StyleSeat’s Melody McCloskey: Bootstrapping Was Difficult Yet Important for Growth

November 21, 2014

2:30 pm

StyleSeat’s co-founder and CEO Melody McCloskey was in Miami this week to talk about her entrepreneurial journey during Tech Cocktail Sessions.  McCloskey spoke to an audience of industry leaders and entrepreneurs about beauty-booking app StyleSeat, and how she decided to pursue her passion.

“It got the point one day where my desire to do it, and that fire, had outweighed the fear. It was not about me and my insecurities; it was about having to do this.

Going into business thinking that you want to build a billion dollar company is “crazy.” McCloskey explained that the best approach is to focus on the immediate action needed in order to make your company successful. This means that for StyleSeat, focusing on the consumer was an important part of the company’s growth.

“Every single version of our site and app had direct feedback from customers. We were really flexible and lean about how we built the company,” explained McCloskey. “We grow the average hairstyle salon by 70% in the first year just by our free product, so our customers love us.”

Frank Gruber Melody McCloskey Tech Cocktail Sessions Miami - Nov 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customers and investors alike love StyleSeat; the company has raised a total of US $14 million in funding to date. But it wasn’t always this easy; McCloskey explained that offering a different product sometimes worked against them when it came to pitching investors early on. But this had a positive outcome.

“Being different has been our biggest strength because we used that to our advantage. We had to bootstrap in the beginning, which made us very disciplined about growth and only building the most essential stuff,” said McCloskey.

To date, StyleSeat has 260,000 beauty professionals  on her platform and looks to expand to Miami.

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Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.

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