For many women, getting ready for a big event like a wedding or work function can be pretty overwhelming. It’s tough to budget enough time to visit a salon, and once you’re there, you’re basically trusting a complete stranger to achieve the look you want.
Julia Carmona and Lauren Katzberg, who were classmates at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, wanted to create a business that would solve that problem.
“Something that kind of boggles us is when you, as a client, are on a tight time frame, and you have to make time to go to the salon and wait around,” Carmona said to Business Insider. “It just didn’t really make sense, and we wanted to streamline that.”
Enter TheStylisted, a networking website Carmona and Katzberg created to help women book appointments directly with professional stylists.
And the best part? The stylists will come right to your home, office, hotel, or wherever you happen to need them, either before your big event or for everyday styling.
“We’re targeting busy, professional women in major cities,” Carmona said. “It’s girls very much like us, with very full social calendars but who are sometimes working beyond 9-5.”
Last Friday evening, I got to try TheStylisted before a night out with friends, and I’ve never felt so spoiled. My stylists made my hair and makeup look way better than I would ever be able to make it look myself, and I never even had to leave my apartment.
From the customer’s perspective, that convenience really can’t be beat. Still, the network that’s built into the site can be incredibly valuable to stylists as well.
Both Carmona and Katzberg had previously worked in the beauty industry before founding TheStylisted. By using their contacts, in addition to performing targeted online searches, they were able to recruit an army of stylists to their business, which currently operates in both New York and Chicago.
“We’ve really created a free market for these men and women who are essentially their own small business owners,” Carmona said. “Compared to competitors, we have a real advantage because we’re not limiting quality onto the network. If you’re providing a cookie-cutter service at $US40 a blowout, you’re not providing the same quality that we have available.”
There are plenty of places you can go to get a blowout, which is basically a fancy name for having someone blow-dry your hair for you.
But unlike traditional salons or businesses like Drybar that specialize in blowouts, TheStylisted allows the stylists to set their own prices, giving them a great deal more freedom than they would otherwise have. Blowouts will cost you anywhere from $US45 to $US100, while basic makeup ranges from $US50 to $US295, depending on which stylist you book.
“It keeps it competitive, but we always want every stylist to feel each appointment has been worth their while,” Carmona said. “We don’t want them to feel that they have to change or lower their prices.”
When I tried out TheStylisted, my hair stylist, Kailie Joe, said she had been connected with the company while looking for opportunities to freelance outside of her regular work at Drybar. Soon, thanks to TheStylisted, she was working with big-time clients like style bloggers attending New York Fashion Week. The makeup artist I used, Adriana, said she also found TheStylisted while searching for freelance jobs online.
And since the stylists have to be accepted by Carmona and Katzberg on to the network, users know they can trust that the people showing up to your home will know what they’re doing.
“It’s definitely a carefully vetted network,” Carmona said. “We’ve worked with a lot of them at events before, or even had them come to our own homes.”
Disclosure: TheStylisted covered our hair and makeup trial.
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