Yazmin Cavale is the co-founder and CEO of GLOW, the first and only on-demand beauty app in Alabama that brings hair, makeup, and spray tan experts straight to your home. Yaz has amassed experience in the beauty industry over the past 22 years, working for major beauty brands – including Laura Mercier, Estee Lauder, and Trish McEvoy – in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
John Shegerian: This edition of the Impact podcast is brought to you by Engage. Engage as a digital booking platform revolutionizing the talent booking industry. With thousands of athletes, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and business leaders, Engage is the go-to spot for booking talent for speeches, customer experiences, livestreams, and much more. For more information on Engage or to book talent today, visit. letsengage.com. Welcome to another edition of the Impact podcast. I’m so honored to have with us today, Yazmin Cavale. She’s down in Alabama. Welcome to the Impact podcast, Yazmin.
Yazmin Cavale: Thank you. Oh my gosh, I’m so excited to be here, so honored to be asked. I can’t wait to talk to you and tell you more about my company.
John: Yazmin, your company is called GLOW Beauty on Demand. We’re going to talk about that in a minute. But first, share with our listeners a little bit about where you grew up and where the journey began.
Yazmin: I was born in Puerto Rico. I was there until I was four years old and our family all moved to Boston, which is a little, off. But yeah, we moved to the Massachusetts area, grew up there, loved it. Loved being part of the fat nation, the Red Sox. Just growing up like that was really great. I actually thought I was going to be a chef because that’s the route I was going to in high school and things like that. I went to culinary school. Got accepted, went to culinary school. Quickly found out that was not my calling, more of a passion than a career. I went into fashion and that’s when a lot of doors just seemed to open up for me. I was still in New England. I was walking through the mall one day and a guy came up to me and was like, “Hey, have you ever thought about being a makeup artist?” I was like, “No, I’m in school now. I’m in fashion. I don’t want to be a makeup artist.” He said, “Well, your makeup is beautiful. I’d love to teach you and and give you a job and take you all over the United States.” I was like, “Really? Okay, great.” Little did I know he’s the head of Estee Lauder, was recruiting a lot of young just women and men to come on to be makeup artist, be part of their team and really grow that demographic. I mean, it took me everywhere. Estee Lauder is such a great company. It owns everyone, Nars, Clinique. I mean, it owns everyone and Bobbi Brown.
I started my journey with beauty. I was still in school, did it on the weekends, make great money, got to travel. I would just remember doing a lady one day, sitting in my chair, completely transforming her, her looking in the mirror and crying. That’s when I knew I was hooked. Just that took me to LA, Miami, New York. I’ve done New York Fashion Week. I’ve done commercials, movies, reality shows. I’ve done it all. During my freshman year or sophomore year, my mom said, “Hey, so I got a job in Alabama and I’m going to Alabama and I’m going to try it out.” I was like, “Okay, great. Have fun with that. I will be right here.” She went and she was there in Alabama and she was like, “I love it here. I will never move. If you want to be with me, you have to move here.” I’m like, “What are you talking about, lady? It’s Alabama.” She was like, “You’ll love it too.” I would go in the summer times when I wasn’t traveling and going to school and I did love it. At the time, I was working for Trish McEvoy and she was like, “Listen, there’s a really great market down there. Southern women love beauty. I think you would be great down there.” I was like, “Okay, great.” Came down here, got a job doing just Trish McEvoy and things like that. My mom was here so I got to be closer to her.
That’s when everything just turned around for me. I met Jim, which is crazy because he’s from New York. I’m from Boston. We met at a lounge, fell in love, love at first sight. We’ve been inseparable since then. But I started this beauty journey here. I really quickly found out that southern women, it was a whole different way of thinking about beauty here. It was more cultural. It was like, honey, if you leave your house without makeup on or lipstick, you are not done. That’s the way they grew up here and it really said a lot to me. Once I got married, I decided I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. I was staying at home and people would find me on social media like, “Oh, I remember you from Trish McEvoy. I remember you from this event. I remember you did my daughter’s prom. Can you do my wedding?” I started freelancing right on my garage and that quickly threw from 25 times to 150. My husband was missing your stay-at-home-mom. I would throw the kids at him when he got home. I would be out on the weekends. He’s like, “Listen, Yaz, we need to buckle this down. We need to really figure out what we want to do.” We were sitting there thinking about why and what I wanted to shove into the world. I was like, “Yes, brick and mortar, one stop shop salon. It’s going to be great.” My husband is like, Jim, who is a serial entrepreneur, was like, “No, think bigger. Let’s think bigger.” I decided to look at different avenues of businesses that I loved. I loved an on-demand massage business and then boom. got the idea of GLOW Beauty on Demand.
