It’s easy to have a good idea—actually pulling it off and seeing it through is a whole different story, especially when it’s in a completely different field than the one you’re currently in. But Lauren Remington Platt did just that when she made a total 180, giving up her stable finance job and creating the groundbreaking luxury beauty-booking service Vênsette in 2011. We caught up with the entrepreneur and asked her about her journey, as well as what advice she'd give to anyone who might be thinking of taking the same sort of (career) plunge. Keep scrolling to find out what she had to say!
What inspired you to start Vênsette while you already had a stable, well-paying job?
Remington Platt: As a young finance professional in New York City in 2011, I was balancing a busy work schedule and a social life—using my lunch break to get a blowout and running from the office to Bloomingdales to get my makeup done before a social event. I needed a seamless and convenient option for professional hair and makeup services and I knew that if I did, other women would as well. What I kept thinking was: “Why isn’t there a Starbucks of hair and makeup?” I set out to change the way women think about beauty and make booking professional services more streamlined and accessible.
So the idea came out of your own needs?
Remington Platt: Yes, the idea for on-demand beauty came from my need as a consumer and an understanding of the needs of professional artists. Personally, I spent a lot more time, energy and money trying to solve my daily and weekly beauty routine. I created the original business plan based on my own needs and after ground research—spending weekends meeting with freelance artists at Starbucks and interviewing other professional women I admire.
How did you know you were ready to take the plunge and give up your job and that it wasn’t just a passing idea?
Remington Platt: I was Gilt Groupe’s first model and in seeing that model and other fashion e-commerce models take off, I kept wondering why the beauty industry hadn’t been disrupted or revolutionized. This was back in 2011, when Uber was just starting, but I knew that Uber and similar branded services were going to be the future. The last 10 years in fashion and beauty has been about e-commerce and various ways to purchase product online and I believe that the next 10 years will be about disrupting the service industry via the on-demand economy.
What advice would you give to someone who might be in the same position as you and considering something completely different from their current job?
Remington Platt: In the beginning, don’t follow the crowd and listen first and foremost to your intuition and gut. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and who have the perspective to understand things that don’t yet exist. Be open to learning and prepared to step outside of your comfort zone. Having a support group of friends and mentors in your new field will provide the necessary encouragement and advice you need to make that first step.
Nowadays, it seems like the market is filled with beauty booking services and apps. Vênsette was one of the first at the time—did that make it harder or easier?
Remington Platt: Being the first to market was challenging in that we had no roadmap to follow and had to create not only supply but also demand, as well as educating both artists and consumers. However, being first to market allowed us the freedom to build a model that at the time wasn’t like anything else!
What do you think sets it apart from the other services now?
Remington Platt: At the core, Vênsette is about the quality of artistry and the seamless booking experience. We are not only first to market for on-demand beauty, but on-demand luxury. Learning from both our clients and our artists in the beginning stages has been an important advantage, and today we are the largest on-demand service, currently active in four cities.
Remington Platt: Thanks! Vênsette is not just a beauty company, but a lifestyle company and we wanted to provide a word-of-mouth reference point for our services. Content for us meant getting insider access into the Vênsette woman’s world—not only her beauty advice, but what her passions are, what a day in her life is like, and how she can inspire other women. As for what’s next, we have exciting news on the horizon—stay tuned!
Want more career tips? Click here to read about how Charlotte Tilbury created her makeup empire!