Sweet success of Wellingborough sugar wax firm as it sees 300 per cent increase in sales

The family-run business has gone from strength to strength in its first 18 months and now has distribution in more than 20 countries

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 7:00 am
Rosie Khandwala with son Noor

Success is sweet for this Wellingborough firm which has seen a 300 per cent increase in sales this year alone.

Rosie Khandwala who founded Sugar Coated in 2019, introduced the concept of strip sugar waxing to the UK when she moved from Tanzania in 1987.

The company is based on Wellingborough's Leyland trading estate and its products including bikini, leg and underarm hair removal are now stocked in Next's new Beauty stores nationwide and online, as well as online retailer Feel Unique.

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Founder Rosie Khandwala

But where did it all begin for Rosie and the business which she now runs with son Noor?

Rosie’s career in the beauty industry started when she was just 15 and worked as an apprentice at her cousin’s hair and beauty salon.

Having no access to any products for the treatments, they used to formulate their own with natural ingredients extracted from herbs and fruits, combined with ethnic recipes.

The most popular treatment in the salon was waxing, where they would mix sugar, water and lemon juice to make a paste.

One of Sugar Coated's products

This had been the traditional method of hair removal for centuries in East African Asian culture.

In 1990, a few years after moving back to the UK, Rosie and her husband started their business.

They first started by targeting the professional beauty market, but soon pivoted to manufacturing their sugaring product for The Body Shop, in which they maintained a contract for 18 years.

The awareness of sugar waxing soon grew after the launch of The Body Shop and after their Body Shop contract ended, Rosie made her first leap into the retail market with their brand Sugar StripEase.

Ten years later, feeling that the Sugar StripEase name and packaging had become dated, Rosie decided something needed to change.

With the assistance of her son, Noor, who had joined the business, they launched Sugar Coated, a new company, brand and packaging that was of its time with a timeless product.

Rosie said: “We wanted to put the ethical and eco-friendly values that are at our core, at the forefront of Sugar Coated, all wrapped in a funky and unique design.”

Sugar Coated was created to offer an ethical alternative to the typical at home hair removal products and waxing strips.

Rosie adapted the formula she was using when manufacturing for The Body Shop, and instead created a unique formula of just pure sugar syrup and water for the Sugar Coated sugar wax.

Eliminating the use of citric acid gave the formula better stability, and longer shelf life, while also making it more user-friendly for the customer by being more gentle and sensitive on the skin.

The family-run business has gone from strength to strength in its first 18 months and now has distribution in more than 20 countries and is also available at Next beauty and home stores and online, as well as online retailer Feel Unique.

Rosie and her family-run business continue to reach out to as many people as they can about the benefits of sugar wax, not just for hair removal, but also for the planet and the skin.

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