The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team.
Nicole Boyd is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
With a decades worth of experience in the consulting and corporate world versed in business strategy, digital transformation, client experience, and more, I decided to dive into entrepreneurship to apply my skills to solve a problem for women (and one that I faced personally).
I am an avid problem solver, lover of all things digital, customer experience obsessed, and determined to succeed in all that I do. I am so unbelievably passionate about this company, our mission to help the everyday woman look & feel her best, style/beauty, and what we are building.
What did it take / how did you get started?
The everyday woman wants to look & feel beautiful for life’s moments, but navigating the world of fashion + beauty to look good is challenging and time-consuming. I experienced this problem firsthand through phases of my life from bride, to businesswoman, to mom where I wanted help nailing my look beyond what a box/subscription could deliver but more affordable than in home luxury options and thus created Prept. Further, I wanted to fill a gap that existed in the market and really differentiate by bringing style and beauty together into 1 integrated, enjoyable experience.
Further, the online shopping experience is not currently a delightful one as it entails search, different retailers, checkouts, new brands everyday, options that are not tailored for you, etc. I think there is a better way. I know there are emerging solutions, I research it all the time (i.e. The Yes, IG shopping) but they are not personalized in the sense of you can connect and work with a real person (and not just once but anytime you need help).
I have expertise in business and digital plus passion for solving this particular problem that is close to heart for me and thus I invested in solving it - as a side hustle first of course :) until I knew it was more of a sure thing to take the risk of quitting my job.
I know this is a need because I did a ton of market research early on with surveys to see if this was a pain point for other women (beyond me) and because we have have a community and paying customers that want to use Prept as a solution to this problem, not just once, but several times.
What does the future look like for you and your hustle?
Growing, enhancing the foundational platform we have built in our MVP iOS app launch (per customer feedback and goals to be an innovative tech company), growing in all ways.
What drives / motivates you?
Solving problems, helping people, a light at the end of the tunnel that is success, making money (crossing fingers) and being able to put that back into investing in female founded startups.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Be ready to take some serious risks and be okay with being uncomfortable, good things take time, nothing good comes easy!
Really fall in love with the problem, listen to your customers early / often - hear what they say they love but also ask the hard questions on what they want beyond what you are delivering
Be coachable and willing to learn from everyone!
Put yourself out there be ready to sell yourself, your idea, etc. and network!
Mental toughness…learn it, it is very important. Have to learn to take some no’s, critical feedback on your ideas, weather storms, etc.
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
Balancing trusting my instincts on people and really vetting who is coming along and invested in this startup journey with me!
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
How I built this podcast, YC Startup School, Crunchbase (to research potential investors and who invested in companies similar as yours), Tech Crunch, VC fund email lists…to name a few!
Side or full-time hustle?
Full time as of 4/1/22!
List the founders
Just me - Nicole Boyd (:
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
50+ all part time - contractors
When did you start?
Started research in Jan ‘20, Launched prototype to validate concept Mar ‘20, Launched app beta in Nov ‘20, Did complete redesign / rebuild and launched MVP Feb ‘21
How much did it cost to launch?
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
Bootstrapped, just now raising a $1M seed round.
Any call to action?
We are in the process of raising $1M for our Seed round to build out our team, optimize our national go-to-market, enhance our product, and move from sustainable to accelerated growth. Our goal is to gauge interest in this investment round within the next couple of weeks and complete the raise by mid-June. We are also looking for advisors to help us get to this next step/beyond.
Web - www.prept.club