Natalia Pchelina

CITY: Melbourne

Business: Beauro

What? A platform to find, book and pay for hair and beauty appointments at top salons and spas in town.

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We help women look and feel good at all times by accessing quality hair, beauty and spa services - anytime, anywhere, on their terms.

We know that a simple blowout can do wonders to how we feel, making us strong and confident, giving us superpowers to take on the world. Beauro makes it easy to obtain those superpowers in just one click. We aim to rid women of the beauty booking hassle, taking one thing off the plate and empowering them to do their best while looking fabulous at all times.

How did the idea for your business first come about?

I couldn’t see why, in a world where practically everyone owns a smartphone and virtually everything can be accessed online, there wasn’t a hassle-free mobile solution to finding and booking beauty services. I wanted to create a curated directory of quality salons and spas that could act as one point of reference for women when it comes to choosing a beauty venue, and make it super easy for them to book appointments all in one place. I wanted to offer convenience to customers while enhancing the business of our partner salons and spas.

When did you have a ‘f*ck-it moment’ and decide you were going to go all-in and start your business?

I came up with the idea for Beauro and started working on it while I was still studying at uni. When deciding whether to give Beauro a go once I graduate, or look for a full-time graduate position, I realised that I was going to regret it for the rest of my life if I don’t even try making Beauro happen. There are definitely pros and cons to starting a business young, but at the end of the day when you start a business at 22, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

What were some major challenges you had when starting your business? And how did you overcome them?

I didn’t set real, achievable goals at the beginning and for a long time. I had this huge, blue-sky idea of where we are going and, as a result, the plan on how to get there was always a bit all over the place. I tried to do a lot of things at the same time but didn't always see the results on the other end, didn’t know what metrics to focus on, how to measure them. Only recently I learned how to take a step back and set achievable monthly goals, backed up and measured in real numbers.

What has been your biggest “pinch me” moment?

I have a ‘pinch me’ moment every time one of our users emails us to say how much they love Beauro. Then I remember that I’ve created something out of nothing and it made someone’s day better - even if it’s just one manicure at a time. There is no better feeling than that.

Starting a business can be gruelling - what keeps you motivated, and keeps you going?

I know that so far we have covered only 1% of what we can do with Beauro and the change we can create when it comes to giving women the tools to feel confident and good at all times on their own terms. The remaining 99% keeps me going.

How do you create a work-life balance?

I love working so I rarely feel out of balance even if I have to work long hours. But I do try to keep weekends partially work-free and leave time for things like reading a book or catching up with friends. I also never compromise on my health. My business is important but if I’m not healthy, the business is going to suffer too so I never forgo food and proper sleep, which are the pillars that keep me healthy and balanced.