Amber Venz Box, president and cofounder of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it, was traveling with her friend Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder of Bumble, when inspiration struck. The Dallas entrepreneurs were en route to San Francisco, lamenting the state of their nails.
"As a new working mom, there's no way I can get my nails done during salon hours," says Venz Box in a release. "As the face of my company, I'm expected to maintain a polished look, but there's no way I can miss a meeting to go get my nails done."
Their in-air brainstorm session led to the idea for an Uber-like mobile app that would connect clients with independent nail technicians who would perform nail services any time, anywhere. The app, called Cherry, launches in Dallas on November 20.
It allows women and men to book everything from gel manicures to basic pedicures. Customers just select the services they would like, enter their service location and payment details, and Cherry meets them there. Everything, including payment, is done in-app.
Technicians will provide a selection of 10 Essie polishes — of course, clients can use their own — and treatments are completely waterless.
Safety and cleanliness were top priorities when the women were developing Cherry; while they were working on the concept, a then-pregnant Venz Box passed out at a nail salon from fumes, leaving her more determined than ever to make her vision of anywhere, anytime nails a reality. All technicians, called Cherry Pros, must pass a customer service and skill assessment in addition to a background check.
"We created this to provide a better quality of life to everyone involved," says Herd in a release. "Our technicians have flexibility and are compensated in a much more fair-minded way. In a traditional setting, technicians can wait around all day in a salon, yet only be paid a percentage of the services they perform. That can make for a very long day, with very little compensation."
Basic services start at $15; all manicures and pedicures include nail shaping, cuticle care, and hand or foot massage. Groups, parties, bridal showers, and corporate event services also can be booked.
Cherry services currently are available in select Dallas zip codes by invitation only. (Access codes are required to use the service; CultureMap readers can use the code "CMap" to try it out.) The free Cherry app is available for download through iTunes. For more information, visit downloadcherry.com.