THE WOMAN WHO DARED SAY “NO”

PIA LED­BET­TER SHARES THE WAXING BAR’S SAGA

Public News (Houston) - - EVENTS -

“there was skin com­ing off and there was blood splat­tered on the wall. It was crazy.”

It’s been a while since I vis­ited Pia Led­bet­ter at her lo­ca­tion for the Waxing Bar. Her place is not your typ­i­cal waxing place. It’s the only ser­vice she pro­vides and she along with her staff are very pro­fes­sional and highly rec­om­mended by clien­tele. She’s weath­ered a lot of changes over the last half dozen years. The sud­den pass­ing of her brother Damian, who served as of­fice man­ager at the Waxing Bar and then her hus­band of 19 years, Michael, sud­denly passed away last fall, of all days on Damian’s birthday.

Now the re­silient 40-year old busi­ness­woman sol­diers on de­ter­mined to build on her suc­cess re­gard­less what life throws her way. Pia was very gra­cious to sit down with us for the sec­ond time in fours years to talk about her busi­ness, her life and her prin­ci­pled de­ci­sion in turn­ing down a po­ten­tial hit re­al­ity show based on the Waxing Bar. Pub­lic News: A lot of things have changed since we last spoke. You moved lo­ca­tions, up the road from the Dosey Doe Big Barn.

Pia: Yeah, we were run­ning out of park­ing spa­ces. We needed to fo­cus on waxing folks, not help­ing them find park­ing spots be­hind each other. It was crazy. Here, at the new lo­ca­tion park­ing is a lit­tle bet­ter but not a whole lot bet­ter. Pub­lic News: We’ll fast for­ward, and now you are the owner and pro­pri­etor of The Waxing Bar. Pia: Go­ing on eleven years, now. Yeah, it’s great.

Pub­lic News: What was the ge­n­e­sis of The Waxing Bar. What was it that made you want to get into waxing?

Pia: I was go­ing to hair school at the time, and my brother’s ex-girl­friend got me a gift cer­tifi­cate for a wax. It was at a very well-known place down­town, which I highly rec­om­mend for any­thing but waxing. (laughs) The pro­ce­dure took her like an hour, there was skin com­ing off and there was blood splat­tered on the wall. It was crazy. We were about half­way through and I was not go­ing to let her fin­ish, but I didn’t want to be a half waxed, though. What I didn’t know, the time, was that the wax she was us­ing was too hot so it was kind of tak­ing my skin off with the wax. I didn’t know that at the time. I thought the woman knew what she was do­ing. So, I went home from that wax that day and sat in a cold bath. After­wards, I got on the phone and called all my friends that owned hair sa­lons and they all said ‘It sounds like you got a bad wax.’ And, I thought to my­self, ‘I can do bet­ter than that’. So, I went to school the next day. I didn’t re­ally like the school, but I was go­ing be­cause all my friends were mak­ing I went

and with­drew the next day and I de­cided to be an es­theti­cian. So, do­ing the waxing all came all came from a bad wax.” Pub­lic News: What ex­actly is an es­theti­cian?

Pia: We do skin care, much like a cos­me­tol­o­gist do hair. Well, ac­tu­ally they do skin, too. For in­stance, Casey is a cos­me­tol­o­gist. I met her when I was in

hair school. Pub­lic News: So, that’s when you went into waxing full time?

Pia: “But, ev­ery­one told me, ‘You just can’t wax. It’s not go­ing to work.’

Pub­lic News: Why did they be­lieve that?

Pia: Be­cause I was just of­fer­ing one ser­vice. Most places of­fer waxing with skin care, hair or this or that. There are lot of places that spe­cial­ize in just waxing, but there is not a lot of them. I wanted to give it a try. I mean, I was the first one out here. Euro­pean didn’t come un­til years later. Pub­lic News: How long does it take to get a “gen­eral” wax? Like a bikini wax or a Brazil­ian? Pia: A Brazil­ian, for a fe­male, is prob­a­bly on av­er­age 10 to 12 min­utes. A Brazil­ian

is maybe 15. It is not a very long process. There are peo­ple that aren’t as fast as we are but there are not as good as we are. It’s not like you are torch­ing them. Of course, I make my own wax. I mix a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent blue waxes to­gether to make my spe­cific blue, so that it makes it slightly less un­com­fort­able. It’s not a very long process. Even with a full body wax. The first time takes about an hour-and-ahalf, but af­ter the first time I get done in 45 min­utes.

Pub­lic News: Many women, in the late-40s or early-50s, suf­fer from a lot of growth of fa­cial. I as­sum­ing you can take care of that, too.

