Wellnessly.com is a beauty services review website set up by a trio of fresh graduates to help people discover the wide array of spas and salons in Singapore and make informed decisions before heading down to their preferred beauty service provider. The Ridge is delighted to speak to the founders of the website as they share more their entrepreneurship journey.
What is Wellnessly?
Wellnessly is a beauty and wellness reviews and booking website that lists over 1600 business outlets and 1800 reviews on our platform. We have the most number of reviews in Singapore for the Beauty and Wellness industry. You can discover new places (ranging from hair salons, massages, nail parlours to yoga classes), read reviews and book appointments right at our user-friendly platform.
We are currently having a promotion for new sign-ups! Wellnessly.com is tying up with Revive Wellness to give away Free Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage worth $250 to first 300 signups at www.wellnessly.com/revive.
What sparked this business and how long has it been?
We met a friend at a start-up class organized by NUS Enterprise. The conversation with him led us to discover a UK-based website that provides real-time beauty services booking. It brings additional sales to small businesses and convenience to customers. We were inspired and decided to bring that idea to life in Singapore. It has been about three months since the launch of wellnessly.com. We had our Minimum Viable Product way back in January to test the feasibility.
What were the difficulties faced on your journey to building up your company?
We faced many difficulties and we still face them today. At the beginning, we spent an inordinate amount of time raising funds for our start-up but eventually were fortunate enough to secure ample funding from the SPRING ACE Start-up grant. The money really helped to get things started; ranging from a living allowance, buying of advertisement to product testing.
Secondly, we had a disagreement on the vision of the company, which has since been resolved. It was a bad phase as time was wasted and everyone felt the dissatisfaction of the disagreement. Disagreements and fallouts are common in the startup scene, cited as top reasons for death of startups.
Were there any sacrifices made along the way that, in retrospect, you think was worthwhile?
The blatantly obvious would be sacrificing our full-time pay in exchange for a meager “salary” and giving up possible job opportunities. We won’t say it was all worth the while until our product has gained traction. But so far, the journey has been pretty rewarding. We are learning more and more about ourselves each day. When you are on an entrepreneurial journey, you start to question yourself a lot more about your actions, your thinking and your irrational fears (if any). The mental side of you has to be able to cope as a lot more questions start to pour in. There are times of excitement too when we get an inspiration for an idea and we lose sleep over wanting to implement it eagerly the next day!
What activities did you partake in while in NUS? How did you overcome the challenges faced in school?
David and I were part of the NUS Overseas College (NOC) Alumni. We had a yearlong stint in Silicon Valley, which inspired and further paved our way for what we are doing currently. It was an eye-opening experience working in Silicon Valley. We are still in contact with many of the people in Silicon Valley, which will certainly aid us in our business in the long run.
University education did prepare us for the future and our decision to join NOC started as we developed a keen interest in entrepreneurship later on in life. In retrospect, the challenges in school paled in comparison to the working world and Silicon Valley. If you are fretting over grades then that really isn’t much of a worry.
What advice do you have for younger entrepreneurs?
Networking and ecosystem is important. However prevalent it is in Silicon Valley, it is still small and growing juxtaposed to Singapore as the start-up scene is still relatively young here. We have enlisted the views of several startups with regards to our company’s direction, frequently helping to clear whatever doubts we had in our heads and keeping our eyes on what is vital and important in the long run. Mentors offer valuable advice, but peers in the field understand you most. Do self-assessment regularly to get your priorities right. Time spent on frivolous priorities is time wasted on not building your main product. As a founder, you are also running the day-to-day operations of the company, which can leave you drained at the end of the day. At the heart of it all, always remember to take a step back and think for your company in the perspectives of a founder.