Founded by Jodie Hayes, an under-30 London-based entrepreneur, Beautii has become London’s leading editorial and celebrity beauty concierge service, offering the best make-up artists, hairdressers, manicurists and beauty experts straight to the client’s home, office, hotel, wedding or event. After studying economics at Edinburgh University and working as a marketing consultant for a host of high-end London brands, Jodie set off to create her on-demand platform Beautii. The idea was in her blood, having honed her knowledge and interest in beauty, products and treatments from a young age, watching her mother grow one of London’s most-respected styling agencies Carol Hayes Management. We spoke to Jodie about what she wished she had known starting out, how she’s managed to secure her slice of the market and how she selects the cutting-edge products used across the company’s suite of services.
1. What does Beautii offer that wasn’t already on the market?
We offer consumers the chance to have their hair and makeup done by professionals in the industry who are at the top of their game – working with VIPs and celebrities, on high-end editorial shoot and on fashion and beauty campaigns. For example, you could have your nails done by the same manicurist who works with Lily Allen or Rita Ora, or have your makeup done by someone fresh off the Chanel Cruise show in Paris.
All of our beauty therapists, hairstylists and makeup artists have been recruited by industry professionals who have over 30 years of experience. We trade test all of the team before we take them on, so that we can get an idea of not only their skillset, but their personality and client skills. We also check their kit, to make sure it’s clean and well stocked. We want for their customer experience to be the whole package, not just a great blow dry or manicure.
On all bookings, we tailor each service depending on our customers’ needs or a client’s brief and budget – there is no set way of doing things, and we always make sure we deliver the best service no matter how big, or small the job is.
2. In your words, what is the experience like for the customer from the moment the client books to the moment the therapist arrives?
We don’t want the booking process to be soulless. We have the option to make it a completely digital service; however, we would like our customers to speak to a real person. Therefore we have a mixture of an online and offline booking service.
Some customers like to email us and prefer to deal with all bookings this way, but some prefer to talk over the phone and ask us several questions. For example, first-time spray tanners always need reassurance on brands and shades. In an age where apps and no human contact is so popular, we encourage our staff to be the antitheses to this. We are happy to pick up the phone and make sure our customers are 100 percent happy.
Our booking process usually takes place as follows:
A client will call us or email us through the website to book a treatment and include any specific requirements. Then we match an expert to the brief of treatment. This can be anything from weeks or months ahead of the booking, or very last minute, within the hour. A payment link is sent to the customer to process pay for the booking via our integrated stripe platform. The therapist carries out the job. And afterwards, we always follow up to ensure the customer is happy. All customers and clients are welcome to leave a review should they wish to.
3. You’re in your late 20s, what advice do you have to other young entrepreneurs?
Treat everyone you meet with respect and remember that even the CEOs of the largest companies started off in training or used to make the tea for their teams. Many of our clients, including all of the hotel groups that we work with, have come from word-of-mouth recommendations. People also move around, and they will take you with them if they like working with you and trust that you will deliver! And always look forward. Once a mistake has been made, remember you learn something from every mistake.
4. Talk me through the suite of treatments you offer and how you’ve chosen what to offer clients?
We launched Beautii with only three services – hair, makeup and nail treatments, as our core offering. Since then, we’ve grown to expand to a wider range of treatments including massages, facials, lashes, and tanning applications, as well as male grooming services, mainly due to the customer and client demand. We also offer a range of holistic treatments upon request, including acupuncture. Our hair, make-up and nails are consistently busy throughout the year, and we find treatments such as tanning are more seasonal and occasion based (weddings, holidays).
5. When you meet someone at a party, how do you describe what you do?
I tell them I run a Beautii concierge business where we supply high-end beauty freelancers (hair, make-up, nails, grooming services etc.) to people’s homes and hotels, as well as working with brands, agencies and hotel groups on high-profile events and launches. I also explain that all of our freelancers are insured and tried and tested within the industry.
6. You work a lot with hotels and corporate clients as well as individuals – how does that side of the business work?
Beautii works in partnership with some of London’s highest-profile hotels to provide their guests in-room private beauty treatments. We can turn a treatment request around on the same day. We now have clients who are regular visitors at key hotels who book Beautii each time they stay.
With our corporate clients, we will discuss the brief and their budget, and whether they are running an event or an employee initiative. Then we will create a bespoke package of treatments for them. We will always take everything into consideration, and we will try and make things work for everyone. We have set prices for individual bookings, but for event bookings we work to budgets of all sizes.
7. What has been the biggest pinch-me moment so far?
Meeting a contact whilst waiting for a coffee – they turned out to be the CEO of a huge brand. This contact resulted in Beautii putting together a massive weekend event, with 100 Beautii professionals working all weekend to provide a selection of treatments to the guests attending.
8. Tell me about the range of products you use and how you selected them?
Everyone at the Beautii HQ is a beauty-product junkies. In our office, we have beauty PRs, beauty bloggers, spa break and treatment addicts and a diverse staff – all ages, genders, skin tones and different hair types. We regularly discuss products, brands and attend launches. We have excellent relationships with all of the beauty PRs and journalists, and we receive all the news about launches and events.
Of course, we speak to the artists about their must-have items and wonder products, which can be anything from a £1 lip balm to a £300 face cream. Brands range from Sisley, Chanel, Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Ford to Batiste, Essie, Vita Liberata and Redken. All artists have organic and cruelty-free products in their kits.
9. What do you know now that you wish you had known starting out?
The difference between things that are urgent and very urgent.