Posted by Matt Register

Maher Daoudi, Founder and CEO of Eyelashr, talks about the “uberization” od personal services and his solution for eyelash extensions.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.


Matt Register: Hey guys. Welcome back to the show Texas Business Radio. TexasBusinessRadio.com. It will be on the website if you want to see the entire broadcast in beautiful high-definition video. Go there and do yourself a favor and go to the website. We’ve got a wealth of information on there. Get your questions in. 844-814-8144 is our 24-hour call-in line. 24 hours. That means call now. Call a little later. Call at 3:00 in the morning. I don’t really have an opinion on it. We’re going to get the experts on here to get those questions answered. Jay Curry stepped out for a little bit. I’m Matt Register, your host.
We’re going to join him here shortly. But in the meantime, here’s what I love about this business, guys, is you see … There is a million ways to make money. There are ways to make money in this country and in this state that I didn’t even know was a thing. This is one. All the women listeners out there will know exactly what this is. I personally did not. I’m absolutely fascinated by it. But we’re going to talk about the eyelash industry. Yes, indeed. There is an industry based on eyelashes, and we have one of the preeminent voices of that industry here to tell you all about it, Maher Daoudi.

Maher Daoudi: Daoudi.

Matt Register: Daoudi.

Maher Daoudi: Yes.

Matt Register: Yes, I absolutely butchered that name. I apologize. He is the owner, CEO of Eyelashr.com, is here in the studio. Welcome to the show, sir.

Maher Daoudi: thank you for having me. I appreciate you having me on the show.

Matt Register: So tell me about the eyelash industry because this is a brand new thing for me, and I’m absolutely fascinated that how big this industry actually is.

Maher Daoudi: Absolutely. So, the eyelash industry itself is … I mean, you got eyelash strips and things that people are traditionally familiar with. But what we do is eyelash extensions. So, an Eyelashr itself is basically the world’s first Uber for lashes. So you can go on the website, and in a few clicks you can order a lash stylist to come anywhere you want whether it’s your home, your office, a restaurant, a hotel, come to the beach, and we will hook you up with eyelash extensions.

Matt Register: With eyelash extensions. Okay. We’re going to back up for just a second. Eyelash extensions are what? We were talking during the break, and I didn’t even know this was a thing. But you were actually gluing eyelashes onto existing eyelashes and making them longer. Is that accurate?

Maher Daoudi: That’s correct. What happens is the stylus will come in … So the way the procedure works is the woman will come, typically lay down on a massage table, and then the stylist will isolate one eyelash at a time. Apply one synthetic lash using an adhesive, and they’ll do that about 100 to 200 per eye.

Matt Register: So how long does this take? Is this an all-day event?

Maher Daoudi: The first time you do it is about an hour and a half to two hours to get the application. After that, your natural lash is actually shed. So every 90 days, each lash will finish its cycle and shed. When the natural lash sheds, the extension will shed with it. So every two to three weeks, the consumer typically comes back in for a refill, which takes about just 45 minutes to an hour. Then they can maintain their lashes indefinitely with those refills every two to three weeks.

Matt Register: So today the process is you go to a salon that does this, correct?

Maher Daoudi: Yes. So right now, you go to a salon. You have to drive there. You got to call around, try to find an appointment, and it takes a while, and you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get. With Eyelashr, it’s not that way.

Matt Register: That’s right. So now, with Eyelashr, what you do is you have an app that’s similar to an Uber. Walk us through that again. So you go in there and say, “I want eyelashes,” and they find one and they come right to you. Is that accurate?

Maher Daoudi: It’s like in two minutes, you can book. So you go in. You’re going to select the date that you want and then you’re going to select the service you want. Whether you want classic lashes or volume lashes. Then you’re going to see a set of time. You put your location that you want the lash application at. Then you’ll see a bunch of times that you can choose. Then we’ll send the lash stylist out to your place.

Matt Register: So this could literally be an airport or restaurant? It doesn’t have to be your house, right?

Maher Daoudi: We’ve actually done that. We’ve actually went to a restaurant and done lashes at a restaurant for somebody that was about to take off on a flight. So they’re like, “Hey, can you come over to the restaurant and do the lashes so I can go on the flight?” We’re like, “Yeah, sure.” So we showed up there, and you could get lashes and as little as 45 minutes from now.

Matt Register: That’s absolutely fascinating. Now, I want you to tell my audience the number you told me during the break. How big is this industry? Because I had no idea.

Maher Daoudi: Well, I mean, if you calculate the whole planet and how big the potential is for this, if’s just about 1% of the planet did the service, it’s about $60 billion, with a B.

Matt Register: Dude, nice. For eyelashes?

Maher Daoudi: For eyelash extensions. That’s right.

