Style&Beauty

Finding a Great Beautician Just Got Easier

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StyleSeat Chicago

With cold weather settling in like an unwanted houseguest, it’s now the season for indoor parties and cozy date nights by the warm glow of Netflix and the rustic smell of Chinese takeout. As a general rule, hair and nail appointments proceed this procession of parties and lazy dates (especially the former), and a new overall look is never a bad idea.

How do you avoid getting burned, sometimes literally, by a new beautician? That’s a tough one. 70% of Yelpers are only there to complain – which is helpful. Don’t get me wrong. What would be even more helpful? Actual help, as in guidance. Someone to say, “Hey, go to this salon and ask for this beautician.”

StyleSeat wants to be that someone. For years, I’ve been using them to research beauty professionals and book appointments. The website wins at painting a realistic picture of what to expect in the way of a stylist’s skill level and the overall consensus of past clients.

Previously, there were two glaring voids in the service. First, with no accompanying app it was missing a vital, seamless method for booking appointments on the fly. Secondly, with no Chicago office, I got the sense they weren’t exactly swimming in the deep end of the city’s talent pool.

Apparently, they agreed. The company recently rolled out the most detailed, voluminous, user-friendly beauty booking app I’ve ever seen, available now for both iOS and Android. What’s more? They’ve just opened their first ever Chicago office. Ba-da-bing.

StyleSeat ChicagoA New App and a Chicago Home

StyleSeat hosted an exclusive app unveiling at Soho House, and there I had the opportunity to sit down with CEO and CO-Founder Melody McCloskey. Melody explained a few practical benefits of the new app.

With your new Chicago division now up and running, what improvements should those who were already using StyleSeat expect?

Our team in Chicago is making sure we’re well covered in most neighborhoods and are offering what clients are really looking for here in the city.

In the past, we were focused on being a platform for small business owners, helping to run their business more effectively. Now that we have over 250,000 businesses and beauty professionals in over 15,000 US cities, we’re able to, for the first time, focus on consumers. We were able to really think of ways to provide a rich, beautiful experience with this app.

I’m going on a date this Friday. I need my hair and nails done. Can I download the new app and schedule everything right on my phone?

Yes! [She picks up her phone and pulls up the app.] We can say “hair cut” and it’ll pull up a list of stylists who are near us. I can click on a stylist’s profile and see photos of their work, clients, a list of their services, and prices. If I want to book, I can see his schedule right from my phone and book a time that works for me. Afterward, I can rate my service and add my comments to the database.

We are about finding the answer to who is the best person for my hair texture, in my city, within my price range.

StyleSeat Chicago

Melody McCloskey

Describe briefly how you’re continuing to assist small business owners in the beauty industry.

On average, we’re growing their revenue by 70% within the first year. Our focus is mostly on the individual stylist, the individual nail artist, or esthetician. We do everything to run their business – from giving them a website, calendar and booking, tracking their bookings, an analytics platform, and tax assistance.

How is StyleSeat different from other beauty appointment booking apps?

We have the largest selection of stylists by far, 250,000. Plus, because we run the entire background of the professional’s business, we have full inventory, their full schedule. Not to mention, we’re in almost any city you can think of.

Images: Courtesy of StyleSeat

Kari Herrera is the creator of Chicagoings.com, Chicago’s indie city guide and blog. She often writes about the city’s points-of-interest as experienced by a local. She is a Social Media Marketing Manager and freelance writer. When she’s not working, Kari donates much of her time to the education of French-speaking immigrants in Chicago.

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