Founded by friends Julia Carmona (inset) and Lauren Katzberg, TheStylisted is a resourceful new website that caters to hair and makeup stylists and people who need to conveniently book their services. It officially launched in June of 2013 and I recently asked Julia more about this startup.
LL: Where did the idea for TheStylisted come from?
JC: TheStylisted came from a personal pain point. Lauren and I had a number of formal events and often wanted the help of skilled experts to go beyond our normal beauty routine. (Nowadays, every photo ends up online, right?) But we were frustrated with the available options. We had two main issues:
1. Timing: Constrained by a narrow window of time before the event, we were constantly running to and from the salon, or worse, we would wind up at a department store makeup counter in our dresses, hoping they could squeeze us in.
2. Transparency: We wanted to learn more about the individual stylist, not the salon, before committing.
LL: How do you find your stylists and clients?
JC: Lauren and I share a beauty background, so we initially reached out to old contacts to begin the recruitment process. We've since been building our stylist network through targeted online searches and word of mouth. Our first clients were friends and classmates. It was very exciting to see people we didn't know signing up for the site! Now we're trying to spread the word through organic PR, strategic partnerships, and we've been participating in quite a few events around Chicago.
LL: How did you choose Chicago & New York as your starter cities? What are the plans for expansion?
JC: Lauren and I both graduated from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business in June 2013. We had been diligently working on TheStylisted prior to graduation, so launching in Chicago made the most sense. We lived there and we loved it! We are both native New Yorkers, so expanding into New York was the natural next step. We have an aggressive roll out plan to be in over 20 cities by year five. (I should note, we've temporarily moved out to New York for the launch.)
LL: What benefits do your clients receive by using TheStylisted?
JC: We provide detailed information about the stylist you're hiring (rather than the salon) because we believe that's what women really care about. Clients have access to stylist availability and seamless online booking. Finally, in-home (in-office, in-hotel) convenience is key! When a woman has a special event, a work function, you name it, she shouldn't have to factor travel time into her beauty routine. Our motto: "beauty isn't pain...it's just inconvenient." We're here to help!
LL: How many stylists are currently part of your program?
JC: We have over 50 stylists in Chicago and we're currently building our New York market.
For more information on TheStylisted, or to sign up as a client or stylist, visit www.thestylisted.com.