Have you ever wanted to pursue a career in hairstyling but were unsure about how to get started?
With a record $4.3 million Americans leaving their jobs in December, many are finding second careers in the more liberating freelance world. The pandemic changed the way we interact with traditional employment, with some aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to chart out their own destiny outside the confines of a stuffy nine to five.
Early bird companies like ShearShare have risen to the task, fusing convenience and autonomy, as they join the specialty marketplace meta trend that has largely replaced Craigslist.
The Unbundling of Craigslist
ShearShare is an online marketplace that pairs salons that have vacant spaces with stylists in need of premises. Think Airbnb, but for barbershops and salons.
Founded by Dr. Tye and Courtney Caldwell, ShearShare’s mission is to empower, facilitate job creation and growth, and reimagine how you work. By pairing salons with stylists, ShearShare can help preserve small businesses that might have had to close otherwise, itself a response to the pandemic and competition from major salon chains.
“We’re giving them more control and making it easier on the owner by letting them list their stations and suites at a time and price that’s convenient for them, tracking local pricing trends through the app so they can stay competitive, and offering opportunities to meet potential future employees,” says Dr. Tye.
This exciting new startup saw a 157% growth in its user base last year. They raised $2.3 million in seed funding in February, bringing their total funding to $6.2 million. COO Courtney Caldwell says this money will go towards “supercharging sales and partnerships, amplifying self-service for our mobile platform, and introducing new educational tools plus proprietary analysis for small business owners.”
If you’re considering a career in hairstyling, ShearShare also offers an exciting perk: they are the only rental platform that provides an automatic $1,000,000 in liability coverage for every booking.
“This was such a great find,” says host Crystal K. “Really smart idea for salon owners like me who have empty stations. Easy to sign up as a host and even easier to accept reservations. Love the stylists sent to us. Our team has been very happy with the ShearShare app.”
Bianca M says her first booking was for a photo shoot. “The stylist was professional, and it was an honor to be able to help bring her creative vision to fruition. I hope to meet more creatives and beauty professionals who want to work with us,” she says.
Aspiring or professional stylists can book a space for as low as $15 a day. “Wow, I’m lost for words,” says stylist Lilly J. “I can’t say enough how this app saved the day. I had never heard of it till another stylist recommended I use it when I was miles away from home. Customer service helped so much since it was my first time.”
C. Wiley says the ShearShare app saved her hours on finding a nearby rental. “So many choices and at good rates. Before, I relied on friends and Craigslist. So glad someone thought of this idea for our industry,” she says.
The Future of Small Business
With listings across 900 cities around the world, ShearShare is only going to grow. This company represents an important shift in how consumers interact with freelancers, suggesting demand for two-sided marketplaces that will continue to grow in the coming years.
Similarly, Chairish, a vintage furniture marketplace, has grown 55% in 2021, the fastest among its competitors. While industry leaders like Amazon, Taobao, and Tmall account for over 60% of the $3.23 trillion in goods sold in 2021, the success of small marketplaces like Chairish shows there is more than enough room for the little guy.
The stage is set for aspiring entrepreneurs to enter the game. And for those who want to pursue a side hustle or a potential full-time career in hairstyling, ShearShare may be the most cost-effective and risk-free bet.
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, more Americans than ever before quit their jobs due to three major reasons: 63% said low pay, 63% said no opportunities for advancement, and 57% said they felt disrespected at work.
ShearShare and other startups work to bring autonomy back to employees, giving them the freedom to pursue their dreams in an affordable and respectful environment.
Other specialty marketplaces such as LawTrades, Skyword360, and TaxFyle have also been gaining attention, providing legal professionals, content marketing specialists, and accountants opportunities. The rise of these specialty marketplaces suggests we’re on the precipice of change, living in a world with more choice in how and when we work and saying goodbye to the traditional work model forever.
This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.