman is easy. Being an entrepreneur is hard.
Best part about being a woman entrepreneur is working with other women. So many of my friends are also entrepreneurs and it’s great to be able to get together with them and discuss our successes, failures, challenges and ideas then close with a good catch up on life, love and our ongoing commitment to staying in shape and drinking less wine. You know, girl stuff.