John: Your business is called GLOW Beauty on Demand. People can find it. I’m on your site now. It’s a beautiful site, www.theglowapp, A-P-P.com. Wait a second. I just have to ask you a couple questions. First of all, Yazmin, I grew up in New York City, which is of course, a wonderful cultural melting pot, as is Boston. When I was a little kid growing up, we did have a very large and growing Puerto Rican population, Cubano population. Of course, all the other ethnic groups that had arrived a little bit earlier as well. What about Boston? I spent my first year of college in Boston. But I don’t remember how big the population, the Latino population was there then. Was it a big population when you moved there as a little girl?
Yazmin: I was more closer, like, Foxboro, Attleboro, more Providence, Rhode Island. That area has got huge Latino community, especially Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, more of the Caribbeans. Grew up with a lot of Italians and a lot of Irish people. It was just really [crosstalk]
John: Very ethnic, very comfortable. That immigrant spirit basically [crosstalk]
Yazmin: Hard working, family, food.
John: So what is it like? Mom and dad, when you were growing up, you said you’re a Patriots fan, a Red Sox fan. Mom and dad were big sports fans?
Yazmin: Yes, but my mom was born in the Bronx in New York. She was Yankees and the Giants and all that. Because I grew up in Boston, I’m the Red Sox. My grandparents, they moved too with us. One was Red Sox and one was the Yankees and it’s always been a rival like that. Now, in my household, that’s how it is. It’s the Yankees and the Red Sox, the Giants, and the Patriots. We’re always constantly fighting.
John: That’s awesome. Mom moved to Alabama. Did dad move down there too or just mom is down there?
Yazmin: My mom and my dad split up when I was very young. He stayed in Puerto Rico. My mom moved down here.
John: Got it, brothers and sisters?
Yazmin: Yes, brother and he’s still in Boston.
John: He’s still in Boston. Now you go to Alabama, you meet Jim. Jim’s a big sports guy who’s in the sports industry. Being a serial entrepreneur, he’s now in the sports representation industry, obviously and he’s very well, we know. We’ve had Jim on the show and his story is very compelling and fascinating at the same time. You’re now with a serial entrepreneur, you’ve got something big on your hands. You come up with GLOW Beauty on demand. Where were the gaps that you were filling? What was your original vision in how to fill those gaps?
Yazmin: Sure. I always start with, how can I solve a problem, right? That’s how you come up with these big ideas. I was in the industry for 20 years as a freelancer, but I was also a client. I just really found that we had a lot of issues when it came to getting the celebrity style services to every day women. There wasn’t any professional company doing it out there. The freelancers weren’t professional as it is because they’re creatives. If you wanted to find somebody, you have to go to all these platforms. Payment was a hassle. All these things were such a hassle and I was really sitting on my floor, like, how can I solve all these problems that not only clients have but freelancers have? We developed the GLOW app, which is really just a platform that connects clients, better beauty professionals, and services them with hair, makeup, spray tans on location for their weddings, events. Basically the Uber of beauty and we just help you get ready. It’s basically for every day women. I mean, yeah, sometimes we get really high profile clients on there. But it’s mostly for everyday women and we’re really proud of that.
John: I love it. It’s called The GLOW app. Again, for our listeners and viewers. It’s www.theglowapp.com. I’m on the site now, it’s absolutely gorgeous and, I mean, it’s hard to get off the site because everybody looks so great and you have so many wonderful services. But before we get into that, with Uber, there’s two things. You got to recruit the drivers and then you want to get the passengers. Explain what coverage, what kind of geographic locations you cover and how hard is it to get what your drivers are, which are the beauty experts and the aestheticians and then to go get moms at home that are looking for a little beauty upgrade for the day?
