A&S Waxing Studio, a family-owned hair-removal cosmetic salon, opened in downtown Lock Haven in November 2023. While exploring various career options, co-owner Alexa Lesher discovered a passion for the cosmetic industry and obtained her esthetician license from the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology. Her mother and co-owner, Shari, decided to follow in her daughter’s footsteps and obtained her esthetician license soon after. Alexa’s father and co-owner Cory, a Physician’s Assistant with a master’s in business administration, brought the astute business acumen the trio needed to launch their own salon in downtown Lock Haven. When faced with the intricacies of launching their business, the family-owned venture looked to business consultant Tom Keiffer of the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
The journey to A&S Waxing Studio was not without its challenges. Renovations proved to be a significant hurdle, requiring attention to every detail, from room installations for different services to molding, trim, flooring, and plumbing. Financial strains accompanied these transformations. However, the Lesher family navigated these challenges with resilience. The search for the right contractor became easier through connections made with fellow business owners and the landlord. Additionally, self-funding allowed them to avoid loan rejections, and they overcame initial hurdles with determination.
The Penn State SBDC, guided by Business Consultant Tom Keifer, played a crucial role in transforming the family business vision into reality. Tom assisted with business registration, the creation of an operating agreement, and facilitated connections for payroll setup and financial projections. The SBDC continues to support the family as they navigate effective bookkeeping through QuickBooks. The Lesher family first learned about SBDC through connections in downtown Lock Haven.
The process from planning to launch, initiated in July 2023, was swift, with a soft opening in November 2023 witnessing a remarkable reception—50 clients in the first week and breaking even on expenses. The Penn State Law Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic, along with SBDC’s comprehensive guidance, contributed to the seamless establishment of the LLC and ensured a smooth and efficient opening process for A&S Waxing Studio. Within its first week of opening, the studio not only attracted a substantial client base but also achieved financial balance.
The studio currently employs two individuals. Looking towards the future, the Lesher family is poised to expand their team and offer specialized services, contributing to further job opportunities in the community. This unique small business addition to downtown Lock Haven has not only filled a market gap but has also set the studio apart from competitors.
For the Lesher family, A&S Waxing Studio transcends being a mere business; it embodies a community-driven endeavor. Fueled by a passion for success and a community-connected mindset, they place a premium on cultivating relationships with clients and fellow business owners. The family-centric atmosphere, characterized by a jovial and fun spirit, stands as the cornerstone of their entrepreneurial journey. In the words of Cory Lesher, “The success we’ve achieved wouldn’t have been possible without the prioritized and strategic assistance from the SBDC, especially Tom Keiffer, who eliminated unnecessary struggles and paved the way for a thriving business.”