BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In 2016, you can pretty much do anything with your smart phone. Need to get across town? Open up Uber. Want to get some groceries? Open up Shipt. Want top-notch beauty professionals to come to your home? Well, now there is an app for that, too.
GLOW is an on-demand beauty service that connects women in Birmingham to experienced and qualified beauty professionals to provide hair, makeup, and organic spray tan through a mobile app. Users have the option to bring the service to them, or they can go to the beauticians, known as GlowPros.
Yazmin Cavale, GLOW’s CEO and founder, has worked as a beauty professional for 17 years. She worked in several big-time markets like Los Angeles, Miami, and Boston before following her mother to Birmingham. “Where your mom is is home. I had to move to Birmingham to be closer to her,” Cavale told Yellowhammer. “It was probably one of the best decisions I ever made because I not only started this business, but I met my husband. We have a great life here.”
When she had children, she wanted to keep doing beauty work and still have time for her family. She started servicing friends and family from her home, but what started with a manageable number of 20 clients quickly turned into 150.
Her beauty business was booming, but she needed to take the next step. Cavale sat down with her husband Jim, who formerly co-owned Iron Tribe Fitness. Together, they came up with the idea for a beauty app to reach a larger audience and avoid the risk associated with a brick and mortar set-up. “We call it Uber for beauty,” Yazmin Cavale said.
Cavale knew there was a demand for GLOW because of the clientele in the Birmingham area. “I find that women in Birmingham love to get beautified more than in any other city I’ve been to,” she said. “I felt like there was a demand, and I felt like this would do great here.”
One of the main reasons she believes her model is working is because of the pride she takes in the quality of service. “Not just anyone can be a GlowPro,” Cavale said. “It’s a process.” Anyone who wants to be a GlowPro must go through a one-on-one consultation with her, go through several demonstrations, and then be trained. Of the 100 beauty professionals who have been interviewed, only 20 have been accepted.
As an extra incentive, GLOW has its own rewards program, where customers can get “Glow Money” to use on future appointments. Potential customers can learn more about what the app has to offer on the company’s website linked here.
The app’s success has earned GLOW an invitation to The Velocity Accelerator Program in Innovation Depot. For 12 weeks, 10 tech startups will operate out of the same space in Birmingham. The entrepreneurs will receive advocacy, training, and mentorship before participating in a Demo Day, where they pitch their progress as a startup to investors representing millions in potential investment. For their participation, each company receives an initial $50,000 investment from the Velocity Fund, in exchange for a 6 percent stake in their company.