Getting a blowout is standard operating procedure for many folks out there; yet the process of booking those appointments (not to mention the high cost of weekly blowouts) makes the experience relatively painful.
But Vive, a company launching onstage today at Disrupt NY, is looking to simplify the blowout-booking process. With a model almost identical to ClassPass, Vive lets users pay $99/month for unlimited blowouts.
The company has partnerships with 66 salons in neighborhoods like Murray Hill, Midtown East, Flatiron, Upper West Side, Noho, Gramercy, Soho, and Tribeca, and pays salon partners a fee for every blowout performed. (By the way, the blowouts do not include cut or color. Just wash and dry.)
Users can book an appointment anywhere from 30 minutes ahead of time to three days before the desired appointment, browsing through salons by location, price, etc. The platform promises available appoints between 8 a.m. and 8pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Users simply open up the app, browse through nearby salons, and select a time they’d like to have an appointment.
Available options are then displayed to the user, who presses the “book” button and heads off to their appointment.
“I was working on Wall Street and my time was not my own,” said founder and CEO Alanna Gregory. “What was once a joyful part of my week became a huge hassle. Every time I sit in a salon chair, I breath a sigh of relief, but I had no time to book appointments, and I was constantly a moving target, going from my apartment, to work, to a social gathering, so finding a reliable salon near each of these various locations, in my price-point, in my narrow window of time, was nearly impossible.”
This is what inspired Gregory to start Vive, which launches out of beta today to the public.
The Vive team onboards salons one by one, vetting each to ensure a high-quality experience for users. Not only does this streamline the process of booking an appointment, accessing inventory immediately, but it also attaches the user to the Vive brand as opposed to individual salons.
Most blowouts cost around $40, depending on the salon, so anyone who gets weekly blowouts will likely smile at the idea of a flat $100 fee for all their monthly hair needs.
Vive has raised just over $1 million from friends and family, as well as a small angel round and is currently looking to raise seed capital.
If you want to check out Vive, head to the website right here.
Q:How do you think about economics? What money goes to the salon, what comes back as profit?
A: We are profitable, and the amount we pay salons depends on the salon, since we have a variety of salons on the platform. The distribution of consumer bookings is shifting, it’s difficult to say what it will look like in the future, but it is shifting. Right now we are profitable at our price point.
Q: Do you have limits on how often people can go? Could people go every day? Would that hurt your business model if they go a lot?
A: We limit to one blowout per day. We have not reached a limit on consumers yet. We have not seen that behavior yet, to be totally transparent — I think it would be bad for your hair to go every day. We do see enthusiasm around what people are doing and how they behave, but we haven’t seen absolutely dramatic behavior patterns.
Q: What does the average woman spend on the monthly blowout?
A: We’ve found that peoples’ behavior pattern changes with Vive. Women who would get one to two blowouts per month, with Vive will go once per week.
Q: How does the competition think about Vive?
A: I think you’re talking about [blowout chains] like Drybar? I would love to have someone like Drybar as a client. They have a great business model and have shown that blowouts are things that people have an appetite for. Vive has many locations, and no matter how many chains there are in how many cities, there’s a limit to how many storefronts [chains like Drybar] they can open. Vive can leverage a great network of salons.