March's Pitch Competition Winner
Each month we have a Hustle & Heels Start-up Meet-up business event which features a new and exciting Pitch Competition feature. We always welcome some amazing women who take the brave step of pitching in front of an audience of more than 50 guests. At each event the audience vote for their winner. Take a read of the blog post by March's Pitch Competition winner, Vorke, about her journey and the launch of her new business Beauty Hunt.
Tell us about yourself and why you started your business?
My name is Vorke Kalusi and I’m the first of four children in a Nigerian household, so there is a lot of pressure to do well.
I have a BSc in Business Economics and a masters in Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship.
I did not enjoy my first degree and my masters was a way out from a job I hated - but I loved it. I loved studying the factors that influenced people to choose and not to choose entrepreneurship.
I started Beauty Hunt because it’s very time consuming to find “good” beauty service providers such as nail techs, lash techs, hair stylists, mua’s etc. online, especially on Instagram.
Beauty Hunt UK is an online directory where you can find beauty services filtered by distance, price and verified reviews.
Search, book & review beauty services with ease and trust.
How did you go about launching your business and getting your first customers?
I have not officially launched yet. The online directory launches Friday 1st May at 7pm GMT. I have been promoting via Instagram (@beautyhuntuk_) and my personal social media platforms. I plan to continue to promote via these platforms and will gradually move to Twitter and Tick Tock so keep an eye out.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your journey so far?
Believing it is possible. This is the battle of the mind.
I have big goals and dreams for Beauty Hunt UK, they’re so big it scares me. But at times, I feel doubt walking through my mind, fear starts jogging through then anxiety starts sprinting ahead. I literally have to stop my mind and go into blank mode and tell myself that I’m overthinking and the stories/scenarios I’m playing in my head about the future are not real.
I’ve come to understand my mind and how I get to this point of blank mode, normally through an overwhelming to do list. Now, I have my big goal at the top of my pyramid and a path of little goals leading to the top. Some steps have a question mark because at this stage I don't know how I'm going to get there but that's okay. I believe I’ll find a way.
What is the best lesson you have learned so far and how can it help others?
Just doing it!
If someone told me that I would apply for a pitch competition, actually do it and then win it, I would have definitely told them that they were lying.
You just have to go for it. Go for it with anxiety. Go for it with fear. Go for it even if you don’t know how to get there. If you really want it, go for it.
I am still in the beginning stages of building Beauty Hunt and already I have people and businesses believing in me and my business. Honestly, it's already everything I envisioned and more. I know there are going to be challenges and bumps in the road but I have set my mind to understand that everything that comes my way is only to make me grow. I'm ready. Hope you are ready too!
What future impact do you hope your business has on those you serve?
Beauty Hunt will be the go-to place to search, book and review beauty services in the world.
I don’t want bookings just to be made with beauty providers because of a large following on social media but a platform where consumers can share their experiences, encouraging a level playing field in the beauty industry.
I also have big plans for the blog and interactive section of Beauty Hunt. I am building a platform so people can learn, network, support and empower each other.
Why did you decide to pitch at the H&H event?
Quick story time!
One of my 2020 goals was to go to many networking events to get inspired and network with more liked minded people.
I went to a LMF (@lmfnetwork) event and really connected with Jen Scott (co-founder of HHLL). I asked the panel of which she was a part of about overcoming fear and she was the first ever person who gave me PRACTICAL advice. She said I should write out my fear list and face it head on!
After the event, I queued up to speak to her. After telling her about my idea, she told me to just do it. That's all she kept saying to me. Just do it! I could tell she believed in me. She told me about her events. I went online straight after, and got my tickets to the event. I saw the pitch competition; I was so fired up I just applied and paused worrying for a later date! I did it and WON!! So grateful.
How can people contact you to learn more?
Missed last month’s blog? Take a read of the featured post.