The Wax Lounge 337 Ottawa Street North
As you know, I Heart Hamilton for me is all about discovering my hometown as well as experiencing new things. I kicked off the year by trying something new during my first visit to holistic beauty boutique The Wax Lounge. It was a fitting way to start the year on a positive note, with an experience that focuses on wellness of the mind and body. I also just attended my very first yoga class ever this month, at SoulSessions. I’m off to a good start – bring on the Zen vibes in 2016!
The Wax Lounge opened in February 2015 and I first connected with owner Raine Hewlett over Twitter. The beauty boutique offers a variety of services – waxing, facials, and holistic treatments including manicures, pedicures, massages, and reflexology. Admittedly, I’m not typically a spa/salon kind of girl, but right away The Wax Lounge seemed an approachable, fun, and hip place to be, thanks to Raine!
Chatting with Raine, I learned more about how The Wax Lounge came to be and her vision behind the holistic day spa. She says, “I wanted a place in which every single service is done with an emphasis on relaxation. Even an eyebrow wax is done using elements of reiki and is quite a relaxing experience! Really! I envisioned everyone walking through our door experiencing what it was I felt each time I walked into one of my beloved yoga studios… the essential oils burning, the candle light, the music, and where that calm energy is so strong you can’t help but be enveloped by it.”
That calm energy is apparent right when you walk through the door of The Wax Lounge. It’s a very peaceful spot, bright and airy, white walls with pops of purple and turquoise, and sunlight streaming through the large front window. A couple of rooms are curtained off where the more, shall we say, intimate treatments, take place. You feel welcomed right away.
Raine added, “I wanted non-rushed services done to perfection performed by industry experts. We are mindful on how we book so to be able to maintain that quiet and calm space. Every service is an experience of both body and mind. Again, even our waxing!”
Ottawa Street is a great fit for the boutique – I’m excited to see new businesses pop up in that BIA. Raine cited The Other Bird Group’s Black Sheep Snack Bar and Except for Kenneth as being awesome additions to the street. From foot traffic to word-of-mouth, The Wax Lounge has gained a strong clientele in their first year of business. More than ever, people are in search of the natural and organic products and services that they offer.
When it came to choosing which products to carry, Raine noted, “I have worked in the beauty industry for many years in many positions and roles. During those years I began to notice an influx of educated and aware customers and clients demanding to know the ingredients in their products. I didn’t blame them as I also wanted to know what it was that I would be putting on my skin as well as my family. I began to feel uneasy touting products that I myself would never use and would often express this to friends and family. How can I ethically sell something that I thought to be toxic?”
From all-natural soaps and lotions, to bath bombs, deodorants and more, The Wax Lounge carries local products from Burlap & Twine, Perk Naturals, Lovefresh, Kaia Bamboo Cleansing Cloths, On A Branch Soaps And Deodorants, among others. I was also pleased to see my friend Katie’s Monarch Tea Co. on the shelves!
Raine added, “My reason for selling local came from working for industry giants and knowing first-hand the wealth they generated. Being in a management position, I was required to do many reports and so proof of that wealth was laid out before me. I saw it. They’re doing fine. It’s time to spread those dollars to the passionate and hard working local small business owner.”
Now, for my new experience! I was lucky enough to be treated to the hot stone massage. I had never had a massage before in my life (let alone a hot stone one!) so I didn’t really know what to expect. Led by the lovely Joanne, it was one magical, dreamy experience. You lay face down atop a soft, cozy, heated cot and are enveloped in a thick blanket. It was relaxing before it even started!
In addition to the regular massage techniques, smooth, heated stones are used to relax your muscles as they are placed on key areas of the body. I liked that this type of massage wasn’t too rigorous; it was just enough for me. I could feel the tensions of last year slipping away! You leave feeling fresh and invigorated for the rest of the day (and smelling like a sweet lavender flower – they use amazing essential oils too).
A visit to The Wax Lounge was the perfect first local discovery of the year for me. Did I mention they also do manicures and pedicures with all-natural polishes? Oh, I’ll be back!