Pia: Sure, and some­times it takes as lit­tle as five min­utes, maybe 10. It just de­pends. Some of these women who have re­ally coarse hair so it might take a lit­tle long un­til you break down the roots. But it also de­pends on if they have shaved it or have taken care of it poorly. Ev­ery time you wax, you hair grows back thin­ner and thin­ner, be­cause you’re break­ing down the roots. It’s re­ally coarse at first, but it grows back re­ally soft. Over time, you kill the fol­li­cles so it’ll never grow back. Pub­lic News: You, per­son­ally, have some re­ally cool tat­toos. When you work with skin that has tat­toos does the waxing process bleach them out at all?

Pia: “No, no, no. Ac­tu­ally, it makes them bet­ter, be­cause you take all the dead hair and skin off. A lot of peo­ple don’t ex­fo­li­ate their bod­ies like they should, you should have ev­ery­thing ex­fo­li­at­ing at least twice a week. From your head to your toe, ev­ery­thing. Pub­lic News: What’s the best way to ex­fo­li­ate?

Pia: You can use a salt or sugar scrub or if you just have bak­ing soda on a wash rag , you can use that, too. You know when you shave you have that lit­tle layer of dead skin over them? When you ex­fo­li­ate, it helps to bring those hairs to the sur­face so you get a smoother, longer last­ing wax or shave. And, the tat­toos look shinier and fresher. As a mat­ter of fact, all the guys that go to tat­too con­ven­tions, pretty much ev­ery tat­too shop around here re­ally, we wax them all be­fore they go so all their stuff looks nice and bright. Pub­lic News: It sounds like waxing is for every­body?

Pia: We have some of the un­like­li­est char­ac­ters who wax reg­u­larly. I mean, we have your older men, we have older women, we have your soc­cer moms, we have your young girls, and we have young boys...well, not too young. (laughs) Ac­tu­ally, I do (wax) boys who are 12 and 13 years old. Moms are more at­ten­tive to their boys these days than

they used to be. Pub­lic News: It seems as if the younger gen­er­a­tion likes waxing be­cause it makes them look more ma­ture. Pia: It’s funny that you say that be­cause I was just hav­ing this con­ver­sa­tion, last week. There are these girls that were stand­ing at the bus stop, but they don’t look like young girls. They look like grown women.

Pub­lic News: Is there a min­i­mum age you have to meet be­fore you can be waxed?

Pia: I mean, if their moth­ers are in the room, we will do six-or-seven-yearold girls eye­brows. I have a 14-year old client, and I have been waxing her for like six years. She’s on the vol­ley­ball team, so I do her legs and arms and lit­tle mus­tache. As long as mom is in the room, we’ll do it. Now, if they want a Brazil­ian mommy has to be in the room. When they turn 18, they can come by them­selves.

Pub­lic News: The last time we spoke, you were talk­ing about some deal that fell through or that you weren’t go­ing to do.

Pia: We pulled out of the (re­al­ity)TV show (based on The Waxing Bar). When we filmed it, it was sup­posed to be about one thing but it wasn’t. We weren’t sup­posed to get to see it un­til it aired but we FaceTimed each other so that every­body could see it and it was the com­plete op­po­site of what it was sup­posed be­cause of the way they edited it down. I never be­lieve those peo­ple on TV be­cause they edit it that way, I swear to God they do. One of my clients is mar­ried to a doc­tor and they wanted her to di­vorce him on the show, and we were like, ‘No, we are not here to break peo­ple apart. So, we just didn’t do it be­cause it just wasn’t for us. They never aired it.” Pub­lic News: You dropped out of the pro­ject mainly out of re­spect for clients

“One of my clients is mar­ried to a doc­tor and they wanted her to di­vorce him on the show, and we were like, ‘No, we are not here to break peo­ple apart’.”

and their se­crets.

Pia: Ex­actly. First of all, each of our clients vol­un­teered to be open. Well, the crew was not even sup­posed to be in the (waxing) room. Well, some­how within a few min­utes ev­ery­one’s like, ‘I don’t care if they’re in the room. It’s this well­known net­work that we are con­tracually un­able to name, so they can’t show any­thing any­ways.’ But, there’s still in three cam­era dudes in the room. It was cool enough that they even let them in. That was their de­ci­sion. It was not some­thing we asked them to do. That was them. I mean, there were teach­ers that are swingers that were openly speak­ing about their lifestyle. They were cool enough to even men­tion it. How­ever, when they try make a story out of it that’s not fair to that per­son in their job or their ca­reer. Call the net­work. The net­work just didn’t care. I worked too hard to get where I am.

The Waxing Bar is lo­cated at 26107 I-45 A1 The Wood­lands, Texas 77380 and they are open Tues­day through Satur­day 9am to 6pm, 3pm on Satur­days. Call (281) 363-5055 to make an ap­point­ment. Spe­cial thanks to Earl Dittman for tran­scrib­ing the in­ter­view.

CASEY WITT, KATINA ROSIEJKA, PIA LED­BET­TER IN FRONT OF DAMIAN ROSIEJKA’S MU­RAL

PIA LED­BET­TER, KATINA ROSIEJKA, CASEY WITT

MICHAEL AND PIA LED­BET­TER

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