If you don’t know about Sharmadein Reid yet, just know she means business.
After founding one of the most successful UK millennial nail salons ever, WAH nails, when she was just 24 years old, it’s ten years on and her trajectory is only going up, and beautystack is her next big venture.
Even on her website, she makes it clear that her focus is on her businesses and her son. The contact page firmly states, “As I enter my 30s I want to drill down and focus. This next chapter in my life is about building my new co, laying the foundations for my security and raising a healthy and happy son. Please respect this. Thus, I’m not available for parties, networking, collabs and all the fun things you do in your 20s as a creative in London.
Unless it’s related to beautystack, then it’s probably not for me…”
Last week, the British-Jamaican entrepreneur held her first live demo of beautystack, a new platform for beauty professionals and their clients to connect and book services using photographs. After noticing in the last few years that most of the influential power in the beauty industry lies with bloggers and celebrities, Sharmadean’s quest was to bring back the power to those who actually make the beauty industry happen – the professionals.
We went along to the beautystack live demo to find out more about the platform, what we can expect from it and, of course, to be inspired by Sharmadean’s entrepreneurial wisdom.
What is beautystack?
Essentially, the online platform and app is a visual-based booking service for single beauty professionals. It facilitates beauty transactions between professionals and clients. “Salons always get people coming in with a picture they’ve screen-grabbed on their phone, asking ‘how much is this’ and ‘how long does it take?’” Sharmadean explains. The platform allows clients to see a style either from the professionals’ Instagram account, their beautystack account or elsewhere online and book it through the image.
Sharmadean says “beauty is a visual experience,” and she noticed a gap in the market with salon booking software. It tended to be very basic, unhelpful and didn’t cater to the nature of how people use technology to book things. Instead of creating a Yellow Pages salon index which doesn’t reflect how beauty is communicated, so visuals are the way forward.
Sharmadean’s model uses social media, namely Instagram, to facilitate seamless beauty booking, appealing to the Gen Z generation. You get to attach a picture to your booking, a dynamic dashboard that tells you everything you need to know and your appointment will be linked to your phone calendar. It’s a helpful new category of technology: social media selling with a helpful scheduling tool that accommodates visual references.
Who can use beautystack?
Single operators that work freelance in a salon or work solo will benefit from this new technology. Overtime, it will work for small salons, then makeup counters and large-scale retail. Currently out there are brands like Treatwell that list salons by postcode and beauty professionals have to build their own websites with sites such as Squarespace which has a shop feature.
Professionals with a beautystack account will be able to build a website really easily, listing their services, the duration of the service and adding tags and keywords to optimise the search.
The client side of beautystack is also revolutionary in the industry. For example, if you wanted to book an appointment for a new wig, you’d select your style and book it for the set duration. Then you’ll be able to enquire about price and even upload an image of yourself to ask specific questions about your individual features. You’ll be able to find beauty professionals online and book through beautystack.
Click here to see Sharmadean’s beautystack account, Metal Mouth.
Empowering Beauty Professionals
“Everyone’s hustling so hard. I really wanted to empower salon professionals and make them valued in the work that they do and their profession.” Sharmadean’s aim is to help make beauty pros the new influencers because they’re credible, talented and true trendsetters.
Even though trends go viral because of celebrities and Instagram bloggers, the beauty professionals are the ones who keep the money flowing in the industry and they’re the ones who really know what they’re talking about.
In February, Sharmadean was on the cover of Courier magazine as part of the “Female Founders” story and it was a pivotal moment for the young and powerful businesswoman.
On Instagram she captioned,
“Today was first day where I felt like the @beautystack team were operating like a real start up and I was really like… *doing this*.
Operating like a Founder…. Having to check everyone’s progress, make decisions, shape and define the product, work on branding, finance, making crucial decisions on what is it we are doing.
Sometimes I’m like, how the f*ck am I doing this?! How do I even KNOW what to do. But then I remember I schooled myself, I’ve been an infinite learner, I got this! But then I also remember I can be too blunt, I hate micro managing and I assume people are mind-readers. That being a good leader includes clear delivery and helping everyone understand what I need from them. Concise actions and expectations.
You’re never not learning in this game…”
beautystack will be available soon. You can sign up here.