The pandemic forced many businesses, especially those in the beauty industry, to completely rethink the way they operate. Now, although a return to normalcy is on the horizon, some businesses are continuing to implement ideas that place both ease and convenience at the forefront.
Enter Shortcut: the first-of-its kind delivery solution for the nation’s top salons and spas. Providing a long-awaited DoorDash-style solution for the beauty industry, Shortcut empowers salon and spa owners to grow their businesses, expand their geographic reach, retain top talent and meet customers where they are most comfortable, solidifying that at-home haircare services are here to stay post-pandemic.
American Salon sat down with Will Newton, Shortcut’s co-founder and COO, to discuss the logistics, how this app came to life and where he sees it heading in the future.
AS: Take us back to the drawing board. What prompted the idea for this app?
WN: Shortcut was founded in 2016, focused on offering high-quality, convenient hair care services to consumers. After successfully navigating the consumer side, we quickly began to rethink the app after discovering there were hurdles on the supply side as stylists expressed interest in earning more on their own time.
The pandemic opened new doors for this idea and enhanced the need for consumer convenience. During this time, we pinpointed a distinct opportunity to put our technology in the hands of salon owners, empowering them to boost revenue, increase their stylists’ earning potential and make their businesses much more dynamic.
AS: Some states have laws against at-home haircare services. How does the app work around this?
WN: Each salon and spa that partners with Shortcut operates in a state where in-home hair care services are legal under state board rules and regulations. Shortcut provides each salon and spa partner with insurance solutions for off-site services. In addition, we ensure all licensing and liability coverage is in place for salon partners for off-site services.
AS: One of the app’s first partnerships is with Scott J. Aveda Salons in Manhattan. How did that come about?
WN: While the pandemic has opened the door for change, salons need to continue to evolve in order to boost revenue streams and keep stylists happy under their own roofs. Scott Buchanan (owner of Scott J. Aveda salons) is a leader in the industry and saw Shortcut as the solution. He recognized that the pandemic not only highlighted the industry’s short-term problems but long-term structural flaws that needed to be addressed as well.
AS: What has success looked like for you so far? Do you think this will be a long-lasting solution for those who don’t want to go to the salon anymore?
WN: I do believe this will be a long-lasting solution. The pandemic has highlighted the need for accessibility and options across the service industry and we’ve seen a demand for Shortcut in urban, suburban and rural markets since the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.
Not only has Shortcut provided consumers from busy moms to those with disabilities access to convenient hair services in their own homes, but our platform also provides growth opportunities to salons and stylists.
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