Annie is the architect behind the company’s enterprise strategy and business development. As a marketing and event guru, Annie has previously worked with leading media brands such as Esquire and O, The Oprah Magazine. She previously founded the NY & Miami chapters of The Society, a private social club cultivating a community of influencers & tastemakers connected via an array of bi-monthly events and cultural gatherings. Beautified is the mobile app designed for beauty and fitness enthusiasts to discover and book the best of beauty and fitness while on-the-go. Available for iOS devices, Beautified acts as a personal beauty and fitness concierge, eliminating the common frustrations associated with looking for a last minute appointment. Beautified connects users with openings, easily allowing spas, salons and studios to fill them. (www.getbeautified.com)
How did you get into the beauty industry?
I was frustrated with the hassle of having to call around to book a last minute appointment and knew that if I felt that way, others did as well.
Tell us about Beautified. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
I was with one of my best friends running around the West Village and we had a party to attend that night. She was visiting from Toronto and we wanted to get our hair blown out for the event. We spent an hour looking up salons and calling around when a light bulb went off -- there had to be a better way to book a last minute appointment. This was when Open Table, Uber and Hotel Tonight were being buzzed about over dinner parties, yet nobody was doing it for beauty. I partnered up with Peter Hananel and Hannah Bronfman and we set out to revolutionize the way people book beauty.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
The on-demand industry. The same women who use Beautified to book a blowout use Seamless to order takeout, Task Rabbit to pick up a delivery and Uber to book a ride home.
Your greatest success as co-founder of Beautified? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
Our greatest achievement was raising our seed round of $1.2 million with a network of strategic capital. I couch surfed for a year while getting Beautified off the ground and had one turquoise suitcase with three outfits on rotation. I cocktail waitressed at night to pay for groceries and day-to-day living, but there were some nights when I had no idea where I was going to lay my head. Luckily, I have an amazing group of girlfriends that always made me feel welcome to crash at their pad. My parents were also incredibly supportive and encouraged me every step of the way to go for it!
The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Go for it. The only things you regret in life are dreams you didn't explore.
(Click pic to purchase App)
Favorite travel destination?
Each summer I head to my cottage in Maine. It's a very special and personal place, as it has been in my family since the 1920s. Lobster rolls, beach croquet, a little karaoke in Kennebunkport, and the very non-city gal experience of drifting asleep to the sound of the ocean—what could be better?
Favorite beauty products?
1. RGB nail polish. It's non-toxic and has the best color selection. My favorite is the custom Beautified nude polish we did as a collaboration.
2. Rahua. Light hairspray infused with lavender to give the perfect beach-y tousled look.
3. Benefit’s "Watt's Up" cheek highlighter.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose
Ceviche and spicy jalapeno margaritas
What literature is on your bed stand?
Entrepreneur magazine, Vogue and Allure (we use it as our bible to stay on the up & up of beauty destinations)
Role model - business and personal?
My dad. He was an entrepreneur in his early years before having my brother and me and had a few businesses with my mom. I remember as a child hearing their stories of successes and failures which invoked the desire in me to have my own business one day. I've always gone to my dad for business advice over the years and am constantly inspired by his work ethic, intelligence, diligence and drive.
Balance. Keeping healthy and fit. My latest passion is taking Nicole Winhoffer's dance cardio class with my girlfriends at NW studio every Sunday. It’s an amazing workout where you sweat and the studio has the best tunes. Nicole is former personal trainer to Madonna and has no mercy....in a good way!
Most interesting headline you've read this week?
"With every strike, you're closer to a home run. - Babe Ruth"
What's next for Beautified?
We have plans to expand to additional U.S. markets in 2015!