The Best Chicago Salons, According to PrettyQuick
Coco Meers and Shreena Amin started PrettyQuick for a simple reason: they wanted an easier way to book their beauty appointments. Specifically, they wanted to book them online, instead of over the phone. “When Coco first talked about PrettyQuick, I was like, yes,” Shreena said. “I hate having to go into conference rooms at work to book my beauty appointments.”
Together, they built a company that allows people to avoid furtive conference-room-booking. Through PrettyQuick, customers can book appointments at 1,000 hand-selected spas and salons across the country, all at the tap of a button. To find out more about what inspired this idea, we talked with CEO Coco about Chicago’s beauty scene and her advice for startup founders.
GROUPON: Why did you and Shreena decide to found PrettyQuick in Chicago?
COCO MEERS: We were in business school here. Also, great local marketplaces are born here, like Groupon and Grubhub. Advisers from those companies have been really informative and foundational for us. Marketplace strategy, getting the supply and demand right, is super hard.
G: What are some hidden gems of Chicago’s beauty scene?
CM: There's a French waxing bar in West Town called Le Remede. Erin, the founder, was just really inspired by French beauty and beautiful clear skin, and how [in France] it's more about skincare there than it is makeup. You go in, and there's both waxing and facials done in these express chairs. It's not very expensive and it's very fast, and you get super-super deep cleansing.
Another is called Mud. It's a mud facial bar. There's a lot of awesome examples throughout the city of entrepreneurial minds that have built businesses that are super different.
G: What’s the best feedback you’ve gotten from PrettyQuick clients?
CM: Just that PrettyQuick is ridiculously easy to use. That it makes taking care of yourself easy.
G: Any advice for other startup founders trying to break into the beauty scene?
CM: Education and authority is really important in this industry. Be sure you really understand why what you're offering is better than what someone already has, because it's a really crowded space, and you have to be really good to be sticky. Mediocrity is not tolerated. In services, it's your body, and your appearance. In product, it's what you're putting on your skin, it's a part of your everyday ritual.
G: What about advice specifically for women who are founding startups?
CM: Swing for the fences. Don't try to build something small. You can’t be afraid of failure.
This interview has been condensed and edited.
Mae Rice is a staff writer who writes about eyelash extensions, French food, what "business casual" even means, and other style and food topics.