How I Got My Job: We Meet Ireland’s First Ever Sugarist, Lindsay Leggett McCarthy

We chat to the wonder woman who introduced this new beauty trend to Ireland.

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Name: Lindsay Leggett McCarthy

Age: 35

Occupation: Sugarist

Website: www.LindsayTheSugarist.com

Insta: LindsaytheSugarist

Tell us a bit about your work background?

I’ve done a bit of everything, really. I’ve dabbled in waitressing and bar work, I was a wilderness guide for at risk youth, and a SCUBA instructor in Honduras. I had been managing a naturopathic medical practice before I moved to Central America where I met my Irish husband. We lived in Dublin for a while before moving to Seattle and that’s where I started training to be a Sugarist.

When and how did you decide you wanted to become a sugarist?

The Sweet Spot opened in Seattle in 2003 so sugaring had been on my radar as the superior alternative to waxing for a while. When I lived in Utila, Honduras, it was the first time I’d ever thought about my bikini line on a daily basis and I started going regularly. Initially I was really impressed with the lifestyle of my sugarist – she was self employed, had a portable skill and flexible working hours. There’s also a lot of immediate gratification in hair removal; the tangibility of a perfect service, and that is very satisfying.

When I moved back to Seattle in 2007, I knew I wanted to sugar, and I knew I wanted to work at the Sweet Spot, so that’s what I did!

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Do you do any other procedures too?

I do the odd lash and brow tint, but the Brazilian / bikini sugar is my my area of expertise.

What’s the most interesting aspect of your job?

Definitely all the people I meet. I meet people from so many countries with such interesting stories. It could be a member of the Society of Women Geographers, a barrister, aviation mechanics, musicians, casting directors, carpenters, social workers, biochemists, NGO aid workers, doctors, librarians, fashion designers, diplomats… the list is endless! I have so many great conversations and I learn so many new things.

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What’s the most rewarding?

Like I said before, the immediate gratification of a job well done. I’m really good at helping people through a painful, potentially awkward experience. I also like to think of myself as being the change I want to see in the industry, actively working towards a more inclusive definition of beauty, and I get to affect that change every day talking to my clients.

What’s the most difficult?

Definitely seeing up close and personal the way the patriarchy and media mess with women’s self image, and now to a growing extent men’s self image. I have to see the shame and unhappiness people feel about their bodies. It’s saddening to realise that with all the progress we’ve made, we still live in a society where a woman’s body is not truly her own.

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What does a typical day in your job look like?

There’s no real typical day, it varies with clients, but I’d bike or bus straight to Kaph on Drury Street for some coffee and then head into the salon. If I have a break, I knit, or wander around the neighbourhood.

Any fantastic perks?

Well, I work out of The Hive, so I’m lucky to have some of Dublin’s best doing my hair, but the freedom and flexibility of being my own boss is great.

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Have you experienced any setbacks getting to where you are now?

I wouldn’t say it was a setback, but nothing can prepare you for moving from the security of a consistent, guaranteed paycheque to self-employment. I was the first Sugarist in Ireland, which is an incredible opportunity, but also meant a lot of client education, and networking. It was a few years of hard work, but it’s really paying off now. I’m proud of what I’ve built.

Any stand out career highlights?

Being in the Irish Times was amazing, as was Xpose, and now STELLAR! That’s been pretty cool. I’ve also had some awesome and very flattering referrals; it’s always nice to know people think highly of your work and ethos.

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Where would you like to see yourself in a couple of years?

I’d like to have my own premises and I’d really like to do some podcasts and events speaking about body positivity and inclusiveness.

Any advice for people hoping to follow a similar career path to you?

Hard work, attention to detail and some shameless self promotion.

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