On any given day, MAZE Services founder Macie Mata can be seen sporting a neutral-toned, short-nail manicure. But, don’t let that fool you – Macie comes from a family of cosmetologists (even though she is not one herself), and she has set out to make beauty services more accessible and enjoyable for stylists and clients alike.
Gone are the days of in-home nail and hair services being reserved for celebrities, MAZE is a (much needed) app that feeds society’s obsession with convincing in the best way possible.
She began her career in the banking and finance industry, an environment that is nearly the complete opposite of her current position. Even though it may be difficult to identify the connection between these two industries, Macie is thankful for the lessons – big and small – that she learned then. “I think [people] don’t realize how important their journey is until you have to use what you’ve learned in the past.”
Admittingly, becoming her own boss was somewhat challenging at first, especially the shift from a corporate career to small business status. Macie was intentional about cultivating a small, amiable team that would complement her many strengths and support her along this journey.
Establishing mutually beneficial partnerships is an explicit goal of Macie’s, especially between her MAZE technicians and their clients. She elaborates on this idea by saying that MAZE creates more personal relationships the client is not booking a new technician blindly and the technician is also aware of the type of client they’re receiving. “We’ve had great reactions on both the client and technician side,” she said.
However, some beauty salons are skeptical of the idea of their technicians going into business for themselves. In true Macie fashion, she has already anticipated this shift and wants salons to feel comfortable using MAZE as well. “Eventually, we will have a spot for salons to send out representatives using MAZE. We don’t want [salons] to see us as competition.”
Macie shares that Charlotte, NC—her home and MAZE’s first market—has a rapidly expanding beauty industry, with some of the most Instagram-famous nail technicians and hair stylists making it their home. Coincidentally, the city is also attracting technology start-ups working towards their big break. “Charlotte is big enough for us to have a lucrative market, but also small enough where our team can execute properly.”
In the future, Macie hopes MAZE can expand to other cities such as Chicago and Atlanta. But for now, she’s enjoying every moment of her success. “Entrepreneurship is often glamorized, but I promise you it’s not,” she says with a laugh. “There’s truly no such thing as an overnight success. I’m willing to make these sacrifices and do these things that I’m doing because I can see where my company can go and my potential.” Macie makes these sacrifices so that her app-users have a flawless experience, and that’s the best customer service anyone could want.