How Nicole Boyd used her maternity leave to create Prept, a personal style and beauty help service delivered to consumers virtually so that everyone can feel Prept
Describe your business in a few words?
Prept is an on-demand style + beauty concierge that matches women in need of style/beauty help to experts that can help in an affordable, personalized, and digital way.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
Having TIME OFF from my corporate job while on maternity leave! I finally had some time to figure out how to explore how I could solve a problem for women and one personal to me in my own life. I wanted to work with women, be my own boss, and do something creative/fun!
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Management consulting in business strategy and digital.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No! I thought corporate was the only way – less risky, secure, good benefits, good salary but it is so rewarding on the other side and in entrepreneurship. I wish I would have known about and explored this option more and earlier in my career.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
We really launched twice in the past year. The first being a soft launch where we released 15 free services to test out our concept and see if people would pay the price – and we confirmed that and more. We really relied on social media and word of mouth to market in a small way until we build out the people/platform. The second launch being a broader launch of our Beta digital experience via a large virtual event where we leveraged social media, influencers, partnerships, and more to really tap into Charlotte and the Southeast.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
I think one of my biggest mistakes to date was taking a referral to work with someone at face value without fully doing my due diligence on reviews, resume, looking at other options, etc. Many times I go with and trust my gut with decisions. Leveraging this partner needless to say did not go as planned and it was a very challenging process to not only work with them but move on from working with them and find a new partner. I learned to really put a vetting process in place for key partner decisions and ensure you pick partners that align to your brand and mission.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Definitely building a kick ass team of women that all bring creativity, unique perspectives, innovative thinking, style + beauty skills, etc. My team /network is a huge part of my company and I’m lucky to know them and love getting to work with them.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
Where do you see yourself in 1, 5, and 10 years! I want to know what their goals are and how Prept can be a part in helping them achieve their goals whether it be as a stepping stone to their ideal career or for the long haul.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
It has definitely been impacted per the amount of events, special occasions, travel, etc. plus just the amount of getting dressed/beautified that we are doing in general! We are lucky to have had clients in this time from working women to brides-to-be to moms /moms-to-be to everyday women…but we are excited for more clients as we have more fun things to look forward to and get beautiful, confident, & Prept for!
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
Growth in all ways. We are heavily investing in digital marketing and PR to get the word out + enhancing and releasing another Beta of our App with so many more features and an awesome experience that has been shaped by our users!
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
Keep going. It was a rough year for businesses in general, but if you were able to make it through this year you can make it through anything. My new life motto is “just keep going” for every week with late nights/stress/etc I see a glimpse of hope for our future and my goal is to keep going until we ring the Nasdaq bell 🙂
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
I wish I knew more about Marketing! I majored in business but Marketing is so multi-faceted, I keep reading up on it, listening to topics on clubhouse, finding hacks on TikTok to stay relevant in this space as it is ever changing.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
My family (and 16 month old Kennedy!), the beach, getting outside, running.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I do….but I must say I struggle with it. I am trying to get off my phone/computer and read, run, listen to podcasts once a day to just take a break and reset!
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
Hm….my team member the other day was surprised that I’m a runner. Before I dove into entrepreneurship and had REAL TIME I was super into running, while I lived in NYC every Saturday I would get in an 8-15 mile run. I eventually worked my way up to running the NYC marathon.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
1. Invest in an agenda.
2. Time block.
3. Wake up and get excited about a new day / opportunity.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
It means being a total girl boss and supporting other girl bosses that are in the entrepreneur game with you. Having a mission and vision and not letting anything (or as little as possible) get in your way as you work to achieve it. It is a huge community of amazing people hustling like you, figuring things out on the daily, learning how to navigate every aspect of business and growth, etc. I have never been so proud to be connected in this way to people nor made so many connections and relationships per a mutual respect and understanding of how hard we are working to bring something we are so passionate about (to our core) to life!