I own an existing brick and mortar business in the bay area. I grew in one year from a room to a full retail suite that employees several team members. I bootstrapped completely for this endeavor. And my equity and growth is more then steady.
So going through the entire endeavor to build a brick-and-mortar and also being the only service worker to being fully staffed to say the least was painful. I wanted to create an ecosystem for the pro beautician that offers better scheduling system, training modules and ways to connect B2B and business development for existing salon and spa who struggle because actually the clients of them end up struggling too.
I wrote an SRS document because my husband didn’t see my vision who is a Developer. I don’t know squat about SRS documents, but I got it done and also a demo done.
So a client, who’s also my friend, said they had a friend who was interested in seeing it, who was from the.com boom and very much associated with one of the top 5 accelerators in the Bay area. She asked me what I was looking for. And I had no idea what that meant. She ended up becoming my parter to the project.
Our advisor tossed my SRS, and and wanted to start completely from scratch. And wanted her and I to create an MVP and get statistical data done out of my brick-and-mortar shop. Well, I ended up writing the MVP over, and over, and over, and over again until recently.
Well, while I am working on my shop, and have a sm. child too and reworking this my partner started to take advantage of me a bit and expected free salon services. I gave her the benefit-of-the-doubt. One of my staff made a comment on her jacket one day cuz a strap was hanging off and said “she’s got a tail.” I couldn’t help but laugh so hard.
So we all three met several times, several meetings, and several expos to watch pitches. I never tried to network on my own cuz’ I am a very loyal person if I believe someones intentions are true to what their saying. This is vital for business.
My partner also had access to my business contacts, such as other industry business owners, professionals, and cosmetic Drs. I got bothered because she started using my business leverage to talk with them without letting me know, and I also believe she didn’t tell me about going to one of their practices and potentially ‘pitching them’ for what I am not sure.
Another of my clients told me during an appointment, who works for one of my contacts, that her name was scheduled on her books to meet with a plastic surgeon I am currently doing business with. My partner also got upset I wouldn’t use the other Dr. for referrering my clients too. My parter originally said she was going to that Dr. because she needed botox injections for her headaches.
Also, during our last tech expo our pitch had changed to her wanting it be she was my client and I tell people that I complained to her about the business’s processes I faced as a beauty worker and it kept me up at night so I came to her and she rolled this idea out.
I was surprised. Also, she started to mention to me and the advisor not to talk about my salon name anymore and that “people like to hear themselves talk.”At our last event she started to drill me and said our Advisor wants to loose components of the MVP doc.
So since I rewrote it again in a few days. And she said he liked it. Then she said she wanted to change the name, then she said she wanted me to get my contacts on board with doing statistical data on clients out of multiple locations of course for free.
Then she says we don’t even have to pitch for the accelerator that we’re going to get investment from because they are already people who want to fund it but we need to statistical data first.
Well, I never signed anything with her. And I won’t hit up the people I do B2B with unless their is a document for my protection and theirs. She couldn’t understand that and backed down to wanting to use my shop.
I haven’t given her anymore information. And then she wanted to meet at a coffee shop. She wanted to be sure I wanted to be her partner. And that I hadn’t had my husband build the app, or another Developer work on it. And that I should no longer discuss it with people. And that if I want to do it by myself we can still be friends. She said this to me because I told her not to visit my contacts unless she asks me because I do business with them.
My business also has it’s own fire behind it. We did a celebrity lash blog about lashes for her and a huge lash vendor that will be rolled out soon to an audience with over a 1 million followers. My partner acted like this wasn’t happening during the tech process and oddly they were happening in conjunction with one another.
I guess I couldn’t figure out why this wasn’t leverage for our project as well. I even asked to come when they filmed and she made an excuse.
In response to the video I created a site for training and events for professionals to network. And built a ‘team’ quickly for that. I already have a ton of people coming to the event which will be filmed, and made into tutorials, content for the new site. It’s more leverage for my brick and mortar business as well.
I already have users for it. And a corporate tech sponsor whose interested in attending future events and helping who has no idea about the tech startup with the accelerator people.
So now… I am deeply confused…. I am concerned and I spent a lot of time… My time is profitable I realize, so I don’t like to loose it easily.. I am unsure of what to do… My partner/advisor won’t tell me everything yet I do the labor. And I feel like an idiot for that right now… And I’m kept in the dark and told not to talk, not to mention my reasonings. I’m supposed to be a mindless beautician.