Absolutely Meets Founder of Beauty Treatment App Uspaah to talk business, tech and sexism
The mobile beauty industry is booming with convenience being a precious commodity for time-poor working women and customers wanting a truly personal experience. Uspaah is the beauty treatment app that brings the spa to your door with a plethora of services, including massages, nails, hair and make-up, on offer. We spoke to the founder of Uspaah to discuss business, wellness and sexism in the world of tech.
What does your app do in a nutshell?
USPAAH delivers spa quality beauty and massage treatments to your door within an hour.
What motivated you to leave your job and set up your own business?
I’d been working in the city as an investment banker for over 10 years and I constantly struggled to fit treatments into a very busy and stressful schedule. A couple of years ago I saw an opportunity to apply the concept of on-demand technology to the beauty and massage world, and create a service that would make the lives of all busy Londoners less stressful. I was convinced that I could create a solution that was better than anything else out on the market, and once I’d realised it was all possible that was all the motivation I needed.
Why did you decide to focus on beauty?
I focused my efforts on solving a problem I felt was common among stressed, time-poor Londoners. It just so happened that the problem was in the beauty and wellness services industry.
What has been the hardest thing about setting up a business?
From operational, to managerial to admin issues, there are so many challenges one faces when setting up a business. But the hardest thing in my view is the emotional toll it takes on you and the incredible character resilience you have to build to survive. Being an entrepreneur is like putting all your chips on red every day. It’s an emotional roller coaster, the odds are entirely against you, but if you win, you win big.
Why was it important for your business to be launched as an app?
Nowadays, your smartphone is the remote control of your life. For me, if we didn’t have an app, we might as well not have existed. Our purpose is to make the services we deliver easily accessible and on-demand. The best way for us to achieve this is through an app.
Why do you think wellness has become so popular in the last few years?
As our daily lives become busier and busier, people are constantly looking for more convenient ways to maintain and improve their health and wellbeing. We’re all so much more aware of the detrimental effects that stress can have on our lives and anything that helps us reduce the impact, whether it’s a product or a service, is now more valuable than ever.
How do you think smart phones are changing the way we consume beauty?
Smartphones have completely revolutionized the way we interact with beauty services and brands. Consumers are now better educated about buying decisions, they have more choice, access to experts at a touch of a button, and more ability to personalize their experience. I strongly believe that consumers are now dictating a brands channel strategy and there is a clear expectation of on-demand.
Have you experienced any opposition as a woman in the world of tech?
Any opposition? More like constant opposition… close to 70% of the tech circle in London is comprised of men both in terms of startups and VCs so I’m constantly having to justify our business as something that doesn’t appeal to just “glam girls”. I’m almost always the only female founder in various networking events and I often have to rebut questions from investors asking what I’m going to do with the business once I have children… as though the two are mutually exclusive.
What are your predictions for the world of beauty and wellness for 2017?
In general, the trends continue to be towards innovation in personalization of products and convenience of services for time-poor city dwellers. I imagine we’ll see more yoga and training on demand type services, as well as consolidated access to various classes in private gyms around town, aka the ClassPass model.
Where do you want to see the business in 5 years?
Our mission is to become the most respected on-demand wellness app, used by our clients for our consistently superior standard of service.
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