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#BlackGirlMagic Moment – Ten Minutes with, Mobile Innovator, Sian Morson

by Tiffany Ashitey

sian_headshotRecently, Innov8tiv Magazine had a chance to catch up with mobile industry veteran and innovator, Sian Morson. If you don’t know, ask about her (or ask Google). Listed as one of the ‘Top 15 Women in Tech to follow”, by The Huffington Post, Ms. Morson is far from new to the tech scene. She has been involved with the digital scene since Y2K was a buzzword. So there’s no question of her staying power. Now, the Founder & CEO of Kollective Mobile has her hands full with the launch of her latest endeavor – Cast Beauty – an app that uses the weather to personalize beauty product recommendations direct to your Amazon shopping cart.

So imagine our excitement when Ms. Morson took the time to give us our own #BlackGirMagic moment.

  • What inspired you to become involved in mobile tech? 

I’ve been involved in technology for a while. My love for mobile began shortly before the iPhone came out. That pretty much changed everything but it also really cemented my belief that the way we communicate, do business, buy sell and engage with each other would change with mobile devices. I’m glad I had the foresight, it’s been a wonderful ride.

  • What sparked the idea for Cast Beauty?Cast Beauty Mobile App Dashboard

The idea for Cast Beauty came from a personal pain point. I relocated to Atlanta in 2014 and found that no longer being in the Bay Area with its cool, dry climate was wreaking havoc on my skin. I had to really get a handle on it. The heat and humidity weren’t something that I was used to and the products I used in the Bay seemed to have been rendered ineffective. After speaking with some women who’d moved there from other parts of the country, I realized I wasn’t alone and wanted to do something about it. So, the idea for Cast Beauty came from that experience.

  • What’s your favorite feature on the app?

Great question. I think my favorite feature in the app is the ability to add multiple locations and receive products for that location. I travel quite a bit and its reassuring to know that the app doubles as not only a weather app but an app that provides products that are appropriate for my skin and hair regardless of where I am. I also find the notifications helpful! They give me a reason to go back to the app time and again!

  • What is your favorite beauty product?

I have a few. I LOVE Neutrogena products and use quite a few of them. For my hair, I’m a Shea Moisture fan. The Baobab and Tea-tree oil leave-in detangler does wonders for my hair.

  • Where would you like to see beauty-tech go in the next 10 years?

I’d love to see the beauty-tech really hone in on personalization. It’s one of the goals that we have for Cast — making it even more personalized for each woman who uses the app. Don’t let the good looks fool you, we’re a data-driven personalization application with some serious technology working on the back end. I think this is really the way that beauty-tech needs to go. Each of us is truly unique, so we want products that are unique — not what everyone else has. I think we are slowly starting to see that but hopefully, Cast Beauty will be a catalyst for that, too.

  • Could the beauty industry be a catalyst for more diversity in tech?Cast Beauty Mobile App Homepage

Absolutely. I’m encouraged by what I see happening. There are so many shades of US and the Beauty industry on a whole is awakening to the fact that women of color care about the way they look. They care about their hair and they have dollars to spend. I’m hoping that  this leads to more diverse faces in the upper echelons of the beauty industry. But on the technology size, I’m hoping to see more people that look like me creating products, too.

  • Cast emphasizes wellness, as well as beauty. In your opinion, how deeply connected are the two?

While we focus on weather, we cannot overstate the importance of lifestyle on skin, hair and overall wellness. After all, if you’re using the right products but aren’t eating well, exercising, hydrating and taking care of yourself, it all falls apart. We try to compliment the product recommendations by including content that we offer in the Skin & Hair Care section of the app. We post inspiring articles and videos that focus on other aspects of beauty like spirituality, too.

  • What’s next for you?

Right now, I’m focused on making Cast the best that it can be! I’m considering a book on entrepreneurship as a side project but Cast Beauty is my priority at the moment.

  • What’s next for Cast Beauty?

We are speaking with some interested brands about partnering and using the technology behind Cast in their applications. It’s a very exciting time for us and we’re grateful for all of the support and great feedback we’ve received so far. We’re also going global! We’re rolling out the ability for the user to select “themes” for the app that represent them better as well as localizing in Spanish, French & Chinese later this year.

  • Can this concept go beyond mobile? If so, how?

Most definitely. Cast Beauty is the first step in a larger product offering that we are working on. Think of it as a lifestyle management platform. Because we consumers are mobile, mobile will alway be at the core of what we’re doing but there are great plans in the works.

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