The “Beauty Tech” industry boomed during pandemic lockdowns, and it isn’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The beauty device market alone is expected to reach $107.2 billion by 2024, especially as at-home styling trends continue to grow in 2021.
“I say we are in ‘Useful Tech.’ We are trying to build a company that is useful for a large number of people,” he said.
DashStylists is a marketplace connecting qualified stylists and barbers who will provide at-home haircuts, extensions, or braids to clients.
The key customer base comes from people who might still not feel comfortable going into a salon or those who have other limitations that make at-home hairstyling a better option.
Currently, DashStylists has built up a network of stylists in the Metro Atlanta area and recently expanded into Jacksonville and Charlotte.
Dubois said that building this type of mobile styling business in Atlanta and the Southeast is strategic. Unlike other competitors in the Bay Area or NYC, consumers can pick stylists based on their desired price range for a particular service. “We’re addressing a mass market, not upscale services and prices,” added Dubois.
He also sees it as a way to bring some additional benefits to new stylists who are starting to navigate the largely unorganized hairstyling industry. Stylists who are selected to join the marketplace can break into the industry while building up their resumes and client list.
Building Up In B2B
Dubois is no stranger to the startup world. In his native France, he co-founded a mortgage comparison platform and later founded ecolodis-solaire.com, an online marketplace for solar energy goods and equipment.
He recognized the massive potential in the mobile styling market in the US after moving to Atlanta several years back. His co-founders Gabrielle White and Thomas Van Steenwinckel also bring a strong background in the cosmetology and web development/e-commerce space respectively.
The team initially built up the platform by recruiting barbers and stylists from beauty schools and salons in the area.
Launching any service business in the early months of 2020 was difficult, but Dubois said the pandemic was a “mixed effect” for the start of the business.
While many new customers sought the convenience of at-home care, a few were wary of having hairstylists come into their homes.
As customers adapt to the “next normal” in 2021 (and try to make up for hairstyles that were neglected over the course of the pandemic), DashStylists is seeing even more growth.
Dubois said that the team has been moving into the B2B space with the new partnerships at aging care facilities.