Co-Founder & CEO / Glamazon
Last year I was sitting in the audience of 9toThrive totally fangirling over two incredibly talented smart and gutsy women talking about their start-up. I scribbled way too many notes, cited all their juicy quotes and at the end of the panel, I swore that I would create an event that inspired millennial women, with trailblazing speakers that had stories to tell as momentous as Lauren and Lisa’s from Glamazon.
(On a side note the event is happening, click here for all the details)
Tonight we dissect Lauren’s #careerstory, and next week we tell Lisa’s story. Be prepared, there is nothing as exciting as a double #careerstory.
If the name Lauren Silvers isn’t already familiar, it should be. From Uni to New York and even Shark Tank, Lauren has never been afraid of hard work and has never been short of a good idea. In today’s #careerstory Lauren talks about growing up in Bondi, her time working for PR Superstar Kelly Cultrone and how she came up with the idea of Glamazon.
Lauren is the epitome of Australian chic, natural, all smiles and almost always featured with black manicured nails. She is the perfect poster child of the Glamazon lifestyle and you are going to love hearing all about her must-have tips for girls wanting to start their own business.
I dare you not to fall in love with this woman. Personally, I could read this over and over, this woman is just so brilliant.
Please meet Lauren.
Hey Miss Lauren, ridiculously excited that you are joining us today. Can you tell us a bit about where you grew up and how your experience shaped the person you are today?
I grew up in Bondi into a very supportive and tight-knit family (my grandparents, cousins, aunty’s and uncle’s all lived within streets of me). My grandparents escaped the war in Europe and came to Australia with nothing and both my grandfather’s built wonderful businesses. I was surrounded by entrepreneurs and grew up believing that I could create, do and be anything I wanted to.
There is nothing better than a supportive family. Where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
I went to Kambala Girls School in Rose Bay. High School was fun for me, I loved being surrounded by my friends every day. I think I was more social than studious though, despite being naturally ‘book smart’, I definitely didn’t invest as much time into my studies as I probably should have. I enjoyed building relationships and getting to know people – my peers and my teachers – and nothing has changed in that respect.
Sounds like you loved your high school, did the teachers and advisors play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
We had great careers advisors at school who actually told me to do Business Studies at University. However, being the know-it-all teenager that I was, I thought the careers advisor was crazy as I was terrible at maths so it would be a miracle if I passed accounting and statistics. I did one semester of Business at UTS before transferring into Media & Communications.
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.
When we were in Grade 10 we did compulsory work experience and I did mine at ACP Magazines (now known as Bauer Media), working across Dolly Magazine, Madison Magazine and Cleo. After work experience ended, I actually loved it so much that I requested to come back and help out during my Summer holidays. I loved being surrounded by fashion and beauty products, and assisting on photo shoots felt like my dream job.
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
As I mentioned, I started a BA in Business in 2008, but decided to transfer into Media after one Semester. In the first Semester of my BA in Media, I applied for an internship at a fashion and beauty PR agency in Sydney and decided to intern there 3 days a week (I decided this was more important than attending lectures, and so I only went to tutorials.).
I was then offered a part-time account executive role by the PR agency, so by the end of my university studies, I had 3 years of real-world PR experience, and I decided to take off to live in New York at the age of 21.
Ummmm, ok, so that is such an incredible story. What a great way to merge school and real practical training at the one time. Love it! Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.
When I moved to New York, my dream was to try and work with Kelly Cutrone, leading US fashion publicist who appeared on MTV show ‘The Hills’, which I ended up doing! I helped Kelly and her team out over New York Fashion Week and New York Fashion’s Night Out. I also worked with an amazing New York PR agency called Starworks Group. When I moved back to Sydney to continue my career in PR, I was lucky enough to work on campaigns with celebrities, actors, business leaders, models, and influencers. It was here that I came up with the concept for Glamazon when I was 23.
How exciting Lauren! Working at Starworks! WOW! So tell us exactly how you went from New York to where you are now?
Working in PR, I had to run events each week looking perfectly polished. I quickly became frustrated with the archaic process of booking salon appointments, which is why I set out to build Glamazon, a salon-booking app for girls on the go.
What is the hardest part of life at Glamazon?
The hardest part would be finding the right talent who have an aligned vision for your business. Tech recruiting is quite difficult when you’re non-technical yourself.
What does a day a typical business day look like for you at Glamazon?
In start-up land, each day consists of a diverse range of tasks and priorities that just need to get done. Unlike a typical corporate job, startups have less structure and are more agile, allowing us to adapt to change immediately.
A typical day for me involves an executive team meeting, lots of emails (responding to PR opportunities, sourcing partnerships, speaking with customers, communicating with stylists, chatting to investors, advisors and mentors etc), managing my team, ensuring the marketing pipeline is moving along, white-boarding ideas, screening employee candidates and staying on top of my goals and targets for revenue and bookings growth.
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
I’ve always looked up to my grandpa, as a devoted and loving family man. However, it wasn’t until I started to grow up and become interested in business that I realised how much of an inspiration he was as a businessman too. Now as a businesswoman myself, I am in awe of his ability to have moved to a foreign country with no money, raised such a wonderful, strong and loving family whilst growing a business that ended up employing 70 people before he sold it in the 60s. That balance is something I strive for.
Your grandpa sounds like a champion! What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
For any girl planning to start a business, I would say to surround yourself with people who had done it before, and with people in your specific space who can help you.
Getting a mentor early on was the best thing I did for the business.
List the most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration?
- Favourite Websites: garyvaynerchuk.com, and ted.com/talks
- Name an Instagram Account that you can’t go a day without checking: @thegoodquote.co @thefatjewish
- Favourite Podcast: The Daily Vee
- Favourite Netflix Series: Ozark
- Favourite all-time book/s: Losing my Virginity, #Girlsboss, The Four Agreements.
- People: Family! Twin Sister, Mum, Dad, Brother, Grandparents, Boyfriend, Best friend, Gary Veynerchuck, Ellen Degeneres, Oprah, Beyonce!