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Ever try to cozy up to a department store makeup counter hours before an event to get a gratis makeover? We've all been there. Usually, we've left disappointed they couldn't squeeze us in—or we've left with makeup sweating down our faces by the time we got home.
The new Chicago-based service TheStylisted aims to change that experience. They launched in June to help ladies book in-home hair and makeup appointments and to build a network of clients for stylists. Here, we chat with Julia Carmona, who co-founded the company with her University of Chicago Booth School of Business' Polsky Center classmate, Lauren Katzberg.—Moira Lawler
First things first: Where did the idea of TheStylisted come from?
TheStylisted came from a personal pain point. Lauren and I had a number of formal events, and we often wanted the help of a skilled expert to go beyond our normal beauty routine. Nowadays, every photo ends up online, right? But we were frustrated with the available options. We had two main issues. One was timing. We felt constrained by a narrow window of time before the event. Second, we wanted transparency to learn more about the individual stylist, rather than the salon, before committing.
What void did you see out there that you're hoping the company can solve?
In-home service delivery is growing rapidly across all industries. It's not uncommon to see women on television receiving in-home beauty services, and we don't believe this is something that should be exclusively for the rich and famous. It's certainly luxurious and ultra-convenient for the client, but it's an attainable luxury, especially considering the number of talented freelancers looking to build their client base.
Why did you choose to launch in Chicago?
Lauren and I met in 2011 as students at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. We're both originally from New York, but this is truly a Chicago-born business. We have both fallen in love with Chicago, and it seemed natural to test the concept in the city we were in.
Who would you say the service is perfect for?
We are targeting women with busy social calendars who want to go beyond their normal beauty routine for a special event. Recently, we've even had a surprising number of women booking weekly blowouts through the site on Monday or Friday mornings, so we're definitely not just a site you only visit for a special event.
Have you picked up on specific beauty trends that Chicago ladies are into?
We're seeing quite a bit of demand for airbrushed foundation. It gives a flawless finish, but feels incredibly light on the skin (because it is), and, of course, lashes!
· TheStylisted [Official Site]
· Vintage college fashion, Cirque du Soleil-style workouts, and more [Chicago Business]