As the conversation of leading more women into technology-based roles accelerates, the workforce trajectory has prompt many to merge their former specialist skills with tech applications.
Iman Davamoni is part of the new era of female beauty-tech founders, transitioning a 15-year HR career to start Purely Polished, a premium business that offers beauty services from highly trained hair, makeup and nail technicians at home.
After robust demand and many celebrity clients (e.g. Dame Julie Andrews, Sophie Monk, Ruby Rose, Boy George) she’s currently amidst a capital raising for further growth.
Speaking with AESTOLOGYY Ms Davamoni offered an authentic discussion of her journey to date, plus advice for other women transitioning into large-scale tech companies.
AESTOLOGYY: How did you know the concept of Purely Polished was worth pursuing?
IMAN: At the time I was on maternity leave from my HR job, and running an online homewares store as a side-hustle. Internally, I felt I wanted to do something bigger.
I realised it was going to be a challenge to go into the salon with my baby, and felt prompt to look for mobile beauty services. Everything I encountered felt so ‘outdated’, with limited tech-based applications to make bookings, payments, and view reviews.
“Everything I encountered felt so ‘outdated’ with limited tech-based applications.”
I looked at what was happening overseas and saw how businesses were making beauty convenient by using technology. I then decided to create a mobile service with an Uber like-system, and built my MVP within 6 weeks – launching ‘Purely Polished.’
“I decided to create a mobile service with an Uber like-system, and built my MVP within 6 weeks.”
I spoke to some mobile nail technicians, and they were all very keen on the idea. I onboarded one nail technician to begin with, as I only wanted to offer nails as a service to test the idea.
We had our first booking within 10 days of launching the service, and it all snowballed from there.
“We had our first booking within 10 days of launching the service, and it all snowballed from there.”
AESTOLOGY: What do you attribute to the ‘success’ of your startup to date? What has been your biggest accomplishment?
IMAN: Building Purely Polished has been an interesting journey: there have been highs and lows. This year, COVID19 had a direct impact on our business. I had my second baby in February and was initially hoping to take a step back, instead had to jump right in and ensure Purely Polished stayed afloat.
I’m proud to say that 4 years on, we have shown some real growth. We’ve launched across Australia, and offer seven categories of services. We now we have 250+ beauty and wellness professionals on our platform, and have worked with with celebrities. We have also worked with 250+ leading brands including Canva, Atlassian, Westpac, L’Oreal, Equiem and more.
AESTOLOGY: What has been the hardest thing/s you have faced in your career to date, and how did you overcome it? Any advice for others?
IMAN: Purely Polished is a double sided marketplace, and a challenging business model to grow. Most marketplaces would raise funding early on to boost it’s marketing and scale quickly however we are still bootstrapped and only raising funding now.
It’s not been easy running the business without additional capital but looking back, it’s been the best thing for us.
We were scrappy and did everything ourselves and with little spend.
We now know exactly what to do and how to spend wisely to take Purely Polished to the next level.
AESTOLOGY: What’s one of the reasons you believe there are so few women in tech?
IMAN: I feel it’s mainly due to the stereotyping of the industry being male-dominated. This is definitely changing – by the time my 5 year old is ready to start her career or entrepreneurial journey, I hope to see gender bias a thing of the past.