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Sharmadean Reid, founder of WAH Nails.
Rebecca Wayman

WAH Nails founder launches tech business for beauty professionals

Sharmadean Reid, the entrepreneur behind WAH Nails is launching a tech company that aims to be the world’s biggest social commerce network for beauty professionals.

beautystack’s mission is to empower women around the world who want to build a career in beauty, by providing independent professionals with the ability to generate bookings directly from their social content.

Sharmadean, with co-founders Dan Woodbury and Ken Lalobo, has launched the platform to a select group of beta users providing software to enable beauty professionals to brand themselves online, manage clients and take bookings via a visual menu.

She said: “Beauty is one of the biggest industries on the internet but the existing community platforms are missing a huge part of the industry in terms of service.

“There is a new market of millennial beauty professionals who use social media to build their client base and solicit enquiries via DM. By using beautystack these professionals will be able to close the loop on bookings from content.

“The gig economy has always been a mainstay of beauty, but there are few platforms set up to serve individual practitioners, with their specialist skills and treatments, well.”

Early users are currently able to build their own site or blog, upload their work and take bookings directly from social media image posts. Seamlessly, customers will be able to book with beauty professionals from images of the finished treatment.

beautystack has raised just under $1m in seed funding from early angel investors and LocalGlobe, GP Bullhound’s Seed Fund of the Year in 2017 and an early backer of tech successes Improbable, Citymapper, and, Transferwise. Reid will use the seed funding to continue developing the platform and to launch a mobile app this summer.

Suzanne Ashman, partner at LocalGlobe and investor in beautystack, said: “By giving beauty professionals tools to manage their own business, beautystack takes an offline service and makes it available and bookable online.

“Sharmadean has already built one of the country’s most innovative beauty brands and created products used by millions of people. She’s exactly the type of founder we love backing with a relentless focus on her users, deeply committed to building a category leading product, and obsessed by the domain she’s operating in.”

The beauty industry is worth $445bn a year globally and treatments are largely delivered by a female and freelance workforce yet most salon systems have not been designed by salon owners.

With lessons learned at WAH Nails, the beautystack app will provide software designed for a new generation of millennial and generation z beauty pros, empowering and enabling them to earn a good living from their own creativity and skill.

Beauty pros will join the app by invitation initially and will pay a small booking fee for each treatment with a monthly subscription for pros who want web hosting, customisation and partner integrations.

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