In 2011, Melody McCloskey launched Styleseat, an app that has been a dream for anyone looking to book a beauty appointment. Styleseat is the largest destination of beauty and wellness services. It all started with an idea, and today the company looks forward to making $1.7 billion in the next year.
Before graduating from the University of California-Davis, a counselor encouraged her to go into Public Relations. She took a chance on the advice and landed in tech public relations. McCloskey quickly realized it wasn’t a great fit, but learned that she wanted to be an entrepreneur. Her drive for creating her own business began.
A native of the East Bay, which is right outside San Francisco, McCloskey was obsessed with the idea of offering a service to both beauty professionals and those looking for one. It all started back in the early 2000s, when she would meet up with like minded friends and talk about acquisitions, fundraisers, retentions and hiring developers. “I was really obsessed with every move that I made, whether it was a career move or event that I went to,” McCloskey said.
Her early steps to creating Styleseat started with networking and learning as much as she could. McCloskey explained that it helped, “Meeting as many people as I possibly could.” She said, “I wanted to learn. I wanted to meet people.” She attended any relevant conferences that she could and meet ups to network, which created her own community of professionals she could learn from.
So what would be the next step? She had an education. She had a network. She had a great idea. But like many entrepreneurs, she battled fear and her confidence to execute the idea. “I was overwhelmed with these thoughts, constantly. I thought, well, I can’t actually do it. I’m not smart enough. I’m not an engineer. I didn’t go to an equity school. I don’t know 100% of what’s needed to start this company. I never started a company before,” were the thoughts that ran across her mind. “Every time I would dream about it, I would also have 100 reasons why I shouldn’t do it,” she explained. This type of thinking stopped her for a long time, two years before she even went for it. What changed? McCloskey said it was the thought of someone else launching the app that pushed her into high gear. “That would upset me more than if I started this company and failed,” McCloskey expressed.
To get Styleseat off the ground, McCloskey began the journey to raising her first rounds of funds, which totaled $700k. She started at an open Angel forum where Travis Kalanick, co-founder of Uber, also pitched. Kalanick later offered to get her name out to investors. Her advice to entrepreneurs on starting the fundraising process, “I should have fundraised faster. I waited too long because I was fearful.” McCloskey explained getting hung up on metrics and increasing numbers. She could have started her fundraising process six months sooner if she didn’t have doubts, so instead, she bootstrapped it. She added, “When you start the process [pitching], you start the process. You have to get as many meetings in the first two weeks as you possibly can. The appearance of a deal is more important than the substance of a deal.” The secret is to have people talking and to get them interested. Once she received her first funding, she was able to hire a couple of people for her team. Styleseat now has 60 employees and has raised $40 million. “It is hard. Every time you go through it, it’s the hardest experience,” she said on pitching to venture capitalists.
As McCloskey continues to grow her team, she keeps her eyes out for self-starters who are tenacious and data driven. As a CEO, she says her best qualities are “speed and good decision making. Somewhere in between is the right choice.”
Bella Magazine and Celebrity Page hosted Hollywood’s hottest event during Emmy week. Stars walked the red carpet at Sofitel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills for a night of celebrating and champagne toasting. Not only did the event celebrate those nominated for an Emmy, but it was the official launch party for Bella Los Angeles. Patrika Darbo (Acting Dead), Renee Lawless (The Haves and The Have Nots), Lynn Whitfield (Greenleaf), Lexi Atkins (Ted 2), Laura Linda Bradley (The Flash), Laura Slade Wiggins (Shameless), and Charley Koontz (CSI: Cyber) were just a few celebrities that attended.
Courtenay Hall, Editor-In-Chief of Bella Magazine, spoke with Millionaire Match about her excitement to be launching on the west coast. Hall and her husband Daniel Hall previously launched Bella NY. “I’ve always wanted to have a magazine in LA. I love California, and what best time to launch than Emmy week,” Courtenay said. The two did not disappoint with the guest list. The line to enter the event was long but worth it.
Millionaire Match asked the star-studded guest list what they loved most about Emmy week. “The clothes,” Renee Lawless said with excitement. Since most of the attendees know each other, they all look forward to seeing the dresses, suits, and the shoes. We had to ask about beauty secrets and staying comfortable. Lawless said she likes to carry a pair of flats for those long award nights.
