Body waxing studio opens in downtown Crestview
The COVID-19 epidemic and shutdown inspired Sabrina Riley, giving her time to rethink the direction of her career in the beauty industry.
The inspiration brought about the opening of her Smooth As Butter Wax Studio, a salon specializing in body hair removal.
“When COVID happened, it was my wake up call,” Riley said. “I didn’t want to be in (Huntsville) Alabama anymore, and I was tired of working for someone else.”
She began researching her options, and her heart brought her to Crestview.
“My parents were Air Force,” Riley said. “I was born in Italy.”
When her parents returned to the United States, they were stationed in Northwest Florida, making Crestview their home from the time that Riley was 5 until she was 13.
“I saw the need for a waxing studio here,” Riley said. “When I was looking to open a waxing studio, I took one drive down Main Street and fell in love with it.”
Riley opened Smooth As Butter Wax Studio in July at 106 Main Street, across from the Coney Island restaurant. The space needed work, but she saw its potential; she created a calming spa appeal that combines the Southern country feel of Crestview with the coastal calm of Northwest Florida beaches.
At the same time, Riley highlighted the history of the Main Street shop.
“The building was built in 1925,” she said. “I tried to bring back any of the history of the building that I could.”
Riley preserved the tongue-in-groove wood plank ceilings, while polishing the industrial touches in a space that at one time had served as a television repair shop. The building’s brick wall had been covered with layers of plaster, which Riley slowly chipped away.
As she worked on the wall, she found inspiration in the trees of Northwest Florida. She left some of the plaster shaped to resemble a mighty oak tree, while the exposed brick harkens to Crestview days of old.
The brick and mortar details aside, Riley said she offers quality service for her clients.
“I absolutely adore waxing,” she said. “Not to be biased, but I am the best.”
The 33-year-old entrepreneur began her beauty career as a hair stylist. The long days on her feet lost their appeal, and she remembered that of all the skills she learned in school, waxing was what she enjoyed most.
“I can do a Brazilian in about 15 minutes,” Riley said, referencing a popular no-hair look among beachgoers.
“I’m all about making my first-time clients feel comfortable,” she continued. “I walk them through everything I’m doing.
“It’s all about technique and bedside manner,” Riley added.
Waxing as a hair removal option, she said, works for both women and men. Riley offers head to toe services, and she practices COVID prevention protocols.
“The beauty of body waxing is it transcends age, ethnic groups, gender,” Riley said. “It’s just to feel good about yourself.”
Smooth As Butter Wax Studio is located at 106 S. Main St., with parking both in front of the building and at the back along West Railroad Avenue. The studio is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, appointments requested. For information, visit www.sabws.com or www.facebook.com/SABWS, or call 850-612-6994.