Business of Beauty: Melody McCloskey

Image Credit: StyleSeat

Image Credit: StyleSeat

Name & Age: 

Melody McCloskey, 31

Professional Title:

Co-founder and CEO of StyleSeat

Tell us about your brand.

At StyleSeat, we believe that beauty is personal. Five years ago we charted on a mission to transform the world of beauty services, one appointment at a time. We are here to connect consumers with beauty professionals so both can be their best. Today, StyleSeat supports 400k stylists across America, enabling them to build an online presence, attract new clients and manage bookings and payments across a user base of 10 million consumers who use our platform to search for the perfect service, from the perfect person, at the perfect time.

What are some of your personal beauty regimens and tips?

I love using StyleSeat’s stylists for blowouts, haircuts, manicures and waxes but on a daily basis I keep it pretty simple. The biggest tip I could give is to never forget about taking that time each day to take care of yourself. One of the driving factors behind StyleSeat was a goal of making it easy for everyone to do just that!

What are some of your most trusted beauty brands?

I love Shu Uemura for shampoo/conditioner/hair masks, the Ouai for styling products, Tatcha for skincare products.

Image Credit: Ouai

Image Credit: Ouai

Describe your brand in the 3 words.

Personal. Effective. Convenient.

What can professionals benefit most from Style Seat?

StyleSeat provides beauty professionals with the tools they need to run their business. We know that for beauty professionals, it’s more than a job – it’s an art, the ultimate form of self-expression. StyleSeat enables beauty professionals to create and build relationships with consumers to continually grow their business and maintain a consistent stream of loyal clients.

Everyone from salons, to independent nail technicians, to celebrity makeup artists can benefit from the offerings of StyleSeat. In essence, we take care of the business so they can focus on giving their clients the personalized service they deserve.

Can you tell us some hurdles and obstacles you have gone through in starting a beauty business?

I face probably 3-4 per day! The largest one by far though was trying to get funding for StyleSeat when we first started out. Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley hadn't ever funded tech startups focused on the beauty industry. They didn't understand the industry and the vision.

When we received the first few rejections I took things personally. Despite that, I spent our first year bootstrapping with my co-founder, not taking a salary (hello credit card debt) and finding people who would work just for equity. When we were bigger we were able to find investors and grow more quickly. I’m so glad that we were able to get through those early obstacles but I’m also so grateful that we had to face them. We learned how to be tough as nails and build our business in a smart way.

What do you love most about the Dallas/Ft.Worth area?

There are so many things! Honestly though, I have to say how much the people here love beauty. Dallas is so full of diverse, interesting, passionate, stylish people. Also the weather is warmer than San Francisco! It’s one of my favorite cities.

Image Credit: StyleSeat

Image Credit: StyleSeat

What's on the horizon for your brand?

There are a lot of things happening at StyleSeat right now. You can expect new products on both the consumer and the pro side, and we are always working on making our consumer experience better. Ultimately though, we just want to keep growing. The beauty industry is constantly evolving, and we are pushing ourselves to evolve alongside it. We are always actively pushing for more stylists to join the platform so we can meet the demand of our consumers and give them even more choices.

Any tips for those interested in venturing into beauty entrepreneurship?

I am all about making your dreams happen!

Beauty is a HUGE industry that isn't on the radar for a lot of people. Make sure though that you know your numbers, and you’re ready to put in the work because starting a company is all consuming.

Any last thoughts or words for our DFW Beauties?

I'm inspired by the changes that the beauty industry is going through, and proud to be a part of it! However, we need to continually push for innovation, for woman-founded businesses, and new business models.

I'm excited to see where things will move in the next few years.