Unexpected path leads woman to perfect career fit

CINCINNATI (WXIX) – A Tri-State woman is a master of many trades, but it is the work she is doing now that she says is the perfect fit for her.

Lisa Mays has been running the Head2Toe Body Waxing Salon for the past seven years.

It was quite a switch in her career after being a civil engineer for a decade.

After a few big transitions, Mays says she is now in a space that’s the perfect fit.

“I wanted to provide an inclusive space that can make everyone feel safe and comfortable, in a situation that can feel a little uncomfortable which is body waxing,” Mays explained.

Mays has been in the beauty industry for the past 12 years. She was a hair stylist before opening her waxing studio seven years ago.

It has been an unexpected career path for Mays. Her first job was as a civil engineer and project managing for a commercial construction company for nearly a decade.

“2008 hit, I was 28 years old, and the economy went down,” Mays recalls. “I did not know what we were going to do. I got laid off, so I decided to go to beauty school. I decided to go to the Aveda Institute. I got in and out of that program in 10 months.”

From there, Mays says she took a job at a local salon working as a shampoo girl and she perfected her skills as a stylist.

The salon owner took Mays under her wing to show her the ropes.

“I had to learn that I did not know everything,” Mays admits. “I thought I did, but I did not. One thing I didn’t know was beauty. It humbled me but it made me appreciate her as well.”

After a few years, Mays says she had to pivot once again in her career after developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

“I loved to body wax, so I thought about it, what can I do?” says Mays. “I needed a little bit of training though. So, I went to work for one of the local waxing salons here; Got really good, and decided to open my own.”

Mays says it was one of the best decisions she’s made.

Not only does she own her shop, but she also developed a waxing product line which she says was developed out of necessity when COVID-19 hit.

After her spa was mandated to shut down for months, she created wax kits to keep an income.

“It took about a year, a year in a half to get it all figured out, but it was well worth it,” Mays says. “The best decision I ever made in my business.”

She says her other best decision was having the courage to walk away from an engineering career to create her own path in the beauty industry while also bonding with clients she meets along the way.

“It’s quick 15-minute to 30-minute interactions, but you can get to know a lot about a person by just listening to them for 15 to 30 minutes and now we’re a little family,” describes Mays. “I have been through so many different types of things but at the end of the day, I am still open. The doors are open. I am still here and I’m still changing people’s lives one wax at a time.”

Mays says she is now on track to expand her services.

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