Yazmin: Absolutely. We started here, we launched in Birmingham in 2017. We started just heavily recruiting. Before we even launched or anything, we were recruiting beauty professionals. They go through a five step vetting process, which is phone call, interview, demo interviews, their kits. I mean, we go through the whole process and then they go through training. But we get them through different avenues, whether it’s social media recruitment, we partner with a lot of beauty schools so we get a lot of their graduates, word-of-mouth. We have referral programs. Then also, a lot of these beauty professionals, they come in with a clientele and they have their own following as well. Not only do we get those followings, but then we go out and do heavy marketing on social media. Weddings is a big lead generator for us. One wedding can generate up to 15 pay leads, two or three more weddings. Actually, clients are now paying us so we can turn over their bridesmaids into individual bookings that are booking us on a daily basis on the app.
John: At 17 you started it, kept it geographically tight in Birmingham?
Yazmin: Just Birmingham. Then we expanded to Nashville. We thought that was very similar to Birmingham, easy to penetrate. Quickly found out that wasn’t the thing. That wasn’t the case because Nashville is a transplant city. Everyone’s a transplant, it’s not real community there. I don’t want to offend anybody by saying that, just meaning that when you come, word of mouth is a lot harder there. We changed our strategy there a little bit. Then we have a few GlowPros in Atlanta. We have all of Alabama, Prattville, Montgomery, things like that where we have GlowPros at. But right now, we’re organically growing into these markets because people are searching for us on Instagram. They see what a great job we do, or they hear from their friend, their mother and they say, “Hey, we want to hire you to come up to the Carolinas. We want to hire you to come here.” Then we’re thinking, oh my gosh, we have such a demand there. Let’s put some GlowPros there and create a market.
John: It’s almost a little bit demand-driven, you’re saying?
John: When you feel the pull from a community, that’s when you get a GlowPro involved in?
Yazmin: Absolutely. Again, we like to focus a lot on weddings or group bookings like prom parties and things like that because they generate so many leads. We’re really excited about where GLOW is going to go next. We are thinking about going into the more Carolinas and the New Orleans. They said New Orleans is the second wedding destination in the nation, which is insane.
John: What is first?
Yazmin: Las Vegas. But there is Gatlinburg, which is I know. What?
John: Oh my gosh, so it is second. Let’s go over this. Now you’re an Alabama, You’re in Tennessee right now and in Georgia?
John: Those are the three. The goal is give me your vision for the next years ahead now.
Yazmin: Right now we’re really focusing on bringing on executive key roles, like a COO or tech, just really filling out our team in the corporate side. We are looking at the Carolinas to scale to next, New Orleans. Then we are launching a subscription model which will allow clients to pay one fee a month and get several services anytime they want during the month. We want to just create that recurring revenue for our business, make it more predictable. We do plan on raising another round, so we can scale and be all over.
John: For our listeners and viewers who’ve just joined us, we’ve got Yazmin Cavale with us. She’s the CEO and co-founder of GLOW Beauty on Demand. You can find her and her GlowPros at www.theglowapp.com. Yazmin, what services? Now I’m on your website. Of course, like you said, proms and weddings and big events are special, but it could be for the everyday mom too that just wants a little pick-me-up to get out and to glow a little bit out in the community. What services in particular are you focused on in terms of that your GlowPros offer to the communities that they serve?
Yazmin: Yes, we have makeup application. Any kind of application that you need, whether it’s very natural, basic application to a full-on transformation. We also do any hair styling, blowouts, updos, dry styling. Then we do haircuts for men, women, and children. We added that during COVID to help with the times. Make it really professional and say our GlowPros are all they practice safety in all measures. They come into your home. They ask how comfortable you are. They wear masks. All those things. Then we also offer spray tans, which is our number one service on the app.
