Jamaican entrepreneur creates Glamo app for US beauty industry

Jamaican entrepreneur creates Glamo app for US beauty industry

Jamaican launch planned for summer

Observer writer

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

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FLORIDA-based, Jamaican-born entreprenuer Rishielle Giscombe-Smith is aiming to tap into the United States billion-dollar beauty industry with her app, Glamo.

“It is very diverse. There are two other apps like it, but the convenience of Glamo is what makes it so unique,” the 26-year-old told the Jamaica Observer.

According to the conceptualiser, the app has been well received since its launch in December 2018.

“Already it has attracted more than 500 users and over 2,000 stylists. It has been growing fast and has even been recognised in Silicon Valley. People really love it,” she said.

Giscombe-Smith attended Mona High in St Andrew before migrating to New York in 2011. Three years later, she began pursuing an architectural engineering degree at Broward College in Florida, but soon shelved the studies when she realised her true passion was in beauty and technology.

“I remember being in New York with my mom and you know the struggles that come with being an immigrant; it was basically starting life over. She had to take taxis when she wanted to get her hair done, she had to take the bus in cold weather. When she died I got a bigger sense of independence when I saw other old people struggling; people as old as 60 having to stand in buses and in the rain so I started to wonder how I can improvise, and that's when I came up with the salon service idea,” she explained.

The app, which took a year to be completed, offers various options for users.

“If you're a stylist, you put in your information then us at the human resource department run a background check to make sure they [the stylists] have their licence, and so on. Afterwards, clients within their area can make contact within 15 minutes. We have different categories which include barbering, hair and nails. Customers can also see costs for services and include the amount of people they want to make bookings for. There is also a built-in navigation system that customers can use to see the location of the stylists,” Giscombe-Smith said.

In 2017 global management consulting and market research firm Lucintel valued the US beauty industry at US$265 billion.

Since Giscombe-Smith has tapped into the business, she said that she has been reaping the rewards, and looks to double the US$30,000 she invested.

“Even though the app is new, and we know that it takes time to build up, I've seen where I have been benefiting. Next month I will be attending a beauty show and from that I will be making twice the amount I invested in the app,” she explained.

Currently available for Android and iPhone users in Florida, Atlanta, and California, the businesswoman has begun making plans to have a Jamaican launch by July of this year, before branching off into Europe in 2020.

She encourages other entrepreneurs to develop apps in their respective fields to heighten marketability.

“I would totally encourage other people to develop apps for things they like. As you know the technology industry is booming and it is a really good idea,” she added.

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