Today we’re excited to introduce you to Ashley Richardson and The Cheeky Parlor — one of our newest retailers. Located in Southern California in the beautiful city of San Louis Obispo, Ashley and her team provide eco-friendly wax services, clean beauty services, and a curated selection of non-toxic skincare — not to mention the most adorable and inviting space ever! She manages to make waxing a fun and effortless experience, while making you feel like you’re her bff. What more could you ask for?!
Read on to learn more about how Ashley and The Cheeky Parlor.
Tell us a little about who you are and your journey to opening The Cheeky Parlor. What's your background as it relates to nontoxic beauty and skincare?
Hi friends, I'm Ashley Richardson, Owner & Founder of The Cheeky Parlor.
Just like many of you, I am a clean beauty and treatment lovin’ California-raised gal.
I knew from a young age that I wanted to be an esthetician and product developer. You’d find me getting lost researching, testing, and applying all the lotions and potions to my skin. My mom even says as a young girl I carried around lipstick wherever I went — and trust me this hasn’t changed one bit!
But, my path to nontoxic beauty and skincare and entrepreneurship has had many twists and turns.
I was actually encouraged to go to college straight out of high school instead of receiving my estheticians license. So I moved to San Diego where I received a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Business with a foundation in Integrity and Ethics. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure what my future looked like after completing my Masters. But now I see how it all perfectly came together being a business owner of two clean beauty companies!
During college you better believe I was the go-to gal for all things beauty. I found great joy sharing and educating my friends about clean beauty, skincare routines and non-toxic, effective products. But, it wasn't until two years post grad, that I left the fashion marketing industry to chase my dreams of becoming an esthetician and skincare expert. I was 25, when I started my career “over”, I went to school 40 hours a week, working nights and weekends to support myself, but I knew in my heart I was finally exactly where I belonged. This career was for me and I was going to do whatever I needed to make it work.
What inspired your desire to open your own eco-friendly waxing spa?
I started The Cheeky Parlor in 2018 when I noticed a significant gap in the beauty industry for eco-friendly and non-toxic waxing services and products. I came to realize the hurtful impact the beauty industry, in particular the waxing industry, has on our planet and I felt called to make a change. I searched for solutions finding only a sincere lack of eco-friendly and non-toxic options for estheticians and clients alike. This discovery lit a fire inside me and so the creation of the parlor began!
Tell us a little bit about The Cheeky Parlor mission. What is the big “why” that motivates what you do?
The Cheeky Parlor believes in healthy beauty for every body and is focused on skincare that's gentle on you and the planet. I am motivated to raise the bar for all beauty professionals. To, not only, create less toxic work environments and treatments for my estheticians and clients but to also encourage other beauty pros to seek out greener and cleaner practices. I hope that non-toxic beauty and salons are the “norm” in the near future. We have to remember that just because something has always been done a certain way doesn't mean it's the right way. I continue to push myself to be a part of the solution to change this industry for the better- and that passion keeps me going. I have confidence knowing The Cheeky Parlor will continue to remain committed to the wellness of our environment, community, and clients as we continue to create products and services that are gentle on you and our planet and inspire others to follow suit.
What is your definition of success? What do you consider your most recent accomplishment? (This can be anything! Within business, your own personal health goals, family, etc.)
My definition of success is finding a balance and lifestyle that is uniquely yours, to bring you daily happiness and harmony. Success to me in not monetary, status, or how many social media followers you have. Of course supporting ourselves, and affording the joys we want and need is important. However, it's more about the self-awareness to know what's right for you, which may look completely different than what's right for someone else. Living a life that's balanced and right for you, is what success is to me. When we are living a life that represents our highest selves, we are able to be a brighter light for others. If everyone spent more time exploring what we needed to be our best selves (and let go of what we're told we need) I think we'd have a much happier planet.
What is 1 way you’re being intentional about practicing rest as a lifestyle lately?
Meditation and morning walks, with an adaptogenic coffee or tea in hand, have been my saving grace these past few months and are my idea of being present in the moment and letting my mind rest.
Mediation has also been so impactful on my mental well-being. I even gifted the “Headspace App” to friends over the holidays in hopes that it has the same positive effects for them.
I am a morning person, so my morning rituals allow me to take time for me, pause, reflect, heal, ground and grow. Let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like the morning sunshine and movement to put a glow on your face (a plus is unplugging and leaving the phone at home).
Who is someone you’ve been particularly inspired by lately?
I am a people person, so naturally I am inspired by people, daily! Lately iIve been inspired by business women and men who have openly shared that they will no longer be a part of toxic “hustle” culture as they find their own balance of what is healthy and productive for them and their team.
What do you hope for The Cheeky Parlor in the next 5 years?
I have high hopes for Cheeky in the years to come. I would love to see The Cheeky Parlor slowly and steadily grow in all facets: location, team and social expansion. I'd also love to see our in-house sister brand Cheeky Skin Co. grow as well. I'd love for the line to get into the hands of many retailers and clients alike. Seeing The Cheeky experience brought to other treatment rooms, shops, and homes for all to experience the feel-good skincare is my greatest hope!
What is your favorite Berlin Skin product and why?
Oh boy, this is a tough one for me. It was love at first sight when I experienced the Cocoa Eye Butter. It's a jar of magic for your eyes. The smell is incredibly warm and yummy, the texture is creamy and glides as it gives so much hydration without irritation. It will always be my first love of the line but I've also fallen for the Sandalwood Cream. It is wonderful for oily skin keeping you hydrated and matte all-in-one. Also, I’d be lying if I didn't mention my love for the Berlin Skin team — you babes have been like a good bunch of girlfriends since day one!