Explain what Fleeky is.
Fleeky, founded by 25-year-old Anita Grant in June 2018, is a beauty booking platform that connects independent beauty professionals with clients based on location, price and reviews.
What inspired you to start Fleeky?
My eldest sister was my inspiration for Fleeky. At the age of 19, she decided to quit her job and start her own business, Hair By NaiNai. She had the creativity and I always had a love for business. I helped my sister create her business plan and strategize new ways to grow her clientele. Through the process I learned that there weren’t many resources available for freelance beauty professionals. But It wasn’t until I personally experienced the nightmare of needing a last minute makeup artist on the day of her friends wedding. That’s when I realized both beauty professionals and beauty seekers have the same pain, connecting.
What is your goal for Fleeky? How do you aspire to help beauty artists and make a difference?
Our mission at Fleeky is to encourage diversity, support entrepreneurship and empower women. Our goal is to make beauty services easily accessible for women of diverse backgrounds. We are trying to take away the headache for women who have different complexions, hair textures, skin conditions, etc. that require experienced and specialized beauty services that aren’t readily available at their local brick and motors. For beauty professionals, we want to empower the independent beauty professionals to market their services, manage their business and grow their clientele. To achieve this we are equipping them with a platform and business tools to accelerate their business.
Discuss the business journey that has got you to where you are today.
The journey to where I am today has been a rollercoaster, there’s so many ups and downs, but that’s what keeps it fun! I have been working on Fleeky for the last year and have had the opportunity to connect with amazing organizations, mentors, customers and individuals. Everyday is something new! Before actually building Fleeky I spent a lot of time doing market research, participating in entrepreneurship workshops and customer discovery which I believe has better prepared me to purse Fleeky full-time.
What was your experience like as a finalist on Lions Lair?
My experience being a finalist at Lions Lair was different from all pitch competition I’ve participated in previously. I think overall it was a four-month process from application to the final pitch night. Lions Lair really challenges you as an entrepreneur and the strength of your business. I recommend anyone considering applying to Lions Lair to go for it and attend the information session. From there you’ll learn how to make your application stand out, I am still using my answers/content from that application on other applications, so it is extremely valuable. Through the process of Lions Lair they help you perfect your pitch, provide media practice, exposure and amazing networking opportunities. I am extremely thankful to have taken home the Hamilton Award and plan to continue to build from Hamilton.
What was the most challenging moment during the Lions Lair process?
I think the challenge for me being early stage, was am I really ready to compete beside these other amazing start ups? There was self-doubt. But the support, encouragement, resources and staff at Innovation Factory and Hamilton Chambers of Commerce put an end to that very early. Lions Lair actually helped me overcome this challenge and step out my comfort zone, I haven’t turned down an opportunity since!
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is seeing other people succeed. In everything I do, I want to be helping someone else achieve their goals, whether it is through my business or mentorship. Success is a never ending journey and everlasting fulfilment.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
Entrepreneurship is passion, risk and resilience to build and manage your own business. An entrepreneur is someone that sees an opportunity or identifies a real problem and works endlessly to invent or innovate a stronger solution. Entrepreneurship is your execution and burning desire to move from the idea stage to a profitable business.
What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn?
The lesson that took me the longest to learn was putting a product out before I was one hundred per cent satisfied with it. Like many entrepreneurs, we have this grand vision as to what we want our business to look like before we share it with the public. I delayed my launch significantly because I was striving for “perfection.” As a result I delayed my entire business growth. You can’t build a great business without getting feedback from your potential users. Whats the point of spending thousands of dollars on a product/platform that only I like? The longest but the best lesson I’ve learned is being early and pushing out your sixty per cent completed product is extremely valuable because your users end up building the rest! Get their feedback because after all, they are the ones using it.