Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to one day run my own business, I just didn’t know what in. I grew up in Dubai but spent a lot of my life in UK, completed my MBA and working in London for some time. After university I was excited by the business world, but nevertheless I was still young and naïve. I needed some money and experience, so I applied to one of the largest financial services firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC). During my time as an employee, I found out that I’m leaning towards the business world, not a corporate job on a desk spending 10 hour a day writing a business proposal and evaluating a company’s assets. Yes, I was learning a lot, and that was the main reason behind joining a huge corporation like that! but I was mainly learning to run my own business.
I had a small apartment in Westminster, London when I was working for PwC and decided to get a fresh haircut before going back to work on Monday. I realized that there were 2 barbers on the same block. I picked myself up and took a walk to one of them, I was greeted by a receptionist asking if I made a reservation before coming in, even though there were no customers waiting. I answered by saying that I didn’t make a reservation and that there was no one waiting! I was denied a haircut because “I didn’t book in advance”! I couldn’t believe that there was this big of a gap in the market and no one tapped into it. At that moment, I imagined how the app will look, operate and make money.
Few months later, I started brainstorming the name of the app with a friend (who later became an investor in the company) and landed a name, Shave Me. It combines a couple of factors, one of them is the fact that it has the word “me” which brings the customer closer and get a sense of belonging and attachment. The second is that it sounds like you’re saying “save me”, save me from the hair on my face, the hair on my head, save me and make me feel human again! From the moment I thought about the app, I imagined how the logo would look so and as soon as I decided on the graphic designer, I sketched the logo on a napkin and gave it to him to compose into a final, professional logo.
When I first started brainstorming the idea to my friend, who later became my business partner, we structured the discussion around convenience and how the app will help customers schedule their appointments and help barbers reach more customers. He played a big role in setting the strategy of the app as he had experience in organizational restructure.
There are a lot of opportunities and possibilities for Shave Me in terms of expansion and reach as there’s a necessity for a man to visit the barber at least once every 10 days, that’s why we want to make that experience smooth and hustle free. The global market is moving fast towards implementing technology into our day to day interactions and we are aiming to play a big part of that by influencing the “smart” way of living. In terms of expansion, we’re in the process of moving into different markets such as India, Kuwait and UK.