Meet Alanna Gregory, CEO and Founder of Vive. Do you love getting your hair blown out? Us too! Love booking a gazillion weeks in advance? We can’t stand it either. That is where the genius of Vive comes in. Alanna totally gets our busy lives, and with Vive, you can book appointments at awesome hair salons at the last minute (seriously, up to 1/2 an hour before), and with amazing student pricing, how could you go wrong? Read up on this awesome entrepreneur, and be sure to check out Vive.
Tell us a little about Vive. How does it work?
Vive is an on-demand beauty concierge that for a flat fee, provides members with a set number of blowout appointments at over 300 pre-vetted salons in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Members can book last minute appointments at a top salon nearby with as little as 30 minutes notice or up to one week out.
Booking is easy and seamless. Download our app or go to www.vive.co. Sign up and purchase a plan that works for you for as low as $30 per blowout (and special student pricing). No commitments are necessary and, pay month to month. To book, enter your desired location, date and time, and choose from one of our top salons nearby. Then head to the salon, and enjoy your blowout!
If “clothes make the man,” does hair make the woman?
Interesting question! Fortunately or unfortunately, women’s hair makes headlines--when Hillary gets a $600 haircut, or when Beyonce is called out as “Becky with the good hair”. Whether you’re a celebrity or not, your hair is connected to your sense of identity. Just ask any woman who’s ever cried after getting a bad haircut.
What was your inspiration for starting Vive?
When I lived in Thailand, I started a non-profit to raise awareness about and prevent violence against women. After working on this project, I realized that my mission in life would be to empower women and inspire confidence. It just so happens that beauty is a vehicle for that, which is the inspiration for Vive. At Vive, our mission is to empower women to look and feel their best each and every day.
Your degree was in Ops Research. Do you find that you use anything from your major in what you are doing now? If you could do it again, would you have studied something else?
My degree trained me to have a keen problem-solving mentality, which I absolutely utilize. Also, my facility with numbers comes from my training in operations research. If I had to do it over, I might have gotten a minor in computer science (bet you hear that all the time!)
You left Wall Street to start Vive. What gave you the confidence to take the risk?
Honestly, I look back on it now, and think part of my ability to take that leap was my own ignorance, which was a blessing! At the same time, I cared deeply about making an impact, and felt I wasn’t reaching my full potential to do that on Wall Street. The combination of these two forces, plus an amazing support system of family and friends gave me the confidence I needed.
Was it easy or hard to get others to share your vision? How did you do it?
I think when you are truly, deeply and genuinely passionate about something, others can sense that and want to be a part of your journey. If you are able to be true to that, it’s infectious, and others will want to join you.
What looks (hairstyles) do you love for Fall?
I’m really loving the cut my stylist gave me recently at Ilias Zarbalis Salon. It’s somewhere between a long shag and a longer (mid-length) bob with blunt, choppy layers. The cut has great texture, and it encourages a natural curl/wave, which, in the fall, is much more manageable–and even desirable–than in the summertime.
I’m a college student. I can’t always do the whole blow dry/flat iron thing. Any advice for a just rolled out of bed late to class hair intervention?
Yes! I was, and am now still, this girl. First: get good at braiding! Braids are my go-to option for quick styling sans blowout (though it always looks better with one!). My personal favorite is a side braid because it’s so easy. It’s also very easy to turn a braid into a professional look. Next,
I’m a big believer in bobby pins: they’re the best for keeping flyaways at bay, and holding hair pieces together, and so much more. I always have a few on me. Finally, I tend to think a good curling iron can save anything: you only need a few pieces done to quickly make a difference.
Do you think it’s harder being a female founder?
Personally, I think it’s better! There’s a growing and thriving community of supportive female entrepreneurs. In fundraising, I didn’t experience difficulties because of my gender in pitching to male investors, although I have found that it’s more difficult for men to immediately understand our value proposition because they are not our target demo.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Chocolate! I have a huge sweet tooth.
Thoughts on leadership? What do you think makes you a great leader?
I love the book Good to Great by Jim Collins; that really resonated with me. He discusses the concept of a “Level 5” leader having exceptional humility, professional will and ferocious resolve.