Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and is also an obsession for many people around the globe! That is why it’s a $265 billion industry globally and why one of EPICentre’s newest founders is working on a brand new app for the industry!
Derrick Defor, a 4th year B.Comm student at the Odette School of Business, and his partner Edem Francois, a Business Finance grad from York University, are now developing a platform dedicated to helping beauticians and stylists as well as consumers seeking their services.
The idea all started with a friend of Derrick’s who is a freelance hair stylist. She was having issues finding new clients as a freelancer. Most of her clients were coming from referrals or word-of-mouth marketing. Derrick and Edem wondered how they could help and, as business majors, they realized there was an opportunity to look into this further and solve a potential problem.
Derrick began conducting some preliminary market research by conversing with a variety of different beauticians and stylists. After talking with over 70 professionals from Windsor-Essex and Toronto, it became clear that many of these stylists and beauticians struggled with finding new clients and managing their appointments. Derrick and Edem also talked to consumers as well and found that many individuals had a difficult time finding a stylist or beautician, especially when moving to a new location or city.
Given Derrick and Edem’s background in business, they decided to take the next step and applied to the RBC EPIC Founders Program at the EPICentre. Derrick had heard about the program through a friend and, after being accepted to the program, he is now working on turning his idea into a reality!
Following up on this opportunity, Derrick and Edem are now developing an app, called Xhuri (which stands for beauty in Swahili), that will allow beauticians and stylists to market themselves in an easier way while also allowing consumers to easily find what they are looking for. Further, the market for beauty products and professionals is a billion dollar industry.
The Xhuri platform, in its most basic form, will connect hair stylists and beauticians with potential customers and can be used as a marketing platform by these professionals.
Beauticians and stylists will be able to brand and market themselves, list their credentials, provide a portfolio of their work and grow their clients. They will be able to manage their appointments through the app and give consumers easy access to calendars to see availability and book appointments. The platform will also include a payment system that works like Uber–payment will not occur until the service has been completed.
On the other hand, consumers will be able to provide ratings and reviews based on the services provided. There will also be a search feature that gives users the ability to search based on a set of criteria including budget, location, mobility, language, etc. Consumers will also be able to book appointments directly through the app and will have access to articles and content regarding current trends and will be able to post their own content as well.
Derrick and Edem are hopeful that Xhuri will officially launch by the end of 2017. Keep checking back for updates on Derrick’s entrepreneurial journey, and for more information on the Xhuri app, you can follow them on Twitter or Instagram: