Meet Venetia Archer, CEO and Founder at On-Demand Beauty Services Marketplace: Ruuby

Ruuby is an on-demand beauty services marketplace, which has delivered over 200,000 beauty services across the UK. Ruuby connects a network of professional beauty freelancers with clients, who can book hair, nails, makeup, massages, vampire facials, and so much more (over 600 services listed), on the platform – direct to their door within 90 minutes. The business is a strongly consumer focussed business, though we have recently launched Ruuby Productions and Ruuby Black Label to serve the events and hospitality industries.
 
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How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
I launched Ruuby back in 2015 when nothing like it existed. We lived in a world where calling a handful of salons (unsuccessfully) for a beauty appointment was common. At the same time, London was experiencing the emergence of on-demand… and it became clear to me that the beauty services industry was ripe for change.

Consumers needed a way to bring much-needed beauty services into their lives and homes seamlessly, and so Ruuby was born.
 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
It was a challenging time, and initially my focus was on trying to grasp the big picture, and work out how to ensure resilience and the company’s future, whilst also making critical decisions about commercials and cost structure – our revenues went to zero overnight. Since the easing of lockdown, we have seen immense growth in demand as consumers seek to do more from home.

The traditional salon model has been hit hard, and in response we have had greater applications from beauty professionals looking to go mobile – they can make up to 59% more than when employed. As a result, we’ve moved faster in terms of regional rollouts, and invested more heavily in our workflow management software tool for freelancers.
 

What advice would you give to other aspiring female entrepreneurs?

 
One of the best pieces of advice I have been given is to surround yourself with mentors, and a “tribe”. Mentors can help to provide an independent sounding board for important decisions, and a “tribe” of people who are at a similar stage to you, and living similar experiences can be profoundly helpful in troubleshooting day to day problems.

In terms of practical advice, I think it’s important to understand your energy cycle and work with it, rather than against it. I work in this way – some days I have incredible drive and productivity, and I make the most of this by pushing projects forward and working on more complex strategy. I have now learnt not to push myself too much myself on the days I am less energised. I focus my mind on creative, or spend time talking to team members and working through issues.
 

What can we hope to see from Ruuby in the future?

 
We look forward to continuing to grow and cement Ruuby as the leading at-home beauty services provider in the UK. We will also be integrating our services further into the hospitality sector, through the build-out of new tech products specifically designed for the needs of hotels, residences and their guests.