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Our Story

We are a group of women with a vision of growing a strong and dynamic business that provides outstanding beauty services and high quality spa products to our clients at affordable prices both in our retail location and online at www.puckerup.ca.

We believe that when given the opportunity women can build sustainable businesses to provide meaningful and substantial contribution to community and family equally. We are committed to ensuring financial confidence, training and development for our team of professionals for many years to come.

Our clients experiences are always at the fore front of our minds. At Runaway Bay we give our staff the opportunity to personalize every service to the needs of each individual client. This means that unlike our competitors we will go the extra mile to talk in depth about your beauty concerns, take an extra 5 minutes to give a hand massage during a facial service or add an extra layer of polish to a pedicure to make sure the colour pops and ensure that clients are 100% satisfied.

Runaway Bay Beauty Bar Team - Spa North Vancouver

Our Story

After 36 years of providing caring, professional and individualized service to every one of their loyal clients, Runaway Bay Day Spa was in desperate need of its very own makeover. Sadly, due to the economic downturn of recent years and the strong competition from unlicensed nail shops appearing everywhere the bills were piling up, the location itself was in dire need of refreshing and the fate of yet another small Canadian business looked bleak. That was the summer of 2012 yet how quickly things can change in just one year!

In August 2012 the previous General Manager, Kirsten Engel, came back after resigning the position 2 years before to start a family. However, unlike most moms excited to return to the workforce Kirsten was coming back tasked with the devastating duty of helping to prepare the team she had worked with to realize the fact that they would soon no longer call “Runaway Bay” home. “Things had gotten bad enough that the owner just couldn’t keep it going anymore. She had tried everything she could think of, but the economy was tough and Edgemont Village is an expensive place to own a shop. It just couldn’t float any longer.” When asked about how she felt about saying goodbye to her team her answer was this,

“What saddened me the most was that Runaway Bay has always prided itself on being a business that partnered with it’s staff to provide them with viable careers in their chosen profession as licensed estheticians. The industry standard is to offer a meagre minimum wage base salary and a minimal commission on the product they sell however we chose not to do this! Instead we strive to give our team a generous percentage of every client they see; so that no matter what time of year it is they are looked after financially.”

Instead of cutting down on the quality of products and minimizing the service times her team were allowed to give their clients, Kirsten went ahead and created yet another side to this business. One which she hopes will help support the Runaway Bay family for many years to come.

“Puckerup.ca is an online store where the general public can access professional, esthetician tried and tested products at affordable prices. We are reliable, licensed and back up everything we sell!” Kirsten proudly enthuses.

As a young mom (just 27 years old) with an active 2 year old and her partner already busy working his way up in a local engineering firm, Kirsten knew this would be no easy task. She also knew she had to move quickly or none of them would have a job worth saving. In just a matter of 8 weeks Kirsten had secured their new location only two doors down from their previous home by striking up a partnership deal with Beach Tanning Studios at its existing Edgemont Village shop.

“Partnering with a business like Beach Tanning allowed us to share the burden of the extremely high lease rates that come with such a wonderful area like Edgemont Village, more businesses should look into the option of partnerships like this as a viable way to succeed.”

She renovated the already beautifully appointed space to create private service rooms to provide her clients with the high standard of professional beauty treatments they have always received, and the results could not have turned out better.

Runaway Bay Beauty Bar (a fresh take on the original name reflective of its new vibrant image) just celebrated its first profitable summer season in many years, but this young entrepreneur is not stopping there! Kirsten’s desire is to rebuild the business on the understanding that she would keep her spa services at a competitive price, aim to constantly give her staff a higher share of the profits than most would consider, and even go as far as honor all of the old businesses gift certificates out of her own pocket because as Kirsten says “It’s just good business Karma!”. Kirsten knew that all of her idealism would simply not be financially sustainable in the long run.

“I can understand why other business are cutting wages and trying to squeeze every last penny, this is a tough industry in an even tougher economy, but that’s not how I want to operate. I know that when staff are paid and treated with respect befitting the professional training they have received they will be happier in their jobs and will in turn provide a higher level of service to their clients. That’s one of the reasons our staff turnover is almost non-existent!” Ms. Engel passionately declares.

Instead of cutting down on the quality of products and minimizing the service times her team were allowed to give their clients, Kirsten went ahead and created yet another side to this business. One which she hopes will help support the Runaway Bay family for many years to come.“Puckerup.ca is an online store where the general public can access professional, esthetician tried and tested products at affordable prices. We are reliable, licensed and back up everything we sell!” Kirsten proudly enthuses.

In a world where online shopping is littered with scam sites selling knockoff product (yes the beauty industry has a knockoff black market as well) or sites that just don’t give any customer service Pucker Up Beauty Bar aims to be different. Her team displays a passion for old fashioned customer service while maintaining an outstanding return policy and are focused on making every transaction easy and enjoyable for women and men of all ages.

“Puckerup.ca is a modern approach to buying all of your spa and beauty essentials from the convenience of your own home.” says Kirsten. "We are really looking forward to growing these two businesses together, I know there is a ton of opportunity to expand and turn some of the bad practices in this industry around."


To experience Runaway Bay Beauty Bar’s unique brand of pampering and beauty services please call: 604 988 8331 or visit the web site: www.runawaybay.ca


 

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