IN CONVERSATION: VICTORIA FOX, FOUNDER OF MISS FOX.
MISS FOX IS AN OASIS IN THE HEART OF MELBOURNE'S CBD. SO MUCH MORE THAN A DAY SPA - IT'S AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE DESIGNED TO ENVELOP YOU IN CALM + TRANSPORT YOU TO A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN FORGET THE OUTSIDE WORLD + INDULGE IN SOME SELF CARE. WE SPOKE WITH THE INSPIRING FOUNDER, VICTORIA FOX TO LEARN A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE MISS FOX JOURNEY.
As with all business, the path changes as the years progress - it takes courage to recognise that what we needed 5 years ago is different to what we need (and strive for) today. Victoria embraced the necessity for evolution + Miss Fox is a testament to the drive of its founder + the wonderful team she has built. We hope you enjoy the discussion.
SB: How did Miss Fox come to be?
VF: MISS FOX started as a vision, which really arose from somewhere deep within me. I had entered the beauty industry as I felt compelled to offer a better, safer and more beautiful experience, having suffered skin damage and emotional trauma from a “natural cosmetic procedure" gone wrong at a clinic seriously lacking in both customer care and technical skills. I decided that this should not be happening to anyone, recognising that people seeking therapy of any kind are usually feeling vulnerable and looking for someone they can trust to help them feel better. I decided feeling better and looking better should also go hand in hand, so MISS FOX has been designed to “look" as beautiful as it “feels" to be there. What started off as a glam beauty wonderland has since evolved into a platform for self care and building a beautiful relationship with your self.
SB: As the founder, your business has no doubt evolved as you’ve evolved - what are some of the major (or minor) shifts in your thinking that have been the pillars for change in Miss Fox?
VF: I had no real relationship with the inner ‘me’ until many years into running the business. About 4 years ago I started to ask questions about who I really was, and what I was really doing here, in this world and in my life. I asked what was really important to me. At this time I realised that much of my life was built around what I thought was clever, or cool, or what I “should” be doing, however those things were no longer important. What became important was self awareness, self care and self love, and a business that aligned with who I truly was. Recognising that the relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have made everything more simple: take care of yourself and everything else falls into place around that. MISS FOX has become a platform for this message and the business has been a portal to my own self care.
SB: Miss Fox offers a calm + warm (metaphoric) embrace when you enter - yet you are still running a business, so challenges must undoubtedly crop up; can you share some of those challenges + how you’ve combatted them?
VF: Balancing 5 star customer service (essentially "warm and fuzzy") with business priorities or clinical standards (perhaps more "cold and hard") can seem like a challenge. We’ve learned that having a clear vision and seeking to always operate in alignment with our values makes decision-making and action-taking clear. For example, does this decision align with our values? It this response "on brand"? I think that customers feel most comfortable and safe when you have a clear identity and clear boundaries in your business. When we respect our business we find we get that respect back, and that makes the challenges somehow less challenging.
SB: What are the go-to skills (or disciplines) you’ve enlisted to live a calmer, more focused life, whilst being a dynamic + driven entrepreneur?
VF: Meditation, yoga, clean eating, ritual, holistic counselling and coaching, lots of mentors, lots of travel, and practising to treat myself as I wish others to treat me. I notice that if I discount myself or cheat myself of what I need, the Universe seems to respond by giving me back more of that “scarcity" energy. When I honour myself and my needs, I seem to get more instances of people and opportunities fit for someone “abundant" and open to receive. I’m not sure how it all works but I do know that making myself a priority project feels good and seems to improve my business too, so I want to keep doing that.
SB: Self care wasn’t talked about a decade ago (or maybe I just wasn't tuned into it), like it is today - what do you believe has caused the shift?
VF: I am not sure. My own experience is that I began searching for “more”, but didn’t know how to access that. I believe we’re all searching for more of ourselves in some way, searching for more love. Self care in the form of intentional behaviour and choices to nurture my mind, body and sprit is the practice that has truly helped me build a loving relationship with myself and get to “know" myself, the “real" me. Perhaps on some subconscious level, we are being drawn to self care as a society, trying to find a door “inwards". I hope that is why.
SB: I know you do several inspiring events in your space, having attended a couple of them - how do these come about + have you found this community is building?
VF: Our events are some of my favourite offerings at MISS FOX. They are often based on something new that I have learned about myself, about the world, or about life, or perhaps a great person I have met that I wish to share with our guests. I am a trained counsellor so this impacts the messaging and topics. They are also a little experimental some times, with themes from dating to mysticism to philosophy, and I love the variety they bring to our overall offering, and meeting cool people at them too. This year we are even more focused on building a community with our Self Care Membership launching soon - watch this space.
SB: What are your thoughts on the word ‘beauty’? How do young people (actually, all ages…) navigate their way through todays' digital landscape + learn the power of their inner beauty? Do you think the ‘beauty’ industry is helping or hindering the path to inner confidence?
VF: The word beauty is one of my favourite words, but it is so often used today with non-beautiful intentions or to stimulate “not-enoughness”. I think curating the media, messages and providers in your life is so important on the path to inner confidence, to inner beauty and to self love. Learning to find beauty within, beauty in unusualness, beauty in “flaws”, beauty in “mistakes”, beauty in "fuck*ps”... I guess that’s the kind of beauty I am most interested in. Whatever definition is serving you, that’s beautiful. Just take the time (part of your self care) to reflect on what beauty really means to you, and to decide what is truly serving you on your path.
SB: I like the term ‘urban beauty wonderland’ - it's a welcome contrast to wood lined spas around the world - what inspired the design of your space + take us through the various special pieces that are strategically placed around the interior. It feels like a home versus a business, which make it truly unique.
VF: Thank you. I had always intended for the space to feel like a lounge room — that is, your "dream lounge room” that might possibly double as a 5 star hotel. I will be honest that I’d never even had a facial before I opened my business. I always felt uncomfortable in spas and clinics, wondering if I was supposed to leave my bra on or not, worried I would leave with oily, clay-filled hair, and other stressful thoughts of the modern woman. I didn’t like brown and green interiors or pan flute music. MISS FOX was, in my mind, the “anti-spa”. It was designed to be both glamorous and magical, and to leave you walking out both feeling and looking beautiful. The space is ever evolving, we invite you to come visit or simply take a peek if you’re in the area. We love guests.
SB: And finally, I loved the Kundalini Yoga session that you led at the Extraordinary League of Women event in 2018 - can you share with us what makes Kundalini so appealing + the impact this practise has had on you?
VF: It is said that what you will gain from 10 years of yoga practice, you will gain from 1 year of Kundalini Yoga practice. It’s very special. I am a trained teacher, having been inspired to study after a single class in Costa Rica. The practice has transformed my nervous system and allowed me to better master my mind. “Kundalini" is your creative potential. It is a form of energy that resides within all of us — it simply needs to be awakened. That is the goal of all yoga, but Kundalini Yoga impacts so deeply and rapidly. On the special occasions that I teach, it is in my own special style, blended with techno and dancing, two of my other loves. This isn't traditional, but nothing I do really is, and that seems to work for me :)
Thank you Victoria - a booking at Miss Fox is on the agenda ASAP.