Kirby from Inclusive Beauty in Whitby
I've been having a lot of rage feelings lately about clothing brands that say they're inclusive because they offer a size 18, so it was good that I got a chance to relax yesterday at Inclusive Beauty in Whitby. If you don't read the rest of this piece, I'll give you the kicker here - for the rest of February and March you can get 30% off a treatment by using the code BOOM30. Enjoy!
So, back to the story. Kirby the owner had reached out to me a little while ago to chat about what she could do to make sure that her business is a safe, comfortable space for fat people. That is 100% my jam, because if you want to know how to best cater to people, ask them! Yesterday I went off to Whitby to check it out and have a (discounted) massage and facial.
Kirby operates from a dedicated and lovely converted space in her home in Whitby. You can park right at the door and it’s flat access (though if you need the toilet that’s up one step). Her table holds up to 175kg, and I felt totally secure when I was on it - and I’m a hell of a wriggler. Kirby is plus-size herself, and she’s seen it all. New customers do have to fill out a veeeeery comprehensive form and it asks you about your diet BUT this is because what you eat affects your skin - this is not one of those go to the doctor for a broken leg and get told to lose weight bullshit scenarios. It’s not about judging you. The form also checks if you’re okay with animal products (like honey) and if you’ve got any areas of concern, etc etc. The form also be asks about periods in relation to hormonal acne etc - if any of the questions don’t make sense or you don’t know why they’re relevant, just ask Kirby and she’ll explain! For example, I learned that my antidepressant Escitalopram makes my skin more likely to get sunburned quicker. Good to know!
Afterwards I sent Kirby some questions about how she got started in business etc.
1. Why did you name your business Inclusive Beauty?
I named it Inclusive Beauty because I want everyone to know that they are welcome. It doesn’t matter about your orientation, body size, lifestyle. If you want a treatment done, you are welcome here. It also takes a bit to surprise me, my clients know they are free to tell me about their life without judgement.
2. What's the history of your business and your role as a beauty therapist?
I started Inclusive Beauty right out of training. I saw the need for a safe place for people to get treatments who may not necessarily feel comfortable in a traditional beauty salon setting. Having had some not-so-great experiences myself pushed that a bit too.
3. What's your favourite type of treatment to do?
Ohh now that’s a good question. I would have to say that helping people with their skin care and making them feel great is my favourite. I love giving back confidence to my clients and sending them away with a smile on their face.
4. What are the advantages of running a small business the way you do rather than going to work in an already established spa?
I like that I can choose what I want to do, the products and I can work it around my life. I also choose what I want to upskill in and having direction of where the salon goes is great! Plus, I don’t have sale incentives like a bigger salon has, which means I won’t sell you a treatment or product you don’t need.
I’m always happy to support fat babes who start up their own small businesses and want to provide good safe relaxing experiences to -all-. After my treatment I smelled great, I was soft and glowing and physically relaxed.
SO! If you’re in the market for a massage or a facial or a myriad of other beauty services (and have access to a car and are in the Wellington/Kapiti area), go see Kirby in February or March and take 30% off a treatment with BOOM30.
(As I said, I got a discount on my facial and Kirby is supporting Camp Boom with some products but I don’t get kickbacks from your bookings)