• FLAYR is a one stop shop for people seeking hairstylists and make-up artists to come to them. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Couple Subhaga Amarasekara and Roshan Mahanama have joined forces to launch Flayr, an online beauty marketplace which connects mobile hair and makeup artists with customers.
Lin Evlin

SBS Small Business Secrets
5 Dec 2018 - 1:16 PM  UPDATED 10 Dec 2018 - 12:47 PM

The business of beauty is one of the most buoyant sectors in the market, turning over around $7 billion each year.

It’s this demand which married couple, Subhaga and Roshan noticed two years ago when trying to solve Roshan’s mother’s own difficulties working in the beauty industry.

“I used to do all of her quoting and her email reminders and so on,” says Subhaga.

“So I knew the difficulties she had to manage the business aspects of doing what she does.

“She was a phenomenal makeup artist, but not so great in doing all the admin parts of the business." 

The couple together created FLAYR, an online platform that connects mobile hair and makeup artists with those seeking a glamorous look. 

“The mission behind FLAYR is trying to help talented makeup artists and hairstylists earn a living through what they’re really passionate about,” says Subhaga. 

“We’ve changed some peoples' lives, which has been amazing.

“We've had a stylist being able to afford IVF through the jobs that she got through FLAYR." 

Sri Lanka born, Subhaga says the FLAYR platform takes care of the business administrative elements of being a mobile hair and makeup artist.

Freelance hair and makeup artist Sonia Krzypkowska has been using the website for two years.

"I came to Sydney from London, and I didn’t know anything,” she says.

“Basically 70% of my bookings are now through FLAYR and I’ve never had any problems.” 

Over 10,000 customers have used FLAYR, with currently 800 stylists registered with the website.

A turning point for the startup was successfully pitching to seed investors earlier this year where they raised $500,000. 

“It was about 70 investors in the room so it's quite a daunting experience,” says Subhaga.

“It's a ten-minute pitch and then a ten-minute Q & A but I think the investors just saw the growth.”

Money aside, Subhaga says having the input of experienced investors has helped grow the business.

“They provide a whole bunch of expertise-  if you have an issue in growing your business, there might be a growth hacker that's in your syndicate that can give you advice,” says Subhaga.

“Having external people also provide the input has really been great.”

FLAYR is currently available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. 

The pair hopes to expand its areas of operation to the rest of Australia and beyond.

“Our hope is FLAYR ultimately becomes a level playing field for everybody,” says Roshan.

“Let's just take my mom, right?

"You can be a mom and makeup can be your weekend hobby, and you can still succeed.

“You don't need to go to networking and you just focus on what you're good at." 

Watch the full episode.