‘Being on Shark Tank helped us raise 1.2m’

It was a desire to look polished for her job as a publicist that led Lauren Silvers to launch Glamazon in 2013, a beauty platform that allowed customers to book and pay for last-minute salon appointments. Future business partner Lisa Maree had meanwhile been living in LA for five years, working on her multi-million dollar eponymous swimwear label, when she also noticed an emerging trend for at-home beauty services, and returned to Sydney to launch Glam Crew, a service that aimed to fill this gap in the market.

The two beauty powerhouses recognised how well their businesses and business minds would compliment each other and made the genius decision to merge Lisa’s business model with Glamazon’s user base, technology and branding, forming the basis of Glamazon 2.0 – Australia’s largest marketplace for at-home beauty services.

Glamazon 2.0 has been on the market for three years now, firmly established as Australia’s largest marketplace for at-home beauty services. We spoke with the co-founders about how they got to build a multi-million dollar business from a simple idea in such a short amount of time.

Where did the idea come from?

In 2016, a cultural shift towards peer-to-peer services such as UberX, formed the basis of Glamazon’s pivot away from salons towards at-home beauty services, and led to our subsequent merger with freelancer beauty platform, Glam Crew, founded by successful global entrepreneur Lisa Maree.

How come you decided to work together?

A merger was a no brainer for us. Lisa and I had complimentary skill sets and businesses, and an aligned vision that made the merger process seamless.

What has been the toughest thing about starting a business?

The toughest thing about starting a business is not being able to ever ‘switch off’ and ‘leave work’, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

How has your business changed since going on Shark Tank?

Shark Tank gave Glamazon wonderful exposure, and gave us the privilege of letting the Australian public see us, the founders behind the business. We were able to reveal our passion for Glamazon and the sacrifices that had led us to that point. This exposure helped us eventually raise $1.2m in seed capital, resulted in wonderful business opportunities, sparked internal growth, and saw us receive enormous amounts of support and warm wishes, which was the best prize.

People often feel like they need heaps of money to start a business, do you agree?

It doesn’t have to be! When I first started Glamazon, I created a sales pitch to salons on PowerPoint (which I also used to create a logo), and used Google Sheets to document the available appointments at my first 10 salons. I think I spent $1,200 on a basic looking website and invited 200 women to partake in a Beta testing group via Facebook. This lead me to generate $3,000 for salons in a 2 week period, which was enough proof of concept to start a business plan and pitch deck for FFF money (Friends and Family funding). I didn’t focus on design and making it look pretty until I had proved my product market fit. Technology businesses can be expensive if you’re building the tech from scratch, but there are plenty of off-the-shelf platforms you can use these days to get a cheap MVP* built to prove out your business (*Minimum Viable product – the most basic version or prototype of your business that will allow you to score a transaction).

What are your tips for those wanting to bring an idea to life?

Your idea may be fantastic, but make sure other people (not just friends and family) think so too. Create a basic prototype or MVP version of your business and test your market. Ask potential customers as many questions as possible and do plenty of market research. Don’t just assume your business will work because you think it will. It’s also important to stick to your strengths and outsource your weaknesses, for example, I was never good at maths, but I found a great accountant that helps startups.

Your tips for bringing the salon/spa experience to the home?

Use Glamazon of course! We vet and audition the best quality beauty professionals from around the country to take the hassle out of researching yourself. All our stylists are 100% certified and are bookable directly via our app or website, and are safely tracked and monitored via our platform, in the same way that Uber safely ensures you are getting into a safe car!

Psst… on July 17th, every service on Glamazon is 50% off! There’s never been a more perfect time to bring the salon into your own home

Read on for Zoe Foster Blake’s secrets to good business, and how this busy mother turned a breakfast idea into a seven figure business.

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