Tamara Sullivan, the owner of dulcederm, a sugaring and skin care salon in inner Beaverton, has a lively face and an engaging smile. When she talks about the six years she has had the shop and her journey to there and beyond, she lights up, filled with the energy of a vision – but, she’s the first to tell you, the dulcederm story is not all about her.

Mainly, as it turns out, it’s about creating a community. Sullivan, along with business associate, Trisha Koppert, says she is trying to do that by treating employees as if their lives mattered too. 

“If I’m going to create a business,” Sullivan says, “ I’m going to create one that I would like to work at.  So many of the businesses are created around owner profit and then just paying the least amount you need to to keep people on staff. Our dream is to create living wage jobs for women so they only have to have one gig to be able to follow their dreams and (have) a life work balance that includes being able to buy houses, go back to school, all the things they want to do so we’re putting that in our business plan.” 

Dulcederm Wax

The business Sullivan is talking about primarily, although not exclusively, involves the ancient practice of sugaring, a hair removing technique using a paste made of sugar, water and citric acid.  As a skin care specialist, Sullivan said she likes to keep ahead of the trends. “I was doing research a few years ago. I like to think that I know what is going on and sugaring was really picking up in New York, Seattle and San Francisco,” she says, “It wasn’t really popular in Portland yet.” Now sugaring is the primary service that clients request.

Sullivan says the procedure produces less waste and is much more environmentally responsible than waxing. “ It just washes away with water, it’s better for your skin, the results are longer lasting and over time you see a massive reduction in hair growth,” she says.  

She’s had to add staff to meet the demands and as she does she says the sense of community grows as well. “We’re all here for each other,” she says, “whether it’s real time peer coaching or assessing our financial situation, we aim to be transparent and supportive.”

Clients can further the sense of community at dulcederm by contributing to Sugar Shares, a program to fund treatment for current clients experiencing financial difficulty to stay current with their treatment schedule. “It has really helped a lot of service industry professionals continue getting their treatment and staying on track,” she says.

dulcederm is located at 12825 SW 1st in downtown Beaverton.  For more information, text 503-482-9465 or email info@dulcederm.com. Clients are seen by appointment only.