Welcome to BYOB: Be Your Own Boss, a feature series highlighting some of the self-starters we love.
We’ve all been there – desperately in need of a mani and unable to score an appointment at any of the go-to salons. Pretty Quick, a Chicago-based startup, aims to eliminate the frustration that comes when you just need a brow wax and don’t have the time to call every salon in the city until you can find availability.
If you haven’t tried Pretty Quick you should. It essentially puts a beauty concierge service right under your fingertips, and quite honestly I wonder how Coco Meers, founder of Pretty Quick, even came up with this genius idea.
Luckily, I got a chance to pick her brain a bit in celebration of the site’s one-year anniversary. Coco answered a few of my most burning questions about life as an entrepreneur, the challenges of starting a business, and – of course – beauty
STATEMENT/scene: What inspired you to start Pretty Quick?
Coco Meers: I was sitting in an airport in Paris, France while working abroad for L’Oreal. I had been traveling non-stop and had very little tme for myself. When the carrier announcd a departure delay, I thought, ‘Man, if I weren’t stuck in this airport this would be a perfect time to take care of getting my brows waxed!’ It ocurred to me then that there was no good way for me to know what quality places were open and available in real-time to suit this need.
SS: What’s the most rewarding part of being your own boss?
CM: Work is not work for me. It’s an intensely rewarding, creative process where I get to see first-hand the results of my time and energy. Of course it’s nice to have autonomy over how I manage my schedule, but I’ve never worked harder in my entire life because there’s so much more at stake.
SS: What’s the most difficult part?
CM: I have an amazingly talented group of partners so there are others who complement my efforts, but we’re still a very lean team. For the most part, if I don’t get to something in a timely fashion, it just doesn’t happen.Now that’s a lot of pressure.
SS: Rewind ten years – where did you think you’d be at this point?
CM: I didn’t know that entrepreneurship would take the form of a digital tech company, but I was always interested in the entrepreneurial process. I thought I ‘d be doing someting highly creative and highly comptitive, which is essentially the definition of a start up!
SS: Who are some other successful entrepreneurs who have inspired you?
CM: There are so many. I’m very inspired by strong female business leaders. One of our advisors is a female entrepreneur names Genevieve Thiers who started SitterCity.com. Her tenacity in building both sides of the dual-sided marketplaces is extraordinary. You have to really lvoe what you’re doing in these businesses to keep going. She has that passion and infectious drive.
SS: What advice to you have for people who want to start a business?
CM: Just do it! Lots of people have great ideas. The trick is having the desire and will to turn your idea into reality. Everyone will tell you why it can’t be done. Don’t listen to those voices and simply try it.
SS: What surprised you the most while getting Pretty Quick up and running?
CM:Finding great talent is tough, but is arguably the most important thing any business leader can do. Surround yourself with people who are way better than you’d ever ne at somethign and convince them to help build the dream.
SS: What’s the one thing that can get you through the toughest days?
CM: Stepping away and breathing in yoga…and a nice martini with my amazing husband.
CM: I love natural eyelash extensions. When subtly done, they are a huge time saver in your day and make you feel instantly more feminine.
SS: What are you must-have beauty products?
CM: So many! Jelly Pong Pong lip crayon (in bright cherry) is a delightful mix between bold lip stain and nourishing balm. After years of working on lip formulations, I have never seen a better delivery and longevity. A good soft brown eyeliner (Chanel Crayon Kohl) is a necessary tool to go from day to night. I have hazel eyes so a stark black is often too much, but the right brown will carry me through my day. Proper skincare is so important. The marine-based ReStore-Sea line is my go-to line right now.
SS: What are your favorite cosmetic splurges?
CM: A girl’s got to have her signature good fragrance. My favorite is Diptyque Olene. I find it very refreshing to reapply both my fragrance and my Nuxe dry oil whenever I need a little indulgence throughout the day.
SS: Do you have a drug store favorite?