Aside from the red carpet fashion, many were excited to attend the parties. Also during Emmy week, Beyonce was in town for her sold out concert. Laura Slade Wiggins and Atkins both regretted not being able to see the performer but wanted to share their favorite Beyonce song. “Yes, I love Queen Bey,” Atkins said. “Who Runs the World! The girl song,” Atkins said on her favorite song. Wiggins shared, “Partition. I sing the heck out of that song in my car.”
We wish all those who were nominated and won an Emmy a congratulations! For a full list of winners, visit here.
Botched is one of the most watched shows on Sunday night with Dr. Terry Dubrow and Dr. Paul Nassif coming to the rescue. They have fixed every plastic surgery disaster imaginable. Now, Terry has a new partner in crime. Well, sort of. Terry and his wife Heather, who you can see on another popular show, Housewives of Orange County, decided to sit down and pen a book to answer all your questions about plastic surgery, aging, and beauty treatments. Their new book, Dr. and Mrs. Guinea Pig Present the Only Guide You’ll Need to the Best Anti-Aging Treatments, will also be available in audio with a little extra commentary from both Terry and Heather.
MillionaireMatch was happy to get the scoop on which treatments do and don’t work. From what we hear, many treatments are a waste of money. “He actually believes nothing works, and I believe everything works. I want too,” Heather said about her husband’s skepticism. “Terry didn’t even believe cold medicine worked,” she joked. The beauty industry is a multi-million dollar industry, but only 15% of the products and services actually work. This was the reason both Terry and Heather wanted to write the book. They wanted to help others make better decisions before investing money or going under the knife for the next big craze. Heather explained, “We are teaching you how to read the ingredients and be a savvy consumer.”
The show Botched has brought on many people who were seeking corrective plastic surgery. It’s also exposed lots of methods that have huge promises but fail. On what was the craziest thing the two tried, “The leeches.” Terry explained, “The truth is it totally hurts.” Terry had been telling patients for some time that using blood-sucking leeches would not hurt due to using local anesthetics. After giving it a try himself, he had a total mind change. “It’s incredibly unpleasant,” he said.
In Hollywood, the popular treatments may get you Kylie Jenner’s lips or a back-end like J Lo. Another popular procedure is Botox. Terry gave us his thoughts on starting young on these lunch-time office treatments. Terry sides on starting great skin care in your 20s. If you know it’s hereditary to have lines, then Botox will prevent that from happening as you get older. “If you want to look your best for the rest of your life, start a skincare program now [in your 20s],” he said.
Heather and Terry shared their thoughts on one other popular gimmick, cold sculpting or as some call it, fat freezing. On whether this was a good investment, Terry said it depends on several factors such as age, fat levels, and type of skin. The procedure may work on 10% out of the 100% that try it.
Before you book your procedure, Heather said, “You have to know what the risks are.” Terry tried the cold sculpting on himself and experienced the painful downsides of the procedure, which we all get to see on this season of Botched. “Plastic surgery is dangerous. If you do it, you have to understand the risks, benefits like all of the other treatments in here. You have to know what you are getting yourself into. Make sure you are a good candidate to minimize your risks,” said Terry.
You can find their new book at any popular bookstore or online. We can’t wait for the new season of Botched!
Anat Escher is a serial Hollywood restaurateur with several popular spots under her belt including Barbarella and Charcoal BBQ Bourbon and Beers. Last week, she opened the doors to her newest restaurant, Sandbox, which sits on a busy corner of Melrose.
This popular corner spot has always seen heavy traffic and celebrity faces as it changed from The Bungalow to Bugatti. Sandbox is a one-of-kind, being a playground for the adult. Out front sits an oversized lifeguard tower to give you a hint of what to expect inside.
Hollywood’s young and beautiful joined in on the fun to celebrate the opening, and Millionaire Match was there to see it all. Stephen Kramer Glickman, Darwin Polanco, Iqbal Theba, Gene Ferber, Camila Banus, Nick Bateman, Laura Linda Bradley, and Nika Williams were just some of the stars that joined for a fun night in the sand.
