BASED IN: CHICAGO / SERVICES AVAILABLE IN: CHICAGO, NEW YORK, DC
Stylisted allows women to book on-location hairstyling & makeup appointments from a network of vetted freelance beauty professionals. A client performs a search by the date, time, and services needed to see a list of available stylists in her area before hand picking the best stylist for her unique needs.
Through the Stylisted platform, beauty professionals can grow and manage their freelance business. Stylists create online portfolios, receive appointment requests from clients, and outsource all business operations in order to focus on their craft.
Stylisted currently operates in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
What is the best part about being an entrepreneur? What is the worst/hardest part?
LK: One of the best parts for me is having complete control over who you surround yourself with on a daily basis. I love getting to work with my cofounder every day and handpicking new team members. It’s been amazing watching the team grow and being in a position to create jobs for people that we love.
The hardest part is having to hear “no” a lot. Rejection can accumulate and really start to wear on your spirit. But the silver lining is that if you can stick it out you develop thick skin over time and that’s a very valuable trait.
Is it important to have mentors and mentor other people? Why?
LK: It’s probably the most important thing. As a first time entrepreneur, I’m entering unfamiliar territory with every new phase of the business. My mentors have been critical in helping me through the process, both with their accumulated knowledge and emotional support. I try to pay it forward and help out new entrepreneurs whenever I can. I understand how helpful a knowing ear can be that early in the game, and selfishly it gives me some perspective on how far we’ve come when it’s otherwise hard to appreciate since you’re so deep in the trenches.
Is it important to set goals or is it better to just “go with the flow”? What is your strategy?
JC: It’s definitely a mix of both. In a small startup, you tend to have your hand in every pot so it’s critical to set goals in order to ensure follow through. With that said, something will always come up. It’s easy to get distracted by the latest email or new idea. It would be incredibly frustrating if you lacked the ability to “go with the flow”. Priorities regularly shift, as does your sense of urgency. We have weekly team meetings in which we share our projects and goals so everyone remains accountable and on track.
How important is your network? Is there such thing as doing it alone? What is your view on “solopreneurs”?
JC: Your network is incredibly important. We learned very early how important it is to ask for help and ask often. Fortunately, we had a built in network at Chicago Booth willing to help us shape Stylisted from a concept to a viable business. We also happened to create a business that addressed a personal pain point for us and our peers so our first clients and early adopters were friends and classmates, ready and willing to trust us with their hair & makeup needs.
I don’t think anyone goes it alone, but I’m always amazed when I meet “solopreneurs” because I could never do it. Lauren and I have different competencies and personalities that compliment each other, but most importantly, it’s been critical to have the support and motivation of a cofounder. (We took it to the ultimate level by being roommates for our first two years of business!)
What is one (or more) piece of advice you can offer our readers and other entrepreneurs?
Just do it! That was one of the first lessons we learned as entrepreneurs. It’s nearly impossible to have a perfect product from the start, but you can’t let the idea of perfection stop you from putting yourself and your idea out there. Once you start conducting business (even if it’s scrappy), you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can learn and iterate.