Palo Alto is a breeding ground for apps that deliver almost everything to your front door, from Instacart for groceries to DoorDash for restaurant food. That’s why it’s no surprise that bfab, an app that brings on demand beauty treatments to your doorstep (think blowouts and make-up), would be created right here.
An unlikely pair of entrepreneurs gets a great idea
The brainchild of two local women, Margo Myers and Sharon Cimring, bfab began in 2015 when ‘blow dry bars‘ were starting in San Francisco but had not made their way to the Silicon Valley. “We saw a Dry Bar location in Pacific Heights and thought it would be cool to open one in Palo Alto,” Margo explained. “When we couldn’t secure a physical space, we decided to build bfab as an on demand, in home service instead.”
The two partners brought very different skills to the effort; Sharon is an experienced hair stylist, while Margo is a licensed social worker who had never worked in the beauty field. Neither were seasoned entrepreneurs or tech experts, but what they lacked in knowledge, they made up for in drive, vision and people skills.
From a steep learning curve to a successful business
“With the ‘gig’ economy on the rise in 2015, we thought it was perfect timing to start bfab,” said Margo. “Little did we know how big the learning curve would be for building an app and getting the business off the ground! But we kept going, and bfab now has over 150 stylists and is growing fast.”
A ‘side gig’ for stylists with higher pay and flexibility
With no physical overhead, bfab can afford to split client fees with its stylists, letting them earn much more per hour than the wage often paid at local blow dry bars. As a result, bfab’s rates are comparable to their competitors and the stylists love working for for bfab on the side.
The bfab team screens every potential stylist through a trial hair or makeup session. “We are very selective about the stylists who work for bfab so we can match the right person for every job and ensure high client satisfaction,” Margo said.
We tried bfab and…loved it
We recently tried a blowout with bfab to see how it works. After booking online, we received a confirmation that included a bio and photo of our stylist Miki. She arrived right on time and made our hair look fabulous in less than 30 minutes. (So good, even our teen daughters noticed!). We felt relaxed and ready to go out looking, well, fab. And the best part? The same price as a blowout bar, but no rushing around or parking required.
Proms, photo shoots and more
“We often send stylists to local tech companies to save time for busy women who need to look good in a hurry,” Margo said. “And when bfab does proms or weddings, everyone can hang out together at home rather than sitting alone in a salon.”
Local knowledge makes a difference
bfab offers services across the Bay Area, from Hercules to Half Moon Bay, and uses its local knowledge to match the right stylist for each client based on location and expertise. “There are other national companies that do on demand beauty services,” Margo explained, “But bfab is the only one based in Silicon Valley, so we know how to manage timing and traffic to ensure our stylists are on time and ready to deliver great service.”
A business by women for women that’s on the rise
bfab’s growing success is proof that it’s never too late to become an entrepreneur. Although they came into the tech world later than many other founders, Margo and Sharon are just getting started with what they plan to build in the future. Looking good and supporting a local business at the same time? We’re in!
For more information about bfab…
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