Yazmin: Yes, people love them. If we’re coming into your home, we create a room in your room. We pop up an 8 x 8 tent. You go in there. It’s like a private room. We spray tan you, clean up. We get and we’re out of there in 20 minutes. That’s a complete confidence boost. You’re tan, you feel great. You can go on your vacation now or events or whatever, just a little pick-me-up.
John: Let’s be clear here. GLOW is for men, women, and children. It’s not just for women.
Yazmin: Yeah. Absolutely. For children, we do a lot of cheerleading competitions, where they need spray tans, pageants for hair and makeup. For men, it’s mostly like spray tans and then a haircut. Then women just everything.
John: Let’s talk about, we talked about this a little bit off the air and we have so many young women from both the United States and around the world we get emails from enjoying having great entrepreneurs like you on because you inspire them and we don’t have enough focus on that, I believe in mainstream media. Talk a little bit about your journey as a woman entrepreneur. Obviously, you had a world-class coach in your spouse, Jim. How was the journey in terms of sitting down at your kitchen table and writing up the first business plan? How you evolved it over the last five years? Explain how level of difficulty and challenges that you faced that you feel that are universal and could be helpful to share some of the lessons you’ve learned with other young women that want to become like you.
Yazmin: Yeah. When I started, I’m in the beauty business. I’ve met a lot of powerful women that really taken over the world. Trish McEvoy, Bobbi Brown, these women that are just fearless, they go out there that build these unbelievable brands and sold them. My mindset was never I cannot do it. It was always like I can do it because I was in an environment where women ruled, okay? Then I went into the tech world. That is a whole different world, very hard. The stigmas are there for a reason because they are true. I didn’t really have a hard time until I started raising money. The moment I started raising money, it really turned for me. It got into more of a dark place. I would go into a room full of investors. I would do my whole pitch. I have a great product. I have clients. I have a proven model. I have launched a second market and asking for money, pitching them. The one question they would ask me would be, “What are your kids do in the daytime when you’re doing this?” Or “How involved is your husband when he’s not even in the room?” These questions that I never even thought would ever come at me in a business setting that way, they were real and they were there. That was really hard. But you know what? That just pushes me more to prove that I can do it on my own. I decided in about 2018 that I wasn’t going to take any more money, really focused on my business, brought in more GlowPros, added another market, changed up my services, raised prices. I became cash flow positive in 2018, which is almost unheard of for a tech business at that age.
Then COVID hit. Again, a lot of people were like, “You’re about to close. You’re based on events. You’re da, da, da, da.” That just pushed me to really focus on the business again and put out services for men, women, and children, really marketed as a professional safe business. That grew, we got out of COVID really great. Because of the marketing and stuff that we focused on, 2021 we became cash flow positive again. The only money that we’ve ever taken was the initial pre-seed money that we had, very small amount. But I really want to inspire women to get yourself out of this box of, okay, I have to raise money with Sidra. I have to do this. This is A, B and C, especially when you’re in the tech business. I think you really need to focus what’s going to be great for you and your lifestyle and your business. I’ve always had a vision of having a five-star business. Very detailed. I want my clients to come first. I want my GloProws. That’s what we call our beauty professionals, my GlowPros to feel supported. I think having that in mind really made me think, okay, we’re not going to go this B, C round just now. We’re not going to invest around, we’re not going to pitch, we’re going to do it ourselves, really prove that we have a really great, not only model and company, but a great team that can take us so much father if we had the money. Do you see?
John: You mentioned earlier that you’re potentially going to raise more capital in the future?
John: I mean, it’s my feeling but I want to hear your opinion. Anecdotally from as an outsider and also dealing with having to raise money many times in my life and still having to go do that, it seems like the time since ’17 when you started the company, have evolved a little bit, thank gosh, and there’s more women investors now looking to back women entrepreneurs and they understand the challenges you’re up against, the sexism, this misogyny and all the other nonsense that comes with sort of the skewed opinion that you were facing when you were walking into rooms in ’17 and ’18. Do you feel that the evolution has happened and that times are catching up with young entrepreneurs like you that want to go make a difference in this world?
