Words By Alicia Wilson
The salon industry was like an outdated machine, constantly working the same system with no updates. It was afraid to stray from the norm and adapt to the possibilities that technology had presented us with. The ShearShare app was the update we had been waiting for, the one that would finally allow the industry to adapt to the modern world.
The relationship between salon owners and stylists is changing, causing friction between the two. A salon owner wants to keep their booth full, but at the same time, worries whether or not this new person fits in their salon. Stylists want to be able to have the freedom to travel around; they want to build a relationship prior to leasing a booth to see if the salon is the right fit. So, at the end of the day, salon owners and stylists want the same thing, the ability to trust each other and grow together. Dr. Tye and Courtney Caldwell, the founders of ShearShare, saw an opportunity to come up with a solution that would benefit everyone and create a foundation for businesses to thrive.
When I asked the Caldwell’s how they came up with the idea for creating the first ever “hair bnb,” they told me a story about how they came across a particular situation in their own salon. Caldwell said, “Back in 2012, we expanded and rebranded our Plano salon. Being an award-winning salon and barbershop, we were accustomed to having a waitlist for stylists wanting to work out of our location. All of a sudden, that changed and we had empty chairs. One day a young lady called us and asked if she could rent out our empty suite for a couple of days because she had moved her salon 45 minutes south, but had clients complaining about the long drive. She didn’t want to lose her clientele due to location, and she didn’t want to sign a long term contract or work by commission. She talked with Dr. Tye about the daily rental. I thought it was a prank call, but Tye said he’d rather make some money on the suite than no money. They both loved the experience so much that she started asking us to do the same thing for her in other cities like McKinney, Allen and DeSoto. Fast forward three years, and we were serving as a concierge service for stylists…matching them to empty salon space by the day…before we looked up and said, ‘There has to be an app for this; there seems to be an app for everything else.’ We went online to search for an app that does what we do and couldn’t find it. And that was our AHA moment! We drained our savings and 401(k) and bootstrapped ShearShare for the first two to three years.”.
For Courtney Calwell and Dr. Tye, seeing opportunity and compromising in order to meet the needs of both parties, ultimately led to a business that not only helped themselves but the entire salon and stylist community as well. Before ShearShare, owners were stuck having to post their empty booths on Craigslist or going to beauty schools to advertise to the graduates that they were seeking stylists for their salon. This old style of marketing was very time consuming and frankly a huge waste of money. Now, when a booth opens up ShearShare sends alerts out to all the stylists in the area, making it nice and simple. Salon owners can breathe easy now, knowing that Shearshare is here to help them succeed.
Entering the Digital Age
Shearshare has changed the hair industry as we know it. Through the use of technology, it brought the hair industry out of the dark ages and into the modern age. By choosing to create a mobile app, ShearShare chose to meet the community where it was at, on their phones. With listings in over 850 cities, salon owners and stylists can connect wherever they are, giving back stability to small businesses.
Shearshare is bringing something new to the table that most stylists and salon owners don’t often think about and that the beauty industry doesn’t teach in school. They are offering instant coverage insurance for salon owners and stylists that only costs five dollars a day, providing up to one million dollars coverage. Shearshare understands that when growing a business, it is best to pay for things as you go. Anything can happen, clients fall asleep in the salon, a spark can cause a plug to go out or a customer can slip and fall in your salon. That is why it is important to be prepared for anything and ShearShare is there to make sure that you are.
When helping stylists give their best customer experience, they get great reviews and their income grows. ShearShare knows that. ShearShare takes away the burden of paying high lease fees, saving stylists about a thousand dollars a month. As a company, they understand that moving to a new location and getting started can be hard.
One of the new features Shearshare will soon be introducing is a virtual beauty supply, making the app a one-stop shop. With this new feature, the stylist will be able to purchase the tools they need to succeed. They even plan to use Black-owned small businesses that create products to put in their virtual beauty supply. Shearshare will help product makers connect with salon owners and stylists. This company understands that it could be hard for you to grow as a small business owner making natural products. It is hard to find an effective way to market your products. They understand if they can get your product with the right stylist or salon owner that your customer base will grow because, let’s be honest, we all listen to our stylist every time they tell us to buy a product.
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The ShearShare app is perfect for any budding beauty professional. They help you build relationships in the industry and educate you on marketing yourself and your business. ShearShare opens doors for people to get established as well as opens new ones to those who already are. This app gives the freedom back to stylists all while helping salon owners maintain stability. By recognizing that compromise can bring mutual success, Shearshare is the future — and a digital one at that.