Over the past three years, Heyday, the facial experts, has garnered a loyal following due to their uber successful brick-and-mortar locations in New York, of which there are five, thanks to several simple beliefs: accessibility; affordability; expert advice; highly curated products; personalization. Case in point, 89 percent of customers book online. In July, the company migrated West and opened a shop in Los Angeles. Co-founders Adam Ross and Michael Pollak, who hold the roles of CEO and Chief Brand Officer, respectively, also implemented a digital and e-commerce platform to enhance the consumer experience. For example, since inception they’ve tracked over 200,000 facials on the brand’s library of cumulative facials, which helps educate and inform the consumer and the company. In turn, aestheticians hand pick all product recommendations and offer personalized advice via Heydays’ digital channels. Somehow, these busy fellas found time to talk with CEW’s Beauty Insider.
BI: How is Heyday reinventing the service model in brick and mortar?
AR: There are a number of differences in our business relative to others. At the highest level, I would classify it into three broad categories: in-shop experience, treatment and product curation; our team of skin therapists; our technology to create personalization and engagement both in and out of the treatment room.
BI: How are you using high-touch to deliver personalization?
MP: Personalization starts with human beings seeing people as human beings, and that’s the core of what we do every day in our shops. We empower our team with the tools and the imperative of communication to listen and engage with clients to truly deliver something unique to them – their skin, and ultimately their lives. Technology helps us do that better and will increasingly help us deliver that in ways that connect the high-touch, in-shop experience to an omni-channel one. We should be there along the way to help make a positive difference in a high-touch way and we’re excited to dig into that.
BI: What are some specific strategies that help you reach a younger consumer?
AR: Our brand voice is key – both in style and in the content that our clients are after. We live in a world where clients view brands as an extension of themselves.
BI: How do you use data to personalize communications with consumers?
MP: We’ve been tracking our facials since Day One and there are lots of insights to be gleaned there, and lots of information to play back to clients in a way that’s meaningful and helpful to them. We’re all overloaded with content and this-and-that, so we always aim to deliver something relevant to someone’s inbox.
BI: What were the biggest lessons when seeking Series A funding?
AR: First, prioritize where you feel you need the most help (beyond everywhere) and look at other businesses that are strong in that area (can be in your category or something adjacent) to see if you can identify their investors. This will help you find strategic capital. Second, speak to those people who you trust about who they would recommend and why – it’s about quality not quantity with investors. On how to prepare, I would first get feedback first from people you trust (some overlap with my prior point) to help identify what they see as the big strategic, operational and financial questions you need to convince them of – and then these tackle these head on in your pitch (and, by the way, no more than 15 slides).
BI: What advice do you have for working together successfully?
AR: Total trust and complementary skills sets are a must. In times of high stress, you need to be continually empathetic with each other and what you’re both working on, and how to maintain ruthless prioritization in your work.
MP: Be honest and human with each other, especially as things get stressful. We all have our blind spots and weaknesses and need to lift each other up and focus on strengths.
BI: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the years?
AR: You can never communicate too much in a people-led business. This is easy in theory and so much harder in practice. It’s an area where you can always improve. Doing that will elevate the team in ways you cannot predict.
MP: Trust your instincts. Look at the data, but listen to your gut, validate it with findings, and then check the gut again.
BI: Greatest accomplishment thus far?
AR: We have re-defined the spa experience for a younger demographic (and in doing so achieved product/market fit through an engaged, repeat client base).
BI: Biggest mistake you’ve made?
MP: Failing at some junctions to stop, take a deep breath and celebrate the small wins every single day. That is a culture that has to be cultivated through and through, and I’d like to see us do more of that. One might say we aren’t saving lives in our line of work, but we sure do affect them positively in a very deep way at times. And that’s worth celebrating at every turn.
BI: What product (not your own) is your favorite and why?
AR: Right now it’s the Naturopathica Calendula Moisturizing Cream. With this weather my skin needs as much hydration as possible!
MP: My winter and travel favorite is the One Love Organics Skin Savior Balm and a gorgeous silicone-based replenishing serum from a new brand we’ll be bringing on. You’ll have to stay tuned for who that is.
BI: Best advice for newbies entering the business today?
AR: Pick a lane in terms of who your target demographic is and go after that niche with your business. Trying to be all things to all people usually results in diluted messaging and lower levels of customer advocacy.
MP: Solve a real problem that people have. Aim to have staying power and truly make a connection with consumers, solve a real problem.
BI: What’s something no one tells you when starting a business?
AR: Learn how to take things more in stride and to compartmentalize work versus personal.
MP: I wish I could go back and tell myself to listen to my gut and turn down a lot of conversations that I perhaps in my gut knew were dead ends, whether it was with potential people, vendors or platforms.
BI: What’s a mantra you live by?
AR: Abraham Lincoln is quoted as having said, ‘If I had five minutes to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first three sharpening my axe.’ I use this quote to think through how to continually be more effective and ask the right questions of my team that get to the right solution sooner.
MP: It’s something I’m trying to live by, more and more, especially as we grow in new ways and speeds that I haven’t experienced before. ‘I don’t know what I’m doing and it’s the not knowing that makes it interesting,’ by Philip Glass.
BI: If you were to write the note found in a fortune cookie, what would it say?
AR: Ask better questions – and you will get better answers.
MP: I’m half Chinese, so I can’t answer this one without laughing. Though fun fact, fortune cookies were invented in the U.S. and are utterly foreign in China.