Tye and Courtney Caldwell are husband and wife co-founders of ShearShareÂ an app that pairs professional stylists, cosmetologists and other beauty professionals with salon owners that have empty chairs or booths in which to work. They will pitch their startup at Startup Grindâ€™s first-ever startup program in Silicon Valley this month. Out of 52 other startups, ShearShare is the only one from Texas to participate.
The couple refers to their startup as â€œthe Airbnb of the beauty and style industry.â€ Tye is not only the CEO of ShareShare, but a long-time professional stylist and salon owner in the Dallas area. He is also the author of Mentored by Failure: A 5-Point Guide to Long-Term Success in the Beauty & Style Industry.
â€œWe hit both sides of the coin,â€ says Tye. â€œWe offer salon owners the ability to monetize their salon inventory and charge per day.â€ Salon owners can rent out empty chairs and booths to beauty professionals who may need to travel frequently. For example, a barber for football players who may need to work in the city where the Super Bowl is being held, he explains. The owners and stylists can find one another using the ShearShare app.
To date, ShearShare listings are in six cities and two countries. ShearShare vets salons carefully. â€œWe have to make sure the salons represent us well, they have to send us photos,â€ said Tye.
The couple is particularly targeting young stylists who have just graduated. â€œAlmost 100% of cosmetology studentsâ€™ concern is paying for their booth rent. With the generation growing up today, they want their own thing, and they want to do it with sharing,â€ says Tye. â€œWhen we talk to them [about the app] they love it,â€ Tye says they use the app to find renters for their salon in Dallas and it is almost always full.
The Caldwells are paying for and supporting their business themselves. Being selected for Startup Grindâ€™s Startup Program will provide them access to mentors and investors to accelerate their business and secure funding.
â€œThe selection into Startup Grindâ€™s Startup Program couldnâ€™t come at a better time,â€ says Tye Caldwell, co-founder and CEO of ShearShare. â€œAs the sharing economy continues to gain traction, we have expanded into six cities and two countries. Being the only startup from the Lone Star State invited to exhibit at Startup Grindâ€™s global conference, we look forward to showcasing the entrepreneurial talent that exists in Dallas and networking with other notable startups from around the world. Itâ€™s a huge honor.â€
â€œWe started this program after seeing many of the Accelerators and Incubators not doing much to really help companies,â€ says Derek Andersen, founder and CEO of Startup Grind. â€œOur biggest goal is for each startup to go back home with a new and improved game plan that would not have happened without the help of the program and the mentors and resources that were made available to them.â€
The Startup Grind Global Conference will take place at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, California, from February 23-24, 2016.