CELEBRATE NATIONAL RELAXATION DAY WITH THE PROS – ANE GUZMAN AND SARENA SHEN OF UNPLUGG
National Relaxation Day is finally here, and I want to tell you about this amazing online beauty and wellness marketplace that has changed the way I ‘chill’. Unplugg is a New York City-based platform that is taking the guesswork out of booking spa and salon services using Smart Match technology based on our (the consumer) individual preferences coupled with a highly-curated collection of pre-vetted providers. Unplugg is launching their Club U on August 15th. In addition to providing personalized beauty service in NYC’s most sought-after salons and spas, Club U will now grant users access to exclusive deals and events. Designed to cater to Unplugg users’ top needs; confidence, convenience, and care, this $35/month (or 2,500 points) service will grant you access to live concierge service, birthday discounts and service upgrades, haircut touch-ups, insider deals and events, manicure/pedicure chip repair and service upgrades.
“When it comes to personal care services, some of us either need an extra hand or just want to take it to the next level. Club U is especially helpful for those who appreciate the hands-on support to discover providers that fit their specific needs, or to assist them with managing bookings with different salons for different services. Many want an elevated, enhanced experience because their “me time” is hard-won and should be maximized. Others simply want to get more value out of what they already spend by combining them in one service like Unplugg that can look after their needs, even if that means having different providers. All Unplugg users can enjoy our curated selection of salons and spas and smart tools, but Club U members can just take it a notch higher with a personal concierge, insider perks, complimentary services, and more. For a $35-monthly fee that gets credited to your bookings for the month (easily covers part of hair service or even a full mani-pedi), we think a Club U membership is a must-try!” says founder Ane Guzeman.
Admittedly, I celebrated National Relaxation Day a bit early (it’s been a long summer) and could not be happier. I logged into Unplugg, took my quiz, and was ready to go. I had been super interested in trying a Lymphatic Drainage Massage but was leery of going just anywhere. I punched in my search including area, date and time preference and was matched with Eden Day Spa right in my neighborhood. The spa was branded with a ‘Classic Unplugg’ badge, meaning, through the trusted database of users, this space was dubbed a blissful, enjoyable, classic spa environment equipped with friendly faces and attentive staff, all extremely true! The interface is super user-friendly, showing ratings from Yelp reviews, special offers, the entire menu, a live concierge at the bottom of the screen and the ability to get a free consolation (if you’re a Club UP member), and the ability to get upgraded – which I did (woohoo).
Founded by seasoned technology and investment banking executives, Ane Guzemanand Sarena Shen, friends of 10+ years, and first-generation immigrants. The two come from small business-owner families’, and have always had the entrepreneurial bug, though in different careers. They came together to solve a problem in the industry, seeing through the eyes of both the customer and provider’s standpoint.
The two believed that finding a way to unwind should be easy. The women created this application because of real-life experiences. “Having packed days usually means it’s challenging to plan too far ahead for a haircut or getting our nails done they usually end up getting canceled because of scheduling conflicts. Sarena and I were together and had a rare hour suddenly free up in the middle of the workday. Our toes were, let’s just say, not quite sandal-worthy, so we both immediately thought “mani-pedi!”. We went door-to-door around the neighborhood trying to find not only the right place but also one with availabilities. It was half an hour before we found one that we weren’t even keen on, and by then it was too late. We realized how it wasn’t the first time we experienced the frustration of either compromising or just completely missing out on a personal care opportunity because of all the hoops we have to jump through to do it right. It’s easy to dismiss them as “just” a manicure or haircut, but for many it’s a rare time to do something for themselves, and some services are a huge deal, so it means much more than “just” getting a personal errand done. We talked to many different people and it became apparent very early on that we were not alone, even if the circumstances would differ from person to person.”
When asked what Ane and Sarena thought the best aspects of the database, or what they think their users would most enjoy, they said, “When we founded Unplugg, we wanted to make getting personal care services simple, better, and well, personal! We think users will enjoy how Unplugg gets the job done right even in its simplicity, from start to finish: search services confidently from curated and uniquely profiled providers, personalize it based on your own characteristics and preferences, and instantly book a confirmed slot. With online secure payment, all you need to do is show up and enjoy! We’re extra thrilled when users say how much they enjoy the Smart Match feature that allows them to personalize the search. You can easily find listings of salons and spas anywhere, but we go the extra mile by making beauty and wellness services about the individual in part by properly profiling the providers, so we can better propose potential matches. We believe people really care about that, so we work hard to get that right and make it better every day. We think it’s high time someone took the work out of what’s supposed to be relaxing and fun!”
Be sure to check out Unplugg for all your relaxation needs!