This is post is part of iluk’s Grow With Us series (check out last week’s here), where we unveil a little bit more about who we are as a company, the founders behind the scenes, what we are building, our values, and what we stand for. iluk personally vets each salon we feature on the iluk app. This means that before a salon makes it onto the iluk app, we go and check it out in-person. We personally meet with each of our salon partners.
At iluk, we only partner with the best salons so that users can book a last-minute appointment with the full reassurance that the place that they are going is going to be awesome. For us, the best salon means amazing service quality (no botched haircuts or half-fast painful bikini waxes please!), a kick-ass owner and staff (we don’t want our users dealing with unfriendly stylists), a clean and nice-looking salon space (SQUEAKY CLEAN is a must), use of high-quality products, alignment with our values (we want to feature salons that are inclusive and who employ and cater to marginalized communities).
While we only work with salons that have a minimum rating of 4.2 on Google, online research just doesn’t suffice. Photos can be deceiving and online content doesn’t give the full picture. We know that we need to check out each salon in-person and meet with the salon and barbershop owners in order for a place to pass our test and be deemed as iluk-worthy. This is why we personally meet each of our salon partners.
Nothing like an in-person vibe check
For myself and Karine, we have pounded the pavement numerous times, launching different Montreal and Toronto neighbourhoods. We have scoped out, visited and pitched to hundreds of different salons. We are proud to say that we can now tell pretty much immediately as to whether a salon or barbershop is one we really want to work with and feature on the app.
Here are some tell-tale signs we look for off the bat that suggests a salon meets the iluk standards:
- We are kindly greeted the moment we walk through the door
- The salon is bright, well-designed and spotless
- Clients that are already in the salon are being well-treated
- The owner or manager takes the time to speak with us. They do not treat us like door-to-door vacuum salespeople (this has happened many times)
- The salon or barbershop is open-minded and forward-thinking. They clearly understand iluk’s value proposition. They see us as a partner, as opposed to an annoyance or threat.
- PASSION AND AMBITION – nothing gets us more excited when we meet a salon or barbershop where the owner and their team clearly love what they do. We also love seeing salons with an entrepreneurial vision and ambitions to innovate and grow.
Not a Fit? Walk Away!
When Karine and I first started pitching salons we thought we had to convince them to work with us at all costs. Now, we’ve come to know better. Even if we manage to sign a salon, if they are at all reluctant or skeptical, this will ultimately hurt us and create a negative experience for our users. If a salon or barbershop doesn’t share our vision and excitement, we have learned to walk away. Moreover, we want to prominently feature partners who are just as enthusiastic about being on iluk as we are!
It sometimes happens that salons aren’t a good fit for the iluk app for other reasons. For example, some 1-person businesses are unable to take on new clients and accept last-minute requests. That’s okay! We have come to learn that not every salon can be an iluk partner (no matter how much we would like them to be). Instead, we turn our focus towards our partners who want to work WITH us. We know that together, we will be able to innovate the way in which people get in the chair last-minute. And ultimately, that is a very exciting thing!
So, check out our amazing vetted iluk partners. We can vouch for them!