Sandbox sets the scene for those looking to have a beach experience away from the beach. Surfboards, ping pong tables, Pac-Man, and pinball games along with the best bourbon in Los Angeles makes this place enjoyable. Though there was much to do, we had to ask the young and famous what they would miss about summer. “What am I gonna miss about the summer? Sun! L.A. has the perfect weather. You don’t have any humidity. You can go and hike. You have to wait until the sun goes down though,” said Nika Williams (OWN, Greenleaf). On working with Oprah on Greenleaf, “I play Pastor Ramona on the show. It has been amazing. I’m looking forward to the second season of the show. Until then, I’m working on my stand-up comedy.”
“Thankfully, Cali is warm all year. I won’t miss much,” said singer Darwin Polanco (singer). Polanco, a Brooklyn native, is working on new music to follow-up with his albums Sunday and Dessert. Hopefully, they won’t have to miss much. Glickman, who will be in the upcoming movie, Storks, came to play. With full energy and excitement to be with his colleagues and take part in delicious cocktails, the actor-comedian can’t wait to the September 23rd release of the movie. The film also stars Jennifer Aniston, Kelsey Grammer, and Andy Samberg.
Not only does Escher’s new spot have activities, but the decor is chic and inviting. Check out photos here, on Urban Daddy. Now, we can’t leave out the food. The menu has everything you would want at a barbecue. From crinkled french fries to St. Louis Ribs, Sandbox has you covered. Of course, there are tacos, Neapolitan pizzas, and a pulled pork sandwich. To wash it all down, try one of our favorite cocktails like Sunset Sangria, Sunburn, or Beach Bikini. But best of all, Sandbox has happy hour every day of the week! No excuses for a quick escape to paradise.
We hope to see this spot in other areas, but for now be sure to stop in the next time you are in Los Angeles.
Sandbox, 7174 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90046.
Variety’s Entertainment and Tech Summit sent hundreds of professionals to the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills for a day of panels and intimate conversations. Top content creators and heads of digital divisions offered their angled opinions of how technology is changing entertainment. MillionaireMatch was there and we are sharing some hilarious moments with the summit’s closing speaker, Chelsea Handler.
A total of 15 topics were covered at this year’s summit including keynote speeches from Mark Greenberg (CEO, Epix) and Eric Berger (Co-Editor-in-Chief, Crackle). A range of information was shared about using social media as a platform to distribute content versus television, how live streaming is attracting more and more people, monetizing videos and how television is fighting for a younger viewership. The top television executives from places like Spike TV, Simulmedia, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Yahoo were just a handful of those represented on the panel.
The big closing was led by Andrew Wallenstein (Variety, Co-Editor-in-Chief) as he posed questions about Handler’s new home, Netflix. Handler’s experience with Netflix has been very different from her days at E! “Netflix doesn’t give specific notes. They just give general notes like, we like when you do that,” she said. This new found freedom has been quite enjoyable for the former comedian. The day isn’t molded by the need to get ratings as it was before. Handler explained, “I don’t get the ratings every day, and I feel like I prefer that.”
Being on a digital platform has introduced Handler to using other platforms to connect with her audience. Snapchat has been her new favorite way to connect and give her audience more Chelsea. Handler said of she wasn’t too fond of the need to be on Snapchat or Instagram. She said, “I slipped into that more easily than I thought I would.” She continued, “Don’t bitch and moan about what you’re doing. Just do it and have a positive attitude about it.”
The comedian-host said that her interest has turned to politics. It has become a huge interest of hers, especially with this election. “I don’t know if I want [Donald Trump] to go away. It’s kinda great to have a person like that. That represents everything that’s wrong,” Handler says as laughs fill the room. “It’s great to look at someone and think, that’s the worst thing that can happen,” she continued.
Handler goes on to comment on other political news such as Roger Ailes joining the Trump campaign and sexism. Handler said she wanted to focus on more serious topics on this new platform. The show even partnered with Rock the Vote. “I get politics, and I’m more thirsty than I’ve ever been about it,” she said. “I’m interested in talking to people that are smarter than me. It’s a big group,” jokingly she added.
On getting guests for the show, Handler spoke about it being a little difficult and competitive. “Yes. They’re all assholes about it,” she commented on getting guests booked. Mimicking celebrities, “I can’t go on Chelsea first. She’s new. I was on TV for 8 years. I’m just back,” Handler said.
Yes, she is definitely back and we love every minute of it. We look forward to seeing more of Chelsea and we know that you do too.