The on-demand economy thrives on our lives being hectic. Many of us are running around from home to office, picking up kids, or rushing to meetings. There are car services like Uber and Lyft, and also TaskRabbit, Postmates, and Shyp to help lighten the load. But what about how we look?
Getting an appointment at a hair salon can be difficult and inconvenient, and that’s why StyleBee came about. Backed by Y Combinator, the Uber for hairstyling defines itself as “beauty on demand.” Using the iOS app, users can schedule a time when they want a stylist to come to them. Then the service will find the right match and connect both parties.
StyleBee offers services to women and men, and appointments generally last between 30 to 45 minutes. Stylists will come to your home, ask you questions about what you want, offer beauty tips if needed, and more. The company charges $50 per service, plus tips. Out of that amount, StyleBee takes between 20 and 33 percent for its fees.
Available in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the company has been around for a year, but largely operated in a private beta. It plans on opening up in two more markets this fall, but opted not to disclose where.
Cofounded by Anna Santeramo, StyleBee solves a problem she had when she was working as a corporate attorney. When she needed her hair styled, she couldn’t get an appointment, and when there was a spot available, stylists wanted more money or had some other conditions. “It wasn’t fair to me,” she said.
Santeramo wanted house calls, which isn’t an option traditional salons offer. The service is not just for hair styling, but also for makeup, massages, and more. Santeramo says that StyleBee will help supplement a stylist’s income, which is the standard argument for the benefits of the on-demand economy.
And as with Uber, Lyft, Postmates, etc., StyleBee lets both the stylist and the customer rate each other — the higher the rating, the more opportunities they have to be matched.
Already Santeramo is scaling her business beyond house calls. She’s been working with companies to bring her product to their stores to help with marketing events. Specifically, StyleBee has white-labeled its service for Nordstrom in New York City and San Francisco.
“When women shop, they want to be as productive as possible,” Santeramo told VentureBeat. “The trend that’s happening in the past few years is that companies want to make it easier for women to get things done easier in one place.”
Other companies StyleBee is working with include Neiman Marcus, the Gap, and Athleta. It’s also available in other verticals — for example, providing services needed for weddings.
StyleBee has raised $1 million in venture capital, including participation from Y Combinator and “well-known Silicon Valley investors.” There are 600 professional stylists in its database, with the average user paying for a service at least once a week.
Interested in trying it out? Here’s a $20 promotional code for Stylebee: VBRocks
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