In a world dominated by mobile applications, here are some beauty industry standouts
by Sequoia Blodgett, Silicon Valley Tech Editor at Black Enterprise
In a world dominated by mobile applications, here are some standouts in the beauty industry that were created by black entrepreneurs.
Swivel allows users to discover and book the best stylists for textured hair in NYC. With this B2C app, you can search top rated hair salons and stylists in the New York area. The search results get as specific as style, hair type, and location. In addition, there is a browse feature that allows you to filter by customer ratings, neighborhoods, days of operation and pricing. Although the app is currently only available in New York, it will soon be expanding into other cities.
This platform was created by Jihan Thompson and Jennifer Lambert. Thompson’s boasts a hefty background in publishing working for O, The Oprah Magazine,Redbook, and Marie Claire and Lambert’s background is rooted in legal practice, holding a J.D. from Harvard.
Jihan Thompson and Jennifer Lambert (Image: Swivel)
Squire allows you to book an appointment online at a barbershop near you. Similar to Swivel, you can discover and book the best barbers in your city. In addition, you can look up your personal barber’s availability and book a time slot.
The founders include Dave Salvant and Songe LaRon. Prior to starting Squire, Salvant worked at AXA US, where he grew sales in his territories from $40 million annually to $110 million. Salvant also assisted in the launch and sales strategy of the Structured Capital Strategies variable product that has now amassed over $9 billion in sales. On the education side, he boasts accolades such as the consortium fellow at the University of Wisconsin Business School and is a graduate of the University at Albany – SUNY.
Squire co-founder LaRon worked at Skadden Arps, advising Fortune 100 companies in mergers and acquisition and corporate finance transactions prior to starting Squire. In addition, LaRon worked at Credit Suisse, where he assisted with issues related to executive compensation and asset management. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and UCLA.
With these credits, it’s no wonder these two were accepted into Y Combinator, one of the most competitive accelerators on the planet.
Left to Right: Songe LaRon and Dave A. Salvant (Image: Squire)
Mayvenn is an online platform that enables stylists to sell products directly to their clients without the upfront costs and burdens of holding inventory. In addition, consumers can purchase hair products directly online. Currently, Mayvenn’s main source of revenue is generated through hair extension sales although they plan to expand to other products down the line.
Diishan Imira is the CEO and co-founder of Mayvenn. With a background in import and sourcing, dealing directly with sourcing products from China and having visited over hundreds of factories, in addition to holding an M.B.A. in international studies, Imira’s expertise and education are the perfect match for this company.
Diishan Imira (Image: Mayvenn)
The ShearShare app allows stylists and barbershop owners to rent unused suites and stations on demand. It is ultimately solving two pain points by allowing the salon and barbershop owners to make money on their empty chairs and the licensed cosmetologists and barbers to find professional spaces to work without having to take on the sometimes hefty burden of owning the property.
The dynamic duo Courtney and Tye Caldwell, DPB, share this company in addition to their marriage. Courtney’s background is operations and Tye just finished up his doctorate of Professional Barbering with years of experience as a barber/stylist, making them strong candidates to deliver on this piece of technology. This couple attended both very prestigious Silicon Valley accelerators, Y Combinator as Fellows and 500 Startups during Batch 19.
Courtney Caldwell and Dr. Tye Caldwell (Image: ShearShare)
Although, not exactly an app, Bevel is a universal staple when beauty is talked about in Silicon Valley. There aren’t too many people who don’t know Bevel, the first end-to-end shaving system designed to help prevent razor bumps and irritation from shaving. Get clearer, smoother skin within four weeks, the tagline boasts.
Fun Fact – the company is multifaceted. Not only does Walker & Co. have the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) products side on lock, they have also put forth efforts to produce content through what is coined, Bevel Code, an online digital publication generating brand awareness around the market that they’re servicing.
The founder and CEO, Tristan Walker has often been called the Silicon Valley poster child, showing face on many different publications. Aside from having been an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Andreessen Horowitz, one of the most sought after VC funds in Silicon Valley, he led Business Development at Foursquare and spent a short stint at Twitter. His alma mater includes Stanford Business School where he received his master’s in Business Administration and Management, which is considered Silicon Valley gold.