In 2012, a stylist approached Tye Caldwell to ask if she could rent space in his Plano, Texas, salon a few days a week. It was serendipitous timing. The stylist had moved and was worried about losing clientele in her former neighborhood; Tye had just expanded his salon, so he had a few open suites that were going unused. A single-location salon owner at the time, Tye had never rented out space like that before, but he decided to give it a try.
Soon enough he was brokering similar deals between other stylists and salons. After years of what his wife Courtney Caldwell calls “manual matching,” the pair searched for an app to which they could direct stylists and salons instead of acting as a makeshift concierge service themselves.
But they couldn’t find one. So in September 2016, the Caldwells launched their own, called ShearShare, which lets licensed stylists book time and space at professional salons, sorting for features like free parking and wheelchair accessibility. Seventeen months later, the app is in 350 cities across 11 countries. Now a six-person team, ShearShare is still closing its seed round but is backed by VC firm Backstage Capital and recently won $100,000 through the tech incubator Capital Factory’s Diversity & Inclusion Investment Challenge.
By 2020, independent workers are projected to make up 43% of the U.S. workforce, according to fintech company Intuit (which claimed that number was already at 34% almost a year ago.) ShearShare believes that as more and more Americans participate in the gig economy, independent workers will need support systems to mirror those offered by…