Under30CEO is excited to present the winner of the 2013 Entrepreneur Mashup! Let’s run through some of the stats on the competition and the extraordinary involvement of readers and voters throughout the process.
- 16 entrepreneurs out of more than 100 applicants made the tournament.
- There were a total of over 21,000 votes in all rounds.
- The Championship Game had 7,790 votes.
- The competition featured entrepreneurs in industries ranging from health devices and financial planning to SaaS companies and mobile hair stylists.
Congratulations again to all the competitors! Your stories are inspiring, and we look forward to keeping track of what you do and where you go over the next year.
Now let’s get to know our winner, Robin Wilson. Cue “One Shining Moment.”
Interview with Robin Wilson, co-founder of Style By Bravura
Why did you start Style By Bravura?
We both left the salon environment more than seven years ago and found ourselves out styling for a wedding one April morning. We hadn’t seen each other in years, and neither of us knew the bride or bridal party. I’d contacted Jacki after someone I knew had double booked herself and needed to send a stylist out. We had a great time, worked well together, and spent the entire drive back talking about how we could have made it so much better — how we’d manage the process, follow up, and how everyone we knew was getting married. We both already had our cosmetology licenses, business degrees, virtually no startup costs, and a lot of energy. Why not? We welcomed our first contractor, Lisa Brodt, soon after, and off we went.
Was there a particular tipping point in which you knew Style By Bravura would be a success?
The feedback said it all. On day one, we had no idea we would be developing a business or a brand. We were just out styling hair together for a wedding completely by chance, being ourselves. It’s normal for us to enjoy making new friends and listening to stories. It’s normal for us to help out when someone in the room needs it and we can. We have a huge responsibility to the people who trust us enough to participate in their major life moments. The feedback we received was incredible; we were impacting people far beyond their appearance. It became clear that we were so much more than a beauty company: We’re experience specialists.
Why did you choose to start your own business instead of joining an established company?
I’ve wanted to own a business since I was 7 — selling “art” (my coloring book pages) door to door with my friends. I’ve worked for many companies, and the same thing is always true: You have to work for a really long time, navigate a political gauntlet, and hope a position opens up someday that will allow you to impact the direction of the company or try out your ideas. That never sat well with me. I’ve always been inspired by innovation and have tried to create an environment at Bravura where we support the creative endeavors of our people and aren’t afraid to try new (and sometimes scary) things. I’m just a catalyst. I look for people who are better than me, and with them, we’re growing this into something much bigger.
What would you say to a young entrepreneur starting their first company?
You don’t need to know everything right now. You DO need to know it’s going to be hard, you’re going to hear “no” a lot, and you might very likely fail sometimes. I’ve never exactly been one for sugarcoating.
The good news: So what?
Think about it: Things rise and fall naturally. Twinkies are gone! You’re doing something that most don’t dare to. You’re stepping out with an idea you care about and owning it. Remember why you started your business in the first place, be committed, and be open to change. Learning how to ask the right questions and admit where you’re weak will be great tools for getting better and growing your business.
Anything else you’d like to say to the Under30CEO audience?
Thank you for voting, reading, and sharing! This experience has been amazing, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the future brings. If you’re thinking about starting a business, do it. If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, do it. If you want to be someone important, do it. Spectating is not a sport. In the words of Amy Cuddy, “Do it, and do it, and do it — even if you’re terrified and just paralyzed and having an out-of-body experience. Until you have this moment where you say, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m doing it. I have become this. I am actually doing it.’”