In Conversation with Tracy Ftacek of Pretty Convenient LLC
Describe your business in a few words?
I am the CEO/Founder of Pretty Convenient LLC, a beauty brand focused on making pretty, quick and affordable for the consumer by empowering stylists and makeup artists to build their talents and financial opportunities.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
10 years ago I began implementing digital technology into my beauty/salon business. I realized there was a gap in the field of beauty between clients and stylists. Someone needed to develop a way for clients to receive on-demand hair & makeup services and artists needed a resource to accept appointments according to their schedule while still feeling supported with world class education.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
My career began almost 30 years ago as a Salon Manager with the opportunity to work side by side with the owner. When I transitioned into a stylist I began expanding my skill set as an editorial stylist & international trainer for John Paul Mitchell Systems.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I came from a family of hard working entrepreneurs. I spent years working with or in their respective businesses. Coupled with the mentor ship received from my original experience as a salon team member I believe I was destined to build a company and brand.
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?
I used social media, Instagram specifically, as our number one marketing channel and creating relationships with those in our local community. Our largest clientele draw is located in Chicago, 45 minutes from our headquarters. This is due to focusing on being social on social media. Commenting, creating conversations, liking & reaching out via direct messaging. Keeping mind we want our conversation thoughtful, natural and authentic. Coupled with posting inspirational quotes and attention grabbing photos of beautiful hair and makeup.
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?
As a female entrepreneur everyday brings about challenges. I believe it is important to always remember the majority of your day IS focused on solving problems and being solution driven. When you have a win it absolutely outshines the challenges. The most challenging time we’ve incurred is the close down during the pandemic. All business and money channels came to a halt. Fortunately for a small brand we had the financials to innovate with the pivot into Pretty Set Go subscription boxes offering go to hair & makeup products & live virtual education teaching the client how to maximize their new look. The Beauty Affiliate program for licensed professionals allows stylists to receive a portion of the profits for every referral sales from the Pretty Set Go boxes bringing financial relief to an industry as it continues to recover.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
I am most proud of the innovation I have created by changing the way consumers receive beauty services & the resources for beauty professionals.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
When vetting applicants I focus on understanding if they are a cultural fit. I developed a strong educational and on-boarding system that will create success, as long as they have a desire to be part of a team and open to new possibilities.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
The beauty industry has felt the impact of the close down. It has created a ripple effect of salons closing permanently. Due to the fact we have embraced digital technology & repurposed our skills to our Pretty Set Go subscription boxes we have disrupted the beauty industry and how they do business.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We will continue to launch our mobile services across the country and add to our portfolio of subscription boxes.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
That believing in yourself and your team before all else will create an environment of resilience that can help you rise above adversity.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
Women are so incredibly powerful and extremely capable. I encourage everyone to humble themselves and reach out to their network for support.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
I believe even more now than ever before, have learned how to strike a balance between true confidence in who I am and what I bring to the room versus trying to impress the world around me. This comes from not only experience but also doing the internal work to remove any self-sabotaging thoughts.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I do believe in an ability to have work/life balance. The best tip I can give is, no one can tell you what that should look like. We all have to write our own story and understand if we feel calm and satisfied then we have successfully created that balance.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
When I was 15 I studied as a contemporary dancer and had the opportunity to dance back-up on stage with the 1980s fitness guru, Richard Simmons.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
- First one is a productivity hack I learned this year from Brandon Bouchard. Do not work on the same thing for more than 50 minutes at a time, break for 10 & stretch then resume your work flow.
- Secondly, if you receive an email that only needs a quick response, respond immediately to free up your energy for the longer projects.
- Thirdly, delegate, as an owner you want your stamp on everything. Understand what each member of your team excels at and allow them to shine in those areas.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Women leading the way with thought provoking conversation and disrupting norms of society and the business world.