Stephen Parslow is the CEO of SalonMonster in North Saanich, BC. SalonMonster is a business management toolkit for salons and independent stylists.
The 2023 OKGN Angel Summit began on January 10 with a group of over 45+ applicants hoping to take home the $225k investment fund. Over the past 2 months, this year’s angel investors have narrowed it down to the final 6 companies. These courageous founders have demonstrated their commitment to learning the capital raising process, and building valuable connections along the way. With the culmination of their hard work on the horizon, we caught up with each of the finalists to learn more about their backgrounds, their businesses, and the ambitious goals they hope to achieve if they receive the investment.
What prompted you to start your company?
SalonMonster was born out of a desire to help ourselves and our friends who, like us, were frustrated with confusing generic booking software that did not cater to the unique needs of the salon industry. Our goal is to create an online booking tool tailored specifically for salons, with all the tools they need but without the unnecessary features that bog down other scheduling software.
What makes you and your team the best ones to build this business?
Our team brings over 50 years of experience in the salon industry, and we have been crafting software solutions specifically for salons for the past 13 years. We have a comprehensive understanding of the challenges the industry has faced as of late, and of the changes the industry is experiencing with the increasing popularity of chair rentals and independent stylists. Our passion for empowering stylists is what drives us, and we are constantly striving to innovate and improve our offerings to meet their evolving needs.
Why should clients be excited about your business?
We are excited about the tremendous potential of independent service providers as entrepreneurs in our society. We are dedicated to championing these often forgotten professionals by equipping them with the digital tools necessary to build thriving businesses. Our app is designed to help independent practitioners manage all aspects of their business with ease, increase profitability, and reduce income loss. We believe that success should be within reach of every independent service provider, and we are committed to helping them reach their full potential.
What do you feel has contributed most to you reaching the Top 6?
I am hopeful that the investors can see our passion for this project and for the success of our customers. Our existing market traction has probably helped, and we have tried our best to learn from the educational sessions and mentorship that the summit has provided. I think having the opportunity to meet with a wide range of investors has helped increase their understanding of our work, and our chances of making it to the finals.
What has this experience taught you about the entrepreneurial journey?
Don’t be afraid to engage in the angel investment and venture capital community – it really is a community. As someone who has always bootstrapped their businesses I was very new to the ins and outs of venture investment. Through the OKGN Angel Summit I’ve learned a lot about how I can work with investors to achieve our business goals through the strategic use of capital, and received knowledge that I know will be invaluable in the future.
“Don’t just sit on the sidelines, really commit to participating in everything you can and make the most of opportunities.”