Born from the struggles witnessed while helping his mom run her business, Shay Manawar took the concerns and daily struggles of the independent cosmetologist, and created SpaLot; a skincare marketplace. With the goal of helping those struggling with skincare issues connect with the products and people that can help, SpaLot is a central hub for skin care products and consultations for young professionals.
The Problem Being Solved
SpaLot is solving problems for two customer segments.
This group struggles with: a) personal branding; b) client development; c) product retail. SpaLot wants to end this struggle. “We are an online, skincare marketplace where licensed professionals can showcase their skills and services, meet and develop new clientele and retail their products across the country,” says Shay.
Young, independent professionals
This group is prone to ignoring their skin-related concerns due to time constraints and expensive spa visits. SpaLot connects them with their preferred cosmetologist quickly and with free customized consultations and treatment regimen.
Where the Idea Came From
Shay has been helping his mom, a licensed cosmetologist and independent practitioner, with her books and marketing for many years. He’s had a chance to see the communication struggle both she and her clients have to face. When he realized she wasn’t alone, he saw a chance to solve the problem.
In the skin care service sector, there is no concept of an online marketplace. They sell their products in store and online but the service side of the industry doesn’t hold an online platform.
But, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment in the skin care field to grow 40 percent from 2012-2022 — faster than the average for all other occupations.
However, the above figures and shifting consumer attitudes still do not guarantee an increase in the income potential for service providers. SpaLot wants to change that.
SpaLots target customers are the two groups mentioned above; self-employed cosmetologists and independent, young professionals.
“Launching from a smaller city such as East Lansing could be tricky,” says Shay, as there are quite a few more students than young professionals.
Shay has been surprised to see that, “skincare is still perceived as a remedy to overcome self-consciousness rather than a healthy habit to form.
Shay says the project is completely bootstrapped and adds, “Resources are the enemy of imagination.”
In the next year, Shay looks forward to taking the idea to the young and working professionals across Michigan and into Chicago.
“Start your company now and learn from the experience,” says Shay. “It’s a very rewarding major.”
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