50 Million and growing?! Yeah, that’s a business owner I’d like advice from.
StyleSeat CEO and Founder Melody McCloskey gave entrepreneurs an inside look on creating and maintaining the largest online marketplace for the beauty and wellness industry during a Fireside Chat with Startup Uncensored. “StyleSeat is your source for discovering and booking top beauty and wellness professionals near you, from hair stylists to massage therapists to personal trainers.”
Since launching in 2011 and bootstrapping for the first year and a half, the company has raised 40 million dollars, allows 70% of its stylists to work independently and books 2 million appointments a month! Thanks to word of mouth and investors like friend and Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, co-founder Travis Kalanick and Ashton Kutcher, StyleSeat has obtained 100% organic growth.
“I was laughed out of every boardroom. Fundraising for a hair startup in Silicon Valley was beyond ridiculous.” – Melody McCloskey
Raising money was a huge challenge for the company. Melody wished there was a Yelp-like app for beauty services. She wanted to help other women find that perfect stylist who would help them feel and look their very best. The vast majority of investors in the Silicon Valley are male who did not see the need for the business. She was told, ‘women don’t want or need this app and stylists and salon owners are not going to use technology’. However, after spending thousands of dollars on disappointing hair coloring services, she also realized stylists needed help connecting with consumers and a better way to run their business. With all odds against her, Melody posted an ad on Craiglist’s seeking a free program developer, and she found one! The rest is history.
StyleSeat currently services over 250,000 stylists, has scheduled over 50 million online appointments to date in a 50% African-American based community. The company continues to grow and innovate. Visit StyleSeat.com to learn more about Melody and the StyleSeat family!
Melody’s advice for new entrepreneurs:
- Chill out and live life everyday
- Learn as much as you can
- Build something meaningful and change lives
- Find a mentor
- Meet new people
And Remember: It doesn’t get easier, it just gets different. Avoid negative energy and never compare yourself to others.
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