Yazmin: Absolutely. Obviously, I’m in Birmingham. It’s a little smaller here. But I think because I was so tenacious and me and my husband have been such big parts of this community, I think more doors are opening every single day. But again, you have to be able to talk about it. You have to be able to talk about going into a room and being questioned the way you did. These are all conversations that you need to have. But most of all, you have to have a great business. You still have to be able to execute, produce, and all these things, and not use that as an excuse. I want to create a business that people look at and can’t say no. That’s just where I am right now.
John: Right. How difficult along the way, obviously, Jim is a super positive human being. I could feel his energy over the computer screen and his success is unbelievably impressive on multiple times that he’s had that kind of success. As a first-timer at this but also having shared in understanding your husband’s journey, along the way, how difficult in terms of how many times did you catch yourself thinking to yourself, maybe I shouldn’t be doing this, maybe I’m not cut out for this or self-doubt or just at least just loneliness of the journey? Do those things seep in along the way and you have to figure out ways to overcome that?
Yazmin: Absolutely. I’d say that probably seeps in four times a week. It just does. Especially when you’re married to such an overachiever, high-performing visionary, that’s Jim. But you have to almost sit back and say, “What kind of CEO am I?” You can’t really compare CEOs because they have different journeys. They have different ways of thinking and leading. I think early on, me and Jim really had to learn how to communicate with each other through this journey. Because whereas Jim, Jim has an idea when people throw money at him, where I have to pitch, you know what I mean, before I can even see the person that is going to give me money. It’s a different journey. But you have to almost talk to yourself as this is what I bring to the table. This is why I have a seat at the table. Really focus on that and focus on your vision or your mission, which is my vision was to bring beauty to every single household, to everyday women. I think when you focus on those things, that doubt, it goes away for a little while and you’ll wait for it to come back in a few days. But I think fear and success are hand in hand. Failure, success, fear, success, all that goes plays a part. I probably failed a lot more than I succeeded, I feel like. But when you do succeed, it’s such a high because you’ve overcome so much that it makes it worth it.
John: Yazmin, how much competition do you have out there? Because I’m fascinated by what you’re doing and I don’t see why this couldn’t be in every community across America.
Yazmin: Absolutely. We’re really focusing on mid markets, like the North Carolina’s, Birmingham’s because we really want to penetrate communities. But my competitors, they’re focusing on the big market. A competitor I have, Glam Squad, they’re in New York, LA, Miami, and Washington DC. They’re focused more on big markets. They’re really like Uber where you don’t know who’s coming to your home, hotel, office, until they get there. We are a little different. You can really customize your beauty experience. I always say GLOW is like beauty on your terms. Where people say that but it’s really my competitors say that but it’s not true. We’re a little different.
John: The nice thing about having competitors now that you mentioned Glam, I have heard of them, is that that it’s not a zero-sum game in the business world. As an entrepreneur, as you know and I know, I mean, these McDonald’s and Burger King and In-N-Out Burger and Carl’s and everyone’s doing just great.
Yazmin: There’s enough to go around, for sure.
John: There’s plenty to go around. Obviously in the beauty industry, it still seems very underserved and especially, forgive me if I’m wrong on this, but I would love to hear your opinion in a post-COVID world, I feel more that beauty on demand in a home or an office is going to probably become a bigger thing even more than having to go out and mix and mingle and potentially expose yourself in other situations. I think beauty on demand sounds like it’s a perfect business to continue to scale post-COVID.
Yazmin: Yeah, I think right now convenience is a big thing and convenient people are willing to pay anything for because they’re at home already, because they don’t want to go out, because of the pandemic, because people are, you know. Having a service come to you in an easy mainstream way, in any industry, is just key. I mean, I use on demand services for everything, from [inaudible] and groceries.
John: Right, Amazon.
Yazmin: Yes, Amazon. I mean, I want it now. I want it here and I want it fast. I think like a lot of my clients. I just feel like obviously this is the first step. But I also feel like in the big picture. I feel like beauty companies can partner with a company like mine, give me products that I can just bring to your household instead of you now going to a Sephora or Ulta. That’s even a hassle now. I really think that’s the bigger picture. I’ve been in the beauty industry for 20 years and I’ve seen it evolve so many times that I think that’s the next step.
