Beauty Insiders: Lifestyler

Beauty Insiders: Lifestyler

In this month’s Beauty Insiders feature, we chat to Anastasia Kenyon of Lifestyler

Have you ever gone for a spontaneous night out in another city, but had no idea where to start when it came to booking a local MUA, Hair Stylist, or even wax specialist to lend a helping hand? Say hello to Lifestyler! The brain-child of Anastasia Kenyon, Lifestyler is the latest booking site for Luxury Lifestyle services including Beauty!. The site allows you to log in, discover and connect with beauty specialists across the country to book at your convenience.

As well as running her own business at the age of 25, this certified Girl Boss is keen to share her knowledge and regularly appears on the panel of speakers at inspiring events, a couple of recent ones being All Bright Found Her festival, and June Sarpong’s ‘Women in Business’ podcast. As well as her recent business deal with Anna Jones (Hearst Group – Harpers Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan & All Bright) and Debbie Wosskow OBE (Love Home Swap & Allbright), putting her on the UK female founders map.

When and what made you think of the idea for Lifestyler? 

Pre-Lifestyler I owned a company called Palette. This company was inspired by my little sister’s love for makeup. Her resilience to drop out of college and pursue her dream as a makeup artist is why I’m here today.

I was really impressed by her determination and wanted to help her the best way I could, which in my case was marketing and management. I then spent around five days trawling the internet and social media platforms, asking makeup artists how they took their deposit and to my surprise I found that one of the fastest growing industries had no distinct market place. I then decided to lock myself away and using plenty of magazines and coffee, I designed the layout for my website using paper overnight.

Obviously Lifestyler is a new entity but the premise is the same; enabling creatives to be booked on a safe and collaborative platform. I guess the beginning of the whole journey is quite far from where we are now but I think that’s the best bit.

How does Lifestyler work?

Lifestyler is a social booking site which enables any individual to discover, connect and book their next lifestyle professional. A professional can create a unique profile that syncs with existing social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube & Twitter. We push all the content onto their Lifestyler profile enabling them to create a brand.

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Clients can book Beauty Services, Interior Designers, Personal Stylists and more on site at the click of a button. We transfer the cash into the professionals account, making it a safer place to book and be booked.

Do you have a background in beauty?

No! Not at all – my sister is the beauty guru in my family. But I’ve learnt a lot since coming into the industry, my contour is getting there but my brows just aren’t ever fleeky when I do them myself- It’s a pain!

Which beauty products can you not live without?

Clinique moisture surge, Max Factor masterpiece max mascara and NARS creamy concealer. Oh, and my Kandi Cosmetics Palette, they are morphe dupes at £18.99 and the pigment is AMAZING!

Can you describe a typical day in your life?

My day varies, I’m on the board of a top fashion agency in Manchester, own my own makeup brand and also have Lifestyler so it’s definitely a challenge to call a day typical.

The first thing I do when I wake up at around 5.30 is check the analytics on the site and make sure everything has been running smoothly and take a look at the new professionals who have applied ot come on site the day before, which is usually in the 100s. I then drag myself out of bed, head on a run and check emails quickly before heading into the office.

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Make-up is never part of my daily routine, I keep my skin fresh when I can.

The morning in the office is usually taken up with meeting with a new make-up or fashion brand and looking at new ways the site can function and evolve our understanding as a team. Having a tech company is a constant evolution, even the little elements in the back end can make a huge difference to the user experience. I then make sure our social is running perfectly with my marketing exec and begin structuring strategies for the next 6 months. We are opening up our first salon (you heard it here first) near oxford circus in January so a lot of my time at the moment is spent meeting with architects and interior stylists to ensure we have everything in place!

What do you think are the key factors to a successful business?

Persistence. There are days I was to throw my laptop against a wall and others where I am so grateful to be 25 and a CEO of a company. If I didn’t battle through the bad days or accept the challenges in front of me, Lifestyler wouldn’t be online and my new makeup brand Kandi Cosmetics wouldn’t be making affordable makeup for the masses! Being entrepreneurial and resilient is having a different mind frame and that’s something that myself, Debbie and Anna all share.

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As Debbie likes to put it, the “3 G’s; Graft, Grace and Grit.”

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

You can’t run a business without money, that’s for sure. I had a side job while running Palette, set up a second company Kandi Cosmetics (to run Palette) and was always chasing my tail. I am now in a very fortunate position where I have investors and backers but at the end of the day it’s still cash and therefore it’s always in the back of my head to spend it wisely.

Don’t ever start a company on the pretence of spending other people’s money, I didn’t and it made me savvy, scrappy and probably skint. I know how to adapt and how to push things with no cash though. That’s a real life saver when you’re dealing with other people’s money; they want to know you’re going to push it to the next level.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

When we got our first booking!

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I’ve been in the Sunday Times, I’ve got a podcast on iTunes and I speak at a lot of charity events, but NOTHING compared to the time when someone went on Lifestyler and booked one of our amazing professionals.

What’s the best thing about being a #GIRLBOSS?

Knowing I’m creating something for a generation and hopefully inspire other young women to pursue their dreams too!

Biggest highlight of your career so far?

The most exciting thing for me is definitely the merger. I met Anna and Debs at an All Bright panel where they found me and introduced me to this new world of business.

Within six weeks the company was signed over and I went from walking the floors of Selfridges spraying perfume to travelling to London for nine hour meetings, talking business models, redesigning brands and planning what I’d actually do with a marketing budget.

It’s crazy days like that, which mean more to me than going to fancy talks and presenting on panels, because that’s not what’s going to push me forward, knowing the ins and outs of building a successful company will.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Remember where you came from.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

Just do it. Failing to plan is planning to fail, so have an idea of where you want to be in a year and if you’re not too close, it’s time to get back to the drawing board. I know so many people who have given their lives to ideas that just haven’t materialised and it’s through no fault of their own. It can be a bad investor, partnership or even you just can’t handle the pressure. However, I think it’s important to know the difference of flogging a dead horse and being on the right track.

What’s the next step for Lifestyler?

Moving into the London market with our salon and introducing more professionals from so many industries onto our platform!

To sign up to Lifesyler website as a professional here, and visit the website here.

Have you caught up with our Beauty Insiders interviews? Read the Spectrum Sisters secrets on going from working in their garage to working with Paramount Pictures here and what creating a Vegan & Cruelty Free brand means to Em-J here