Agnes Gilson, a 28-year-old Haitian-American entrepreneur, said she loves that she’s known as the Brazilian waxing “beast” and fully embraces the nickname.
Agnes Gilson has a small business in Silver Spring that offers waxing services. (Photo by Influplexity PR)
Gilson owns Waxing with Aggy in Silver Spring, Md., and says Brazilian waxes are her specialty. Another popular service she offers is the “manzilian” wax reserved for body-hair removal from sensitive areas for men.
She said she doesn’t flinch at the idea of being so close to other peoples’ body hair and says the waxing sessions feel more like a mini-therapy session.
“People don’t have a choice but to get comfortable with you,” Gilson told the AFRO. “They see you every month for the service and then… it’s like you become best friends in the room for the next 15-to-20 minutes you’ll talk about everything.”
Gilson, who holds a psychology degree from Howard University, moved her business to a bigger location in Silver Spring because her previous location wasn’t large enough to handle the booming business.
Before getting into the waxing business, Gilson worked as a freelance makeup artist. The birth of her now 4-year-old son, Marco Villatoro, convinced her to do something more stable, so she enrolled in esthetician school at the Aveda Institute in Washington, D.C.
There she learned how to do facials and waxing.
“In order to get clients, you need to be able to offer more,” Gilson said.
After brief stints working in skin care at a department store, doing facials on her own and at a nail salon, Gilson drove past a vacant storefront in Silver Spring that was only charging $800 a month in rent.
That’s when she decided it was time to branch out on her own, and make more money. Waxing with Aggy opened in 2015, offering facials and waxes.
Six months later, Gilson dropped the facials and focused exclusively on waxing. She worked by herself the first year in the small space, then brought on one more employee.
“It started getting really busy with the waxing and because I only had the one room,” Gilson said. “It’s really hard to transition from a facial to going into a waxing and the whole cleanup process of it.”
Business continued to boom, she said, prompting her to close that location and reopen on Georgia Avenue in March. Her new location has five waxing rooms, and more space for her employees — she has one esthetician and a receptionist, but she said she is looking to hire four more estheticians.
Gilson offers six types of waxes to accommodate multiple hair and skin types, because in her view, everyone won’t get a great wax from one type of wax.
“In the beauty industry, we didn’t really have that much representation so a lot of people that come here, they’re like, ‘I didn’t even know Black people waxed,’“ she said.