John: How hard is it to be a GlowPro and what does that mean? Is it a full-time job or someone of high quality to be a part-time GlowPro is for you as well?
Yazmin: Yeah. It’s really up to them on how involved they want to be. I mean, I have one GlowPro that’s making six figures a year. Then I have another GlowPro that’s a surgeon in the week. Then she does this one time a week because she just loves it. Then I have the mom of four that just wants a nice side hustle. It’s just it’s really again beauty on your terms, whether you’re a freelancer or a client.
John: Jim let the cat out of the bag a little bit when I spoke with him. He said that you both are in the same office building in downtown Birmingham. That’s so sweet. How does that work?
Yazmin: Yeah, he’s above me. I found this building early on. I talked to the owner, the builder, and he was like, “Absolutely, you can come on in, we’d love to have you.” We started remodeling and building that office that he’s actually in. Then I decided, I was like, “Well, I don’t want this. I want the bigger one.” I took the bigger one and my husband was like, “I’m going to take the one upstairs.” It’s so funny we’ll have a slew of people in here and Jim will just walk in, “Hey, babe, got to get coffee. I ran out.” [inaudible] I won’t be surprised if he’s walking by asking, “Hey, how are you doing?”
John: Yazmin, here we are and now the beginning of 2022. Thank gosh it seems as though the pandemic is starting to recede and that’s good news for all of us and everyone around the world. Where do you want to go now? How are you going to take it from where you are now to what your vision really dreamed about back in ’17?
Yazmin: Yeah, obviously, we’re here in the southeast now. I really want to start going up the coastline. The Carolinas, Virginia, even up to where I grew up, focus there and then obviously go out. I mean, I was just at the Super Bowl week over there in LA and just networking and talking to people. People are like, “Oh my gosh, do you have that here?” I’m like, “No, not yet.” It just frustrates me because that’s why I created a beauty on demand at because I want to touch as many lives as possible. But you need money, you need investors, you need a team and it takes time. Again, we are really focused on just building our corporate team, pushing out the subscription model, making our business more predictable so we can raise money and really scale. That’s the goal.
John: Who’s your business hero? When you study business and you learn about all different things that are going on and people that have started businesses, scaled them and sold them, who’s some of the inspirational role models that you look up to?
Yazmin: Oh God, Jim Cavale, for sure.
John: Great role model right there.
Yazmin: He pushes me every single day. No one grinds like Jim Cavale. It’s funny because he helped me start this. Once he took a payout for Ironshot, he had that time where he could really focus and help me really launch this thing. He did, he’s my co-founder. I’ve learned so much about him. He really speaks the language, especially in the tech world where I don’t know. I’m more in the beauty world. He’s more of the tech world and he was just like, “Listen, this is what you need.” He inspires me every single day, but also like a Trish McEvoy, she was my mentor early on. Just the way she brands and really just executes and she has a vision and she really takes it to the next level. I’ve always been a real fan of hers. But there’s been so many, Sara Blakely for Spanx. I mean, there’s so many right now that I look up to and really envision. But I would say my number one is Jim Cavale.
John: Well, that’s great. With that, Yazmin, we’re going to leave it for today. We’re going to want you back on as you continue to grow and expand your empire. We want to have you and hear about all the different cities you’re in and how the journey goes. She’s Yasmin Cavale. You can find her at www.theglowapp.com. You glow, you’re amazing, you make a huge impact, you’re a woman entrepreneur that’s inspiring a lot of young women around the world right now to be the next Yazmin Cavale. Thank you for joining us today on the Impact podcast. I wish you continued success.
Yazmin: Thank you so much for having me. This was great. I love talking to you. Yeah, till next time, for sure.
John: This edition of the impact podcast is brought to you by the Marketing Masters. The Marketing Masters is a boutique marketing agency offering website development and digital marketing services to small and medium businesses across America. For more information on how they can help you grow your business online, please visit themarketingmasters.com.