This Busy Hedge Fund Fundraiser Was in Constant Need of Quick and Clean Manicures. So She Built Her Own Membership-Based Nail Studio to Get the Job Done. Rachel Apfel Glass discusses founding and growing her membership-based nail studio, Glosslab.
In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Who are you and what's your business?
I'm Rachel Apfel Glass, founder of membership-based nail studio Glosslab. I worked in hedge fund fundraising for 10 years and was always in search of a quick, clean manicure because of my busy lifestyle. I always felt like manicures were errands; a very joyless and inefficient experience. I talked about recreating the nail space for years. After having my second daughter and ultimately leaving the world of finance, I decided to make it happen. I started Glosslab to create a true brand in the manicure space, to provide others with the opportunity to get a quick, seamless manicure.
What was your "aha moment" for creating this business?
Every week I would go to get a manicure, I would look for the "least gross" place. I knew something had to change! That's why I founded Glosslab on five key pillars: Hygiene, Efficiency, Innovation, Expertise and Empowerment.
What has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic and how did you pivot to overcome it?
Time management while raising capital was certainly a challenge – we had our heads down focused on operations and expansion but had to balance that with the time necessary to complete the fundraising process. I also had to pivot to keep the paychecks coming for my nail techs while we were shut down, so we created three proprietary nail kits, The Glosslab Gel Eraser Kit, Glosslab Nail Tool Kit, and Glosslab Mani Rescue Kit.
What advice would you give entrepreneurs looking for funding?
I would recommend starting with your own network. Bringing in investors is like bringing in a family to your business – they are investing in you and you are investing in them as partners. It's super important that the relationship works both ways. Investors are taking the bet on you, the entrepreneur in the beginning. I'd also recommend reaching out to other founders – this has been an invaluable network for me.
What does the word "entrepreneur" mean to you?
Truly, creating my own happiness. Taking control of my week, and pushing the business forward every day.
What is something many aspiring business owners think they need that they really don't?
A long elaborate plan, or experience.
Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?
I believe in the power of the following:
- Create your own happiness
- Connect with your customers + employees often
- Be your own customer
- Practice gratitude
Continue to do this over and over