In 2011, Melody McCloskey co-founded StyleSeat with business partner Dan Levine to simplify the appointment-booking process.
As a consumer, Melody McCloskey found herself feeling frustrated with how difficult it was to book beauty appointments. So in 2011, she co-founded StyleSeat with business partner Dan Levine to simplify the appointment-booking process. Fast forward a few years and StyleSeat is among the largest and fastest-growing online and mobile platforms for beauty and wellness services. More than 260,000 beauty professionals currently use the platform to showcase their work, connect with clients, and build their business.
We asked McCloskey to share her expertise when it comes to beauty, business, and technology.
How did you develop an interest in small business and technology?
McCloskey: When I first thought of the idea for StyleSeat, it was from the perspective that it’s hard for clients to find, book, and pay for appointments with professionals and salons. After spending time with professionals and salons, I discovered they didn’t have great tools to run and grow their business. That’s when I realized it’s important to have a solution that supports both to really make an impact in the industry.
What can beauty professionals do to stay on top of technology and use it to better their business?
McCloskey: Have a strong online presence and make sure it represents your business and your art. You can also learn a lot from others in the space, and by following industry news and trends, professionals can gain access to the latest marketing techniques and consumer-driving apps like StyleSeat. StyleSeat helps to bring your entire business online, making it easier for clients to book with you and helping to spread online word of mouth faster.
Why should nail professionals join StyleSeat?
McCloskey: Much of the nail industry relies on walk-ins, which can be unpredictable. By offering online booking on StyleSeat, techs can let even more clients know they’re available, in addition to having access to automatic tools that drive your current clients back more often.
Why do you think clients have come to prefer StyleSeat as a way of booking appointments?
McCloskey: Through businesses like Uber and OpenTable, consumers have become accustomed to the standard of being able to open up their phone and take care of their daily needs instantly. Booking a beauty appointment has traditionally involved calling the salon and going through their schedule over the phone for a few minutes before landing on a spot that works. With StyleSeat, clients can book what they want and who they want and they can do it on their own time, even when the salon is closed.
What is your advice to other women running their own business?
McCloskey: Keep a good group around you, and use them! The support I’ve received from mentors, advisors, friends, and family was critical to being able to put so much work and love into this company, especially in the beginning. Through the years I’ve always had an advisor I work with intensively, and those advisors change over time as my and the company’s needs change.
For more information, go to www.styleseat.com.