We had the good fortune of connecting with clea nagel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi clea, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my own business around the time people started whispering about a possible shut down. My current company was beginning to plan for cuts. I had the idea of going out on my own for quite a while but around that time there was a big “Why not?” moment. The pandemic really showed me how much insecurity and impermanence there can be in ones career. Looking back I know my position would have been just fine and I am still so so grateful that I was given that push. So, ya, overall my thought process was really, “F* it!” I just really wanted to feel like I had control over my own future when everything was starting to feel out of control for the rest of the world.
What should our readers know about your business?
As an esthetician I find running an inclusive and comfortable studio to be the most rewarding feeling ever. I think that the world of waxing is pretty far behind as far as the beauty industry goes in terms of inclusivity.
For example, things like body shape and size matter. Ethnicity matters. Gender matters. Anyone that grows hair can wax hair but I think those factors are ignored in your typical esthetic studio and that doesn’t make people feel very comfortable.
Its the best feeling in the world when I have a client come in who’s transgender and we maybe have a conversation about hormonal hair differences or when a client comes in who’s a person of color and we can talk about different types of after care products that are geared for their hair type. Its rewarding when someone tells me that they’ve always felt like “they could never wax” bc of xyz and were able to change that narrative.
Getting to where I am now has all been a product of patience. At Bush and Brow we provide our service in our own way. We offer comfortable and casual esthetic services versus luxury or maybe corporate esthetic studios might. I’ve always been really trusting that when you take your time and stick to your own values and mission then the right customers are going to come your way.
So ya the best lesson Ive realized is that authenticity breeds the best business. Stick to your guns and trust that people will be drawn to that.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Im a CO native and Ive been in Denver since I was 17 years old. I love my city so so much. One of the coolest parts of Denver is that every neighborhood draws a different type of folk and has a different vibe.
-PS Lounge (true bluebird district vibes)
-Pon Pon (they play the best music)
-Tavernetta and Coppers Lounge (great for happy hour)
-Cervantes (always good shows and very Colorado)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When I started my business the scariest thing in the world to me was all things tech. Website, graphics, even making business cards was so challenging to me. Definitely not my wheelhouse.
A friend of a friend, Russ Ault, helped me immensely and supported me through my business and to this day. I really feel like he was my whole team when I started bush and brow.
Shout out to Russ Ault (website developer and graphic designer)