In a world where everyone has an opinion, how do you know whom to trust? Review sites like Yelp, Foursquare, and Trip Advisor have built their business models on trying to validate this process. And while it serves some industries well, some believe they fall short with others. The person that searches Yelp for a date-night restaurant, may not default to the site when looking for a hairdresser, when new in town. This was Dr. Tausha Robertson’s dilemma. So like any true serial entrepreneur, she sought to create a solution to her problem. From that lightbulb moment, Primpii was born and has had its share of supporters ever since. Innov8tiv Magazine had an opportunity to connect with Primpii’s co-founder, after recently winning a Top Innovator Award at SXSW Interactive, where she shared her thoughts about being a first-time app developer, the beauty tech industry, and what’s in store for Primpii.
You wear so many hats. If you had to put it all on a business card, how would you describe yourself?
I describe myself as a multipotentialite! Multipotentiality is an educational and psychological term referring to the ability of a person, particularly one of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, to excel in two or more different fields.
What was your biggest challenge when choosing to become an app developer?
The technical know how was a definite barrier and the primary reason that I found a technical expert to serve as a co-founder.
Of Primpii’s many features, what is the biggest problem that it solves?
The biggest problem it solves is added relevance to online reviews. I can read a thousand reviews for a beauty pro and nothing will sway my decision more than a referral from a friend. Research supports the concept that word of mouth recommendations trump other forms of advertisement. With the app, I tried to make gathering the best beauty pro recommendations from your friends easy and available in the palm of your hand.
We all have a nightmare salon story, what specific story served as the motivating catalyst for creating the app?
I don’t really have a nightmare story thank goodness! But, I was tired of the trial and error process of finding great pros. I went to lots of ok folks before I found great ones and usually that came from a personal referral or I saw their work somewhere. I’m hoping that the app can cut down on the trial and error for busy women and hopefully prevent a nightmare!
Coming off of your award at SXSW Interactive, what would you consider as the next indicator of success for Primpii?
Continued traction and user acquisition. We are listening intently to our user feedback and will make periodic tweaks to address them.
Do you see your app as a medium to encourage and spread entrepreneurship among women in non-tech fields?
Yes! I don’t have a tech background, but I was able to make this happen. I’m hopeful that others will see this and move forward on the great ideas they have.
Seeing that this isn’t your first start-up endeavor, do you see serial entrepreneurship in your future?
What goals do you have for Primpii in 2016?
Grow our user base and build some enhancements that we know our users want.
In your opinion, why hasn’t any other source (Yelp, Angie’s List, Google, etc.) been able to bridge the gap?
None of them have focused on using the social map to create relevance and validity. We’ve seen some degree of backlash to general review sites and the possibility that the reviews are contrived and/or bought. And again, I’m not trusting my brows to a pro recommended by someone I don’t know. The stakes are too high! LOL
Would you like to see Primpii expand beyond the beauty market?
Right now we want to focus on conquering the beauty space. Although I’ll never say never to other markets.