As CEO of Glamsquad, Amy Shecter is leading the build of a digital enterprise and a strategic shift to diversified, product-focused sales channels. Over the past two and a half years with Amy at the helm, GLAMSQUAD has more than doubled in scale, opened new markets, launched proprietary technology, forged strategic partnerships and recently launched branded products to drive awareness and revenue.
Prior to GLAMSQUAD, Amy was the CEO of CorePower Yoga a leading fitness destination and also served as the President of C. Wonder, bringing the brand from white space to a fully integrated retailer. Earlier, Amy operated in several senior executive capacities at DKNY, Cole Haan, and Tory Burch. Amy advanced up the merchandising, marketing and operations ranks in various leadership roles and began her career at Bloomingdale’s.
Here, she talked to CEW Beauty News about business during COVID-19, Glamsquad’s new haircut service and its partnership with QVC.
With in-home services paused, we used this time to enhance our technology platform, create a relevant service to continue to engage with our clients (virtual services) and develop a new service (haircuts) that would allow us to come out of the pandemic stronger than ever. Virtual services allow our beauty pros to share their expertise in real time with clients, inclusive of blowout bootcamps and makeup tutorials, all within the comfort of their homes. We launched Virtual Services to support our pros and give them the opportunity to practice their craft and to surprise and delight our clients with a Glamsquad experience that makes them feel empowered, connected and positive.
We reopened services in Florida the last week in May with a new haircutting service which has been very well received. We also added a new, heightened set of safety protocols to ensure our pros and clients stay safe and healthy. The safety and wellbeing of our clients and our beauty pros is our number one priority. We have a strict new set of requirements for pros and customers including required guidance on proper personal protective equipment (PPE), additional required certification for pros, and new cleaning and sanitizing protocols for before, during and after each appointment.
Given these safety and hygiene protocols and required PPE, Glamsquad offers a safer alternative to salons and blow dry bars. For many, in-home services will provide peace of mind and less exposure to big groups than would be possible in the confines of a salon. We are asking our pros to follow a strict protocol around proper PPE certification and sanitation and we expect our clients to follow a similar protocol by wearing a mask during the service.
Through Glamsquad, clients can feel confident they are receiving a one-on-one service with a vetted and safety-trained professional, and minimal exposure to others in the safety of their own home, patio or backyard.
We haven’t missed a beat with the shift to remote working. Cross functional collaboration, constant communication and positive energy has helped our team adjust to this new way of working. We start every week with a Monday morning squad summit to bring the team together, highlight wins and set expectations for the upcoming week. We have cross-functional video calls and are in close communication throughout the day to ensure everyone is on the same page, workflow is streamlined and efficient and we maintain a high level of productivity. We have a set Happy Hour every Thursday, which helps foster our sense of community. Whether celebrating a big brand moment or sharing fun old photos or recent favorite recipes, it’s a wonderful way to feel connected.
Our launch with QVC is part of the evolution of the Glamsquad business and the next natural step of building out our product and retail strategy. Since Glamsquad’s inception, the idea was always to evolve from a tech and services business to a beauty lifestyle brand. First was market expansion, service expansion, the creation of our own products, and now, the next stage is our retail distribution strategy.
As an at-home services company, we’ve been in the home with our clients since 2014 via one million services we have completed. We took that opportunity to develop the Glamsquad premium product collection, which launched in 2018 based on the data and feedback collected from over 500,000 appointments. The line was truly developed and curated in the home by our clients and our beauty pros; the line is now coming full circle via QVC and reaching consumers back in their home.
Glamsquad and QVC have great synergy as we both offer a unique, personalized in-home experience and a trusted relationship with our customers. We knew that QVC was the perfect partner to launch our products with because of the incredible platform QVC offers to tell our compelling brand and product story. The experience of Glamsquad beauty professionals helping their clients look and feel their best is the same emotionally driven response viewers get when watching the storytelling element of QVC. As a brand, Glamsquad has always focused on personalized experiences through our services in the home — and now we are extending that exposure with the perfect partner in QVC. We provide high quality experiences with our clients and expert beauty pros, while QVC similarly brings the creators and inventors directly into customers’ homes and provides a channel for two-way communication.
And while we’re unable to currently be in the home via services in all our markets, the QVC broadcasts and digital platforms enable us to reach large audiences of shoppers in their homes. When services resume, we expect this new distribution channel to continue to provide unprecedented access to a new consumer — as a multi-platform retailer, QVC has tremendous reach and relevance across broadcast, social, digital, and live streaming channels, which allows us to connect with the consumer wherever she prefers to shop.
Navigating this current landscape requires all brands to be agile, nimble and ROI-focused. Companies are working with fewer resources and new ways of collaborating, which requires keeping communication at the highest level and teams working towards specific goals and initiatives. At the end of the day, it’s all about focusing on what you do well and preparing for coming out of this stronger.
Aside from launching virtual services, we enhanced our content and communications strategy, with more imagery and messaging across all channels that highlighted wellbeing and self-care. We are focusing on creating content that resonates with our consumers, from feel good tips to expert beauty tutorials. We started an Instagram Live series with our beauty pros to provide an outlet for them to express their artistry and give our clients quick and easy tips and tricks to DIY their glam at home. We’ve been proactive about aligning with like-minded brands to extend our reach and provide our clients with relevant and engaging content.
Life after the pandemic is going to be different. Consumers will be different, employees will be different and shopping behavior will be different. We will be nimble and agile and support the needs of our clients as we navigate this altered beauty environment.
Glamsquad is a natural solution to the aftermath of this pandemic. For many, in-home services will provide peace of mind and less exposure to big groups than would be possible in the confines of a salon. Through Glamsquad, clients can feel safe and pampered while receiving a one-on-one service with a vetted professional, and minimal exposure to others in the safety of their own home, patio or backyard.