– Words by Angela Cowan Lia Crowe Photography
Founder and CEO of Foxy Box wax bar Kyla Dufresne is an ambitious businesswoman, philanthropist and self-proclaimed “hustler.” And to say that she’s driven is a wild understatement.
The 34-year-old powered through a number of careers in her late teens and early 20s—from mental health worker to creating a clothing line and bartending—but she ultimately followed a lifelong love of the beauty industry when she created Foxy Box, and simultaneously filled a need in the market for affordable, inclusive and straight-forward hair removal.
Kyla celebrates 10 years in business this year, and has big plans to grow her empire.
“Our goal is to award 20 franchises this year,” says Kyla, and she’s confident they’ll achieve it.
With nine stores already in operation and another three under construction, Foxy Box has spread out across the country, including locations in Port Coquitlam, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Toronto.
With a straight-forward and fun approach to hair removal, Foxy Box has become wildly popular over the last decade, in part because of its unique business model (which offers 10-packs and memberships, similar to a gym) but also because of the brand itself.
“We’re just so big on community impact and giving back,” says Kyla. She describes “Foxy Fest,” an annual event that’s been raising money for various charitable causes, held each year on International Women’s Day. Pre-COVID-19 pandemic, the festival hosted musicians, spoken word poets, comedians and more, all of whom volunteered their time so that the revenue from ticket sales went to the non-profits. The last two years the event has been virtual, but no less successful, with support going to the BC Society of Transition Houses, which helps women transitioning out of abusive situations.
Kyla’s intense passion for supporting women is deeply rooted, and it’s what fuels her ambition to see Foxy Box in the hands of more franchisees.
“My mom had a bakery, and she worked all the time,” she says. “Seeing her work so hard and just killing herself to make ends meet… when I found a recipe with Foxy Box to make money and enjoy being a business owner, all I wanted to do was give that opportunity to other women.”
The 7 Sins
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
If I had to pick just one, I’d pick Adele. I am so far from being talented in anything music-related, so to experience firsthand the influence an artist holds would be a cool day for me. To first be blessed with the courage and confidence to walk onto a stage in front of thousands of humans and then magnetically shift the entire energy of a stadium is a feeling I would love to be able to give to the world.
What is the food you could eat over and over again?
I could live off of any Asian cuisine! I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one thing! Thai curries, Vietnamese pho soups, fresh papaya salads, sushi rolls wrapped with fresh fish, avocado and mango…I’m drooling just thinking of what I’m going to eat next.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
This is easy. I’d pile all my girlfriends into the Tahoe and head on a road trip to visit all the greatest consignment stores. As the youngest of three girls, I always wore hand-me-down tights and oversized sweaters, and on his visits home, my father used to take me to Value Village and tell me, “You can get anything you want for $20.” I got to create my own style and rock clothes that I chose for myself, and as an adult, it’s my favourite way to shop.
My brain literally can’t function unless my space is organized and clean. A messy space actually impacts my whole mood. If I come home and a bomb has gone off in the kitchen—which with my step-kids happens very often!—the first thing I must do is clean it immediately so I can relax.
Where would you spend a long time
Bed. Since I was a baby I’ve always loved to sleep. I love relaxing in bed, whether it’s reading a book, listening to a meditation or just lying with my thoughts, a cosy bed is literally heaven to me.
What is the one thing you’re secretly
Overcoming depression was the biggest personal win for me. I don’t talk about it in depth very often, but my younger years were a pretty dark time for me. I think that’s why I’m such a happy person as an adult, because once I made the necessary shifts to be happy, I recognized that I never want to go back to that place.
What makes your heart beat faster?
Laughing with my loved ones. I’m not a doctor but I do know that laughter is always, in fact, the best medicine. I say it all the time, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Oh, and also my dog. I’m literally obsessed with him!
Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication
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