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LunchboxWax CEO Debi Lane: Let’s incorporate mindfulness training into our corporate training programs

Mindfulness — hands down. Being mindful is more than just meditation — although I am a strong advocate for the practice, it is about being self-aware. Taking the time to expand mindfulness in all aspects of our lives opens up room for creativity, compassion and improved mental and physical health. We are implementing a mindfulness module in our learning […]


Mindfulness — hands down. Being mindful is more than just meditation — although I am a strong advocate for the practice, it is about being self-aware. Taking the time to expand mindfulness in all aspects of our lives opens up room for creativity, compassion and improved mental and physical health. We are implementing a mindfulness module in our learning management system (LMS) at LunchboxWax. Giving the gift of mindfulness to all in our organization is something I am very passionate about.


I had the pleasure to interview Debi Lane, CEO of LunchboxWax. Debi showed her entrepreneurial mettle as early as 19, when she opened up her own travel agency. Since that time, she has worked in international sales and marketing and has owned and operated a variety of successful businesses in travel and tourism, recruiting and for the past decade, in the day spa and waxing industry. Now, thanks to Debi’s vision, persistence and resilience, waxing is no longer an after-thought or an add-on at salons and spas. Instead, this self-made entrepreneur channeled her acute business sense and perfected her unique speed-waxing technique to create a chic salon concept devoted singly to the art of waxing. Debi opened her first LunchboxWax in Boise, Idaho, in 2010, quickly followed by two other Idaho salons in Ketchum/Sun Valley and Eagle. With a head-turning brand and industry-revolutionizing vision in tow, she launched the LunchboxWax franchise concept in 2013 to offer an empowering business model for other like-minded entrepreneurs who want the freedom of owning a business with the support of proven knowledge and resources.


Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My path in beauty began almost 25 years ago as a masseuse and body treatment specialist at a day spa in the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho. A few years in, I decided I wanted to further my skills by getting my esthetics license. This is when I was introduced to waxing and I was hooked — I loved it from the first rip!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Building this company has been a healing journey for me — which has been so unexpected. I started this company from a one-room salon at a point in my life when I was unhealthy and very unhappy. I knew I needed to make changes in almost every aspect of my life. It was truly a turning point for me. So, I took the biggest leap of faith of my life. I reached out to a few people who saw the best in me and asked for help. I got sober, took a small loan from a wonderful woman who believed in my dream of a wax-only concept, grabbed my daughter and moved to a new city. I stayed diligent in my healing and my dream, and my world started to shift. I started to believe in myself and my vision. I have continued this path for the past 8 years, and now my focus is in helping and empowering all of the young women who work for us — they are my everything! Having this purpose has fueled the success of this company and healed my soul.

I would say the sheer, organic success of LunchboxWax. I started this business from a one-room salon in Sun Valley, Idaho, with the plan to only open one or maybe two salons in Idaho. This has been a journey of simply following my intuition and not being afraid to continually reach higher. It was in 2012, that I went on a silent retreat — I had two salons open in Boise, and came out with the idea to Franchise. I came back and told my incredibly like-minded team, and they were all in! So we jumped on a plane and went to a few franchise conventions and learned everything we could to build the system. We all pitched in our finances and it took us another year, but from the moment we all said “yes”, the ideas and opportunities started to flow into us in rapid succession. From there, we blossomed and kept evolving, and when we started awarding franchises in 2013, we knew we had built something very special. The response to our culture and business model was overwhelming! We opened our first franchise in the summer of 2014, and from there opened 36 in the first 36 months. We are now at 43 locations open and almost 100 awarded.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I could write a book on waxing mishaps! But, the funniest — still to this day, is when I stuck a clients bum cheeks together. It happened, when in the middle of a wax, a giant spider fell from the ceiling. I screamed, she screamed and jumped off the bed right after I had applied the wax to her behind. It took us a bit to get her unstuck, but I don’t know if two women have ever laughed harder!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I’m most proud of our culture. From the beginning, we have built this company from the inside out. We wanted to build a successful business model with purpose — to give entrepreneurs a strong focused bottom line business while empowering our workforce.

The other thing that makes our company stand out is our branding. The name and logo were very intentional. I wanted to catch people’s attention and make them think. Why LunchboxWax? This has brought us a lot of attention! Our logo goes viral. People love taking pictures of our signs all over the country. This incudes celebrities and people of influence. A story: when we first opened our Park City location, Diplo took a picture of our sign while at the Sundance Film Festival and posted it on his Instagram — it got over 27,000 likes and 1,500 comments overnight! The brand is doing its job.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We’ve been working on a new line of products for the past two years. We are introducing a high-end line of NOURISH body products, PROTECT face products, TREATMENT ingrown-hair products and what I am most excited about — our new DEFINE brow line. All expected to be on shelves by the end of 2019.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

Roll your sleeves up and get down into the weeds with your team. This is the only way to understand every aspect of your business. This obviously evolves as you grow, but this will help you gain respect and valuable insights. Be a mentor and find a mentor — and finding a mentor doesn’t always mean someone older and wiser. In my case, our young waxologists and corporate team members teach me more about what is current and going on in the world around than I could ever imagine.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Find like-minded leaders within your organization and let those leaders lead. Let them help evolve the company and grow their teams. In the end, you have to find workmates you trust. If you have that, then even making mistakes can be positive learning experiences for the whole organization.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I started this journey with my best friend, Lumi. She has been with me through thick and thin, both personally and professionally. She is a brilliant business woman and questions everything! I am a more shoot-from-the-hip gal who is missing the fear gene. We are two very different sides of the same flame, but have always shared the same vision. It is so important to have that person in my life who tells me when I am not only doing well, but will call me out when I’m a little crazy — and she has always been that for me.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Creating not just jobs but opportunities for personal growth. Empowering our waxologists to reach their fullest potential is at the core of everything we do. We have developed a learning environment for not only our waxologists, but also our franchise partners. Empowering and evolving is what building a culture-based company means to us.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a brief story or example for each.)

  1. Hire up. Bring in people that know more than you do!
  2. Get clear on (admit) what you don’t know. Never stop learning!
  3. Stand up for what you do know. Use your voice!
  4. Keep your vision moving forward and don’t be afraid be a disruptor!
  5. Dream big. Then bigger!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Mindfulness — hands down. Being mindful is more than just meditation — although I am a strong advocate for the practice, it is about being self-aware. Taking the time to expand mindfulness in all aspects of our lives opens up room for creativity, compassion and improved mental and physical health. We are implementing a mindfulness module in our learning management system (LMS) at LunchboxWax. Giving the gift of mindfulness to all in our organization is something I am very passionate about.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Leadership is not about titles, status and wielding power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people, ideas and has the courage to develop that potential. -Brené Brown

This pretty much sums up where I am in my life and what I strive to continue to accomplish.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

Oprah Winfrey! Her personal journey has always been an inspiration for me. From her struggles to her accomplishments and now her journey with spirituality — well, who wouldn’t want to plug into her over a meal!

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