Matt Register: So you’ve been in the eyelash industry for quite a while now. Tell me about Xtreme Lashes, because that was your first step into the eyelash industry.

Maher Daoudi: Correct, yeah. So me and my family started Xtreme Lashes back in 2005. And that business, what we do is we train salons and spas and stylists how to do the service, and then we supply them with the product. So we started that in 2005. In just two years, scaled that into a franchise system in 20 countries. To date, we’ve trained over 35,000 stylists that we have at present in 50 countries and franchises and officially 26 to 30 countries right now.

Matt Register: So you guys can claim to be one of the founding fathers of the eyelash industry, huh?

Maher Daoudi: Yeah, we’re pretty much the leaders. Xtreme was the leader in the industry, in the eyelash extension supply and training industry. We kind of paved … We pretty much created … We led this market and grew it worldwide.

Matt Register: Interesting. One of the really fascinating things about your business is, as we were doing research for this, is the niche industry IT space, right?

Maher Daoudi: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt Register: It’s very simply, you guys have created the platform that will allow the B2C connection using that, and the platform for both the consumer side and platform both for the business side. That platform now, with some minor tweaks has application across other niche type industries. I think gone are the days or numbered are the days of the platforms that cover everything for everybody. Walk me through your thought process before you went into this because this is … I find this as a fascinating trend in the IT space.

Maher Daoudi: Sure. So I basically created a platform called Skillvo, which is a social network marketplace for all service professionals. So that’s a wide place. Any business owner can go on there. It’s free, and they can set up a profile and market themselves on there. Think of it as like a blue-collar LinkedIn, okay?

Matt Register: Yeah.

Maher Daoudi: Then while I’m doing that and being in the lash extension industry and looking at the market, right now, what’s happening is you just have two sides. You can either be an independent and service provider.

Matt Register: Sure.

Maher Daoudi: And you’ve got to do everything yourself. You got to do the marketing, the advertising.

Matt Register: You’re an entrepreneur at that point. You get to do all of it, right?

Maher Daoudi: Yeah, you got to do all of it with no support, or you’re going to be an employee and you’re going to work for somebody, right?

Matt Register: Okay.

Maher Daoudi: Well the middle ground, now with technology, with what we’ve created whether it’s the Uber out there or the Uber for lashes, like Eyelashr.

Matt Register: Sure.

Maher Daoudi: We’ve created technology and support structures where you can be independent. But you also get the advertising, the marketing. You get a profile system. You have a call center.

Matt Register: Customer leads, the back office, everything.

Maher Daoudi: Back office. You know, a lot of these service providers are busy doing the service. They can’t do the sales. They can’t do the marketing, right?

Matt Register: Sure.

Maher Daoudi: Then they lose those customers. This gives them the ability to get that.

Matt Register: No, I understand. Then the customer now gets added convenience of being able to not have to go to the salon, and they get known, vetted, trusted service providers on there.

Maher Daoudi: Absolutely.

Matt Register: Talk to me a little bit about some of the qualifications needed for it to be a … I guess an eyelash-

Maher Daoudi: Eyelashr stylist.

Matt Register: A stylist out of your system. What kind of qualifications are they going to need?

Maher Daoudi: Sure thing. So, number one, they all have to do a demo, right? They have to do a live demo because ultimately what we’re selling is trust that anybody you from the system is going to do a great job.

Matt Register: No, that’s right. Well that’s got to be there, right?

Maher Daoudi: It’s got to be there. So they’re vetted. They do a demo. They’re all experienced. We turn down probably, for everyone we accept, we turn down three or four because they have to be great stylists, number one. They’re insured. They’re licensed, background checked. So these are the top stylists in the industry. What’s great is you get the top stylist for the same price you would go get at the salon or spa, and really, at the salons. The reason that is, is because they can earn more.

Matt Register: Yeah.

Maher Daoudi: They can earn two to four times more with us, and the consumer still pays the same, and they get much more convenience because we come to them anyway they want.

Matt Register: No, makes a whole lot of sense. Now you started in Houston. But you are in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas, correct?

Maher Daoudi: Absolutely. Right now, we’re growing all over the country actually. We’ve got applicants and stylists. We’re turning on all over the country. So in a couple months, we’ll probably be in about 20-30 different markets.

Matt Register: All right. Great. Maher-

Maher Daoudi: Daoudi.

Matt Register: Daoudi.

Maher Daoudi: Maher Daoudi.

Matt Register: Daoudi.

Maher Daoudi: And that’s Eyelashr.com.

Matt Register: Eyelashr.com. E-Y-E-L-A-S-H-R.com. We’re going to have that link right from TexasBusinessRadio.com. Maher, thank you for joining us. We got to go pay some bills. We’ll be back right on the other side of the break.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

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