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Rosie Khandwala, Sugar Coated

Inspirational Female Founder Spotlight: Rosie Khandwala, Sugar Coated

Rosie Khandwala is the Founder of Sugar Coated Hair Removal. With over 40 years of experience in the hair removal industry she has used here knowledge to fine tune the traditional techniques of waxing and sugaring into an easy to use at home hair removal system. Her objectives have always been to educate customers on the benefits of using natural products to protect the skin and manufacture to the highest ethical and environmental standards.

Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?

I am 63 and I have been in the beauty industry for more than 40 years. My experience is as a therapist, manufacturer, and brand owner. I started my manufacturing company in 1989 having moved from Tanzania where I grew up. From the age of 15, I had started working in my cousin’s salon as an apprentice. The salon offered treatments with a holistic approach using traditional, ethnic ingredients that were local available, for the treatments. This became a passion and how I pursued my career in this field.

How did the idea come to you for the company?

I moved to the UK with my husband and a young family and being in a new country I was eager to keep myself busy. As I had experience in waxing from back home I thought working as a mobile therapist would help me earn some money and would also be a good way to meet people. When I was setting up, I noticed that the sugar wax I used back home didn’t exist. My husband and I did some research and spotted a gap in the market to introduce it.

Sugar Coated was created out of a desire to make sugar wax approachable to anyone who wants to wax or remove hair. I wanted to create a kit that was convenient to use at home with salon quality results, but that was also natural, ethical and eco-friendly.

How did you achieve awareness?

We have used social media and PR to generate a lot of awareness. We have been working with influencers who share our passion for natural and ethical beauty products, and received exposure in national publications such as: Sunday Times Style Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Harpers Bazaar. We have also grown a global distribution network with our kits being sold in over 20 countries.

How have you been able to gain funding and grow?

Sugar Coated has been a self-funded project. We have been in business for over 30 years manufacturing this product. When we started Sugar Coated we brought on a business partner with a lot of experience in e-commerce and distribution and we had support from the internal resources at his company in the beginning.

What are the key successes?

Gaining a global footprint with distribution in 20 countries with a strong plan to grow that to 25 this year.

Sugar Coated was a finalist for Pure Beauty Global Awards 2020 for Best New Vegan Product and won the Highly Commended Award at Pure Beauty London 2020 for Best New Vegan Product. We were also a finalist for Family Business of the Year at the SME National Business Awards 2021

What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?

Building brand awareness on a limited budget. As a small family run business, we know we have to do more with less than the vast majority of our competitors as we are a true indy brand. But we use that to our advantage with a personal touch that involves a family member replying to all enquiries. We pride ourselves on our customer service where I can directly provide tips or advice to customers. We have also been fortunate to have found great sales and PR teams who believe in our products and support us in any way they can.

We also lean on our USP’s being the purest sugar wax in the market, being, ethical and eco-friendly and creating a brand that stands out from anything else on the market. 

What are your plans now/for the future?

As for the now, our focus is continued growth and distribution. We aim to be in between 25 countries by the end of the year.

The future is to grow in brand awareness and flesh the brand out beyond just hair removal but into greater beauty and skin care field. We have begun our formulation stage to develop the next stage Sugar Coated products that will extend beyond hair removal.

What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?

If you really believe that you have something that is unique and relevant than pursue, but firstly explore it thorough market research and prepare a feasibility.

Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?

  • Understanding every aspect of your business, from manufacturing, sourcing to costing
  • Providing excellent customer service
  • Willing to make the sacrifice especially with time.
  • Self belief in yourself and your product

Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?

Anita Roddick- It was based on her ethos to build The Body Shop business supporting and sourcing products from small women communities and small businesses. I got the opportunity to be the supplier based on that and owe it to her for where we are now and leading the business with the same values and ethos.

Dr Barbara Brockway – I had met her when she was with The Body Shop, she has been a huge influence in my business. Her doctorate in Sugar Chemistry gave me the chance to explore learn and understand on blending of sugar syrups for our product.

Alison Rose – She championed the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme, an initiative supporting start-up-businesses and networking. I was fortunate to have been accepted in this programme. For me this was a turning point as it had come at a time when I personally was feeling fatigued with the way the business was heading. The mentorship and support that I received from the team, networking with other businesses built my confidence and success.

The Queen – She is one of the most remarkable women. I admire her for the responsibility, devotion, dedication that she has carried during her lifetime. As seen she carries herself in as an exemplary head of state.

Sir Richard Attenborough – He is a one inspiring men!  Working with passion, love and care for the planet and respect for fellow humans. Listening to his wise words, sharing his wisdom makes you reflect about our responsibility for the planet and nature.

What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?

  • Don’t over analyse, it can lead to no answers!
  • If it cannot do any good do not inflict any harm!
  • Patience and perseverance pays off!

What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?