Booking a last-minute appointment at a beauty salon can be impossible at worst and extremely stressful at best. Chicago startup GetBetty is out to change that by offering on-demand beauty treatments, starting with blowouts.
“A couple of years ago I stayed over at my friend’s house and found out that her hair stylist came to her house for a blowout three to four times per week,” said co-founder Rizal Hamdallah. “I asked my friend why she did this, and she told me hair was her trademark.”
But that trademark was hard to maintain while working full time and raising three kids. Realizing that there was a market for at-home beauty services, Hamdallah decided to build his own solution.
GetBetty was originally a web-based scheduling service but pivoted to an on-demand model when the app launched in July. Users schedule their own appointments, and are matched with an available stylist who’ll arrive in under 30 minutes to their home, office or hotel room.
Appointments last a maximum of 90 minutes and prices are fixed at $44.99. Payment is processed through the app and users have the opportunity to tip.
“We realize that the concept of an on-demand service goes both ways,” said co-founder Nicholas Paredes. “Our objective has been to ensure someone could make $20 an hour. The goal is for younger stylists to make a livable wage, and our pricing is a reflection of that.”
Hamdallah and Paredes met while graduate students at Northwestern and both have extensive experience in the corporate world. Hamdallah’s focus is brand building and business development while Paredes is an app designer who built apps for Walgreen’s and led the mobile team at Grainger. Their corporate backgrounds shaped the way they built GetBetty.
“I think we’re doing it a little different,” said Paredes. “We’re trying to grow organically and slowly, not get funding and burn money. We’re trying to learn and iterate.”
Instead of rushing to market, the pair did extensive pre-launch research to determine the needs of both their target customers and stylists. One of the things they learned was that customers were iOS users while stylists were mostly on Android, which pushed them to launch GetBetty on both platforms.
This growth has been boosted by partnerships with apartment buildings, which have helped market the app via emails, elevator flyers and onsite events. GetBetty is also working to establish partnerships with hotels to market the app to travelers.
GetBetty plans to offer on-demand manicures by the fall of 2017 and makeup services by the summer of 2018. The immediate goal is to onboard more stylists to fully serve the Chicagoland area and build new partnerships with building groups and hotels.
Once GetBetty is on firm footing in Chicago, it plans to open its second market, Las Vegas. The team of five is based out of 1871.
Article and image originally appeared on Built in Chicago.