Beauty or brains? Why should we settle for one, when we can have both? Anyone can be beautiful at www.beautyhooked.com
Facing the hassle of going from one salon to another, women usually tire themselves and fail to get any work done. With a sigh, they continue this routine the next day to get the appointment for the salon for the upcoming wedding. And God Forbid if you’re late, you have to wait in a never ending line!
With the motivation and hard work, experience and dedication- Sahr, the founder of Beauty Hooked, winner of the 2015 LUMS Startup Weekend, came up with the idea of the FoodPanda of beauty Products and Services, a white-label e commerce store that suggests products and services based on her users/customers purchase and browsing habits.
With the ever increasing technology and the competition in today’s world, and women facing challenges, Sahr emerged with the idea to cater to needs of the women, fulfilling the niche that was empty within the market.
A graduate of Cornell University (MBA), finance experience at Citibank and marketing experience from USAID, Sahr believed that she was experienced enough to start up her own business. HerCareer.pk interviewed Sahr, and we bring to you her inspirational journey.
How did you come up with the idea of Beauty Hooked?
Everyone wants to be beautiful, and for that, salons go all the way. Yet, I find the whole process to be inefficient, time consuming not painful. There are no salons that cater to our needs online, don’t provide reviews, or compare services. All this leads to women visiting one salon to another in order to decide which one is the better choice, or which one will provide us with what we need.
Being a victim of this hassle, I conducted a survey of 60 women who had a similar dilemma. Achieving similar results, I took it as an opportunity and decided to build up a solution for this need.
What made you feel motivated to pull of such an idea?
The idea that you have the power to carve a niche in the market and disrupt it is altogether an achievement. The fact that technology provides the solution to every problem, I believed that why not use this technology and introduce something that has not yet been thought of. It is common knowledge that very few products cater to the needs of women, especially technology as very few women take this to be a career choice, solutions built by women, for women to make their lives easier.
Having very few success stories in tech, especially in the case of women, I decided to break that barrier and carve a niche and set an example for more women to follow.
Was entrepreneurship always your goal?
Basic difference between a person who is an entrepreneur and who is not is preparation, planning and preservation. So yes, I always wanted to be one and have been planning this for years, I am prepared. Working at the Citibank and USAID provided me with the experience I needed and then graduating from Cornell University enhancing by core business skills, made me capable enough to start my own business.
What are some of the challenges you think are going to prove to be an obstacle?
Since we live in a patriarchal society, and males at the top of the hierarchy, what might come as the biggest obstacle will be the funding. Convincing the males and making them understand the needs of the women and that it is worth of a product to invest in, will be a challenge.
Is it hard being a woman with an idea to accomplish?
Obviously. But it is also liberating in a way. Its common knowledge that once a woman gets it in her head to do something, it’s near impossible to change her mind. Thus, when you know deep inside that you can do it, you know you can. Never let the title “woman” let you hold back from what you want to achieve, as it simply is a stereotype. Do not let it define you. You either have it in you do it, or you don’t. Women or not.
How do you manage work life balance?
Behind every male is a hand of a female. Well for me, I had the support of the entire family.
What is the next step on the Beauty Hooked front?
Well the big win at the Lahore Weekend Startup created steam, which the team Beauty Hooked is pushing forward. We currently have secured the spot for incubation at the LUMS Entrepreneurship Center, and we are currently working hard to get our online platform launched.
54 hours to brainstorm, build and pitch? How did you manage it all?
Nothing is possible if you don’t have a team to go with. With the sleepless nights, persistence, nothing would have been possible without the team that I have.
What would you suggest women who have ideas as great as you to do?
If you believe that you have a game changing idea, go for it! Don’t analyze too much, or as they say you fell into the trap of “analysis paralysis”.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I would encourage women to take steps and move forward. Have confidence in your abilities and strive to reach for the stars and you will!
Tell us this, beauty or brains?
Would you settle for one, when you can have both? Anyone can be beautiful at www.beautyhooked.com 🙂