Can you introduce your start-up? What is it, and how did it come about?
InstaWow is the future of how the aesthetics industry will function. The industry has been largely unregulated from a non-medic perspective since the start. This has come at a huge cost to the public and the NHS and the aura surrounding it is largely negative. Most customers have procedures blind of the end results and nearly always based on the practitioners preference of what’s going to look best due to there currently being no way to clearly show exactly what’s hoping to be achieved beforehand, and then, are you completely sure your sitting in front of the best person to perform that or those procedures…? We are here to shake it all up and make the sector infinitely better. We will rewrite the aesthetics industry and allow for total peace of mind throughout the search and booking process, complete transparency on practitioners skillsets/clinical practices and a much, much safer world of our beloved beautification treatments. We aim to elevate the very best practitioners to the top of the pile and then connect them with treatment-seeking customers! Its a win for everyone!
Where are you in your startup journey?
We are a year into development and creation, we’ve pivoted here, there and everywhere to cover everything to create a concept that solves all the current industry issues, like Torvill and Dean over here! I’m a great believer of allowing things to evolve based on what’s in front of us and not being afraid of making changes to accommodate, no path is set in stone when creating a business.
To date, what has been the biggest triumph for your business?
The whole creation to date is a huge triumph to all involved as it’s an industry first, but if I had to pick one out it would have to be a conversation I had with James, COO of Robot Mascot, validating our vision, pumping a protein shake into the business plan and the potential value of the business, which is huge, was a special moment for me and my children while we were sat in the drive-through at Macys!
How have you found being a sole-founder? And what advice you would give to other sole-founders?
Yes, I am, I did have the option of making it a two ball but in the end, I had to weigh up the added value to shares given ratio and the decision was made that investment for shares would be more beneficial to the company from this individual, I’m yet to see movement on that so the right choice was made. My advice would be this, only allow people into your founding circle if they can truly add what’s needed to make it work, take the emotions out of it as this is one of the most important times for a start-up, no one is an expert in everything so be ready and open to surrounding yourself with people and organisations like Robot Mascot or SeedLegals, it’s imperative you have the strong backing of teams like this and their knowledge.
How do you manage to balance growing a start-up with having a personal life?
I’m dedicated to many things, not just my business life, but I will say that I very rarely switch off completely from my visions for the future, I thrive on it, my cogs are forever turning. I have 3 children and a large surrounding family which will always remain my number one priority in life. Smashing a golf ball around pleases me no end, its the number one pastime in our household, followed closely with bingeing on TV series mostly involving mischief, murder and mystery.
How do you cope with the pressures that come with building a business?
I’m at my best when my backs against the wall, I wouldn’t say I’m happy under extreme pressure but I manage it well, its fight or flight and I’m a fighter 100%
Did you pursue investment? If so what advice would you give on pitching? What was your secret weapon?
We are starting that path now, it’s an exciting time for us here.
If you could name one thing that you wish you knew when you started, what would it be?
James Church’s email address!!
To date, what has been your most important lesson?
Having the chance to pivot when required, listen to expert advise and make the all-important difficult decisions for the greater good
Do you have any tips or advice for anyone thinking about starting up their own business, or who have just started their journey?
Be ready to give it your all and then some, ignore the naysayers, take advice from the right people, not just anyone that feels the uncontrollable need to give their two pence worth. Also, not everyone succeeds first, second, or third time around but you’ve only really failed when you give up. Keep going and stay positive, negativity will get you nowhere, this includes within your surrounding circle.
What has been the most challenging part of your start-up journey so far?
Getting my head around the sheer enormity of my vision and putting all the plans into action. This is where Robot Mascot shine, they take your vision and create the road map from start to finish whilst doing their own investigations and validating what’s good and what’s not. By the way… I’m not being paid by Robot Mascot to say this!!! I’m just a big fan of their work! In my opinion, it’s the only step you should take if you’re serious about making it big.
What’s next for your business?
Investment, team building and bringing something very special to life.