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  • Writer's pictureAmi Kassar

AmiSight 4/4: How One Entrepreneur Did a 180 from Running Salons to Launching a Tech App

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

In today’s podcast, MultiFunding President Lynn Ozer, aka SBA Queen, and I talk to serial entrepreneur Celeste Trapp, who has started an exciting new venture after nearly 20 years in the salon business. Celeste has begun her next venture as the CEO and Founder of Whozin, a SaaS social invite and engagement app to help companies and associations engage and retain their valued employees and members.

After working more than 10 years in marketing, Celeste founded Hair M – one of the first high-end men’s grooming salons – in October 2003. Based in Portland, Hair M had seven salons at its peak. The pandemic, combined with social unrest in downtown Portland, took its toll on the operation, cutting her locations to five.

Her new venture, a SaaS social invite and engagement app called Whozin, which will soon be renamed to Whoz, has been nine years in the making.

“In life, I think that people are either an organizer, a joiner or a no-goer,” she explained. “I'm an organizer. I love bringing people together doing all kinds of things. And I get a lot of joy out of seeing those connections happen. What I realized over the years is there's just not a good tool to do that.”

Sure, Facebook groups and Slack channels help people connect. But often, they end up creating a lot of noise for some who aren’t interested in the conversations that don’t align with their interests. The Whoz app will allow users with specific interests, like golf or travel, to connect at specific times and places.

We ask Celeste about the differences between launching a brick-and-mortar business and a tech app. Obviously, she says, an online-based business doesn’t have to deal with building maintenance and rising rents, but also doesn’t need as many employees, thus greatly reducing overhead.

But the same “creative problem solving I just get so jazzed up about” remains constant in any venture.

Celeste also shares how she plans to make money with her new app and what she plans to do with her salons when she hits it big with Whoz. Click here to listen the full episode.

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