By Aida Toro
“I have always loved makeup and have been fascinated by skincare,” said Stacey Laricchia. “My mother was a Southern Belle and I swear, had me wearing night cream at nine years old.”
Stacey Laricchia is the Owner and Founder of The Birthday Suit waxing Spa and the columnist who provides New Face Fashion Magazine readers with top notch beauty tips. Laricchia has been in the aesthetics industry for a good 20 years, on and off that is.
“Prior to opening The Birthday Suit, I was an artist and Educator for Christian Dior,” said Laricchia. “I loved the company and their skincare was delicious and I am still a loyal fan of their mascara.”
Laricchia recalled going to the department stores with her mother where they sampled all of the products on her. Her mother would always gift her with the little minis, which Laricchia loved trying out, playing with the color palettes, and just experimenting in general.
“In college, I began doing makeup for my friends before we would go out,” she said. “It was a job that I loved! While I was in regular college, I was going to beauty school at night.”
Her love for beauty was immense that Laricchia ended up concentrating her career in makeup once she graduated from college and for several years after that. She worked in a spa in order to keep her aesthetics knowledge current and was a freelance makeup artist as well.
“Waxing was not what it is today, so a Brazilian wax 20 years ago was almost a little scandalous,” she said. “Thank gosh for Sex in the City and making that a mainstream service.”
Once she was offered a position with Christian Dior, Laricchia packed her bags and moved out to Las Vegas from Boston. Although she enjoyed working at Christian Dior, Laricchia gave birth to her daughter and decided she needed a job that was less demanding. Thereafter, she went back into the aesthetics industry to wax. She worked for a local competitor for about a year, who ended up firing her.
“I had always felt family should come first in a job and they did not agree with that,” she said.
Once she wasn’t working for that company any more, her husband approached the idea of opening up their own locale. Laricchia said his exact words were, “if you are going to wax vageenes all day, you may as well open your own place so you can run it the way you want.”
The night her husband suggested the idea of Laricchia opening up her own spa, the business was named The Birthday Suit right on the spot. She and her husband were out having sushi and wrote down all of their ideas on a menu, which she has framed in her office to this day. Her husband wanted the place to be called “Wax On Wax Off”, which she shut down in an instant because she wanted a name that would be super fun and playful.
“A place where you could bring your 12 year old for her brows without being uncomfortable saying the name,” she said. “The Birthday Suit sort of just happened as we were speed collaborating on names and the logo was an easy second choice.”
Laricchia was looking for her business’s core values to be: Family first along with customer service and not sales. She wanted to be the boss she never had to the employees she was going to hire.
Launching The Birthday Suit was also an opportunity for Laricchia to make individuals feel better about themselves.
“Being facially disfigured, I know what it feels like to have that brief moment of feeling beautiful,” she said. “I think that’s what drew me initially to the skincare and waxing industry.”
She also said, “Helping some women overcome an insecurity, like getting a Brazilian wax due to someone implying they are not a size two. That one moment of vulnerability of being undressed in front of a stranger and reassuring them how amazing they are. When they leave and they feel confident and fabulous...it’s the moments like that, that make me feel like I am doing a good thing.”
Laricchia also fulfilled her dream of becoming the boss she wanted be, as she is a role model to her employees. Currently, she has 16 aestheticians on staff who refer to her as “Mama Stace”.
“I am humbled and honored they would look to me in that capacity,” she said. “They come to me for advice or guidance and it’s a pretty amazing feeling.”
Laricchia is passionate on witnessing her employees grow as women. All the way from getting married, going back to school, to purchasing a car or a home.
“All because working for me gave them the financial stability to do so,” she said. “I also love how together we make such a difference in our community.”
Laricchia mentioned that she and her team at The Birthday Suit gathered 400 toys for a charity holiday drive as well as brought in three dozen business suits to assist women who are just getting back into the workforce.
“Stepping back some days and seeing what we do is amazing,” she said.
Aside from being a business owner, role model to her employees, and wife, she is a mother first and foremost. When she delved into opening up her own business, Laricchia wanted to be a role model for her daughter, so she could recognize her hard work. With that title, more decisions about her business came upon her.
“For example, my spas have ‘Children’s Lounges’,” said Laricchia. “ A play room with a TV, toys and books, so busy moms and dads can sneak in and get a wax without having to worry about their kiddos in the room or trying to schedule when their spouse or babysitter is available.”
Laricchia said she also went with a conscious price choice for services and products because she wanted the waxing and skincare services to be affordable at The Birthday Suit rather than a luxury.
“It doesn’t mean we sacrifice quality by any means,” she said. “We have a lab who creates our products which works for some of the biggest names in the skincare industry and we also bring our wax in from Europe. It is top of the line.”
The Birthday Suit has spent eight years setting itself up for so many choices once the spa hits the ten year mark. Whether Laricchia chooses to open more locations or franchise, she is assured that her brand and reputation will remain the same. Her goal is to remain as the cute mom and pop shop that provides the ultimate waxing services in Las Vegas.
“I look forward to seeing what our next chapter brings to us and which path we choose,” she said. “It’s terrifying, exhilarating, and unknown, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have always said my life is a tornado of beautiful chaos and it’s perfection.”