In 2009, Sean Black and Marvin Green came together while working for a home health care business, whose client base comprised of individuals with developmental disabilities. Within this community behavioral issues can be common, with medications often being the go-to solution to manage clients’ behavior.
Green noticed shortcomings one of his clients was experiencing due to behavior issues and took it upon himself to give him a much-needed haircut. As a result, Green observed a transformation in his client’s self-esteem. By caring for his appearance and engaging more in the community, the client ultimately was able to reduce his behavior medications.
Noticing a larger need, Black and Green began to brainstorm how they could build a business that catered specifically to this segment of the population. Their goal was to further integrate clients with individuals in the salon industry, positively impacting their lives by enhancing their self-esteem. With that notion as their foundation, the business partners founded CAREcutz in 2009.
Redefining the path to realize CAREcutz’ purpose
Post launch, Black, COO of CAREcutz, and Green, CEO of CAREcutz, explored how to further evolve and best provide these services by recruiting cosmetologists and barbers who had a desire to service this community. Growth was slow, and Black and Green wrestled with the challenges that their business model presented.
“We began thinking more expansively about how we could more rapidly expand and scale our operation,” said Black. “And technology held the key to addressing many of our challenges.”
To date, CAREcutz has provided more than 16,000 services to over 3,000 individuals, but to position the organization for growth, the duo knew they needed strong partnerships to help carry out the mission of Highlighting the Ability in Everyone. CAREcutz added an additional member, Chief Innovation Officer Jaquan ‘Jay’ Yawn to bolster strategic planning imperatives.
In 2017, the team partnered with Goodwill Columbus to create and pilot a training program. And in Spring 2018, CAREcutz will launch an online platform in Central Ohio that will bring together individuals in need of salon services and hair professionals wanting to provide these services. Additionally, the platform will provide hairstylists and barbers access to training modules by condition. From learning how to better serve audio-visually impaired individuals, to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, multiple tracts, and ultimately certifications, will be available, making use of video content to contextually demonstrate how to best serve each type of client.
“Our ultimate goal is to harness technology to enhance the self esteem and day-to-day lives of individuals,” Black said. “We want to help individuals with disabilities regain independence by creating equal access and inclusion to the communities in which they live. Once we refine our platform in the Central Ohio market, we plan to rapidly launch CAREcutz in 40 markets across the nation.”
How you can help this Columbus-based startup maximize its impact
CAREcutz, like many startups, is looking for help to build awareness of their offering. Additionally, to keep costs low until they can reach a sustainable state, in-kind services will be key to a successful platform launch. From content development and marketing to creating and editing videos for use on the platform, the organization is seeking volunteer support.
“The CAREcutz concept has already evoked such an amazing response from our family and friends, and support from the Columbus community,” said Black. “Now is the right time to bring CAREcutz to the forefront of these 40 markets.”
To learn more about CAREcutz, visit their website carecutz.com. You can also learn more by viewing CAREcutz’ profile page on SocialVentures’ online Marketplace for social enterprises throughout Central Ohio. If you are interested in finding and doing business with the local social enterprises whose impact area focuses on improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, you can use the ‘Cause’ drop-down filter on SocialVentures’ online Marketplace.
Founded in 2014, SocialVentures advances remarkably good businesses—businesses that intentionally integrate social impact as a non-negotiable component of their business model. For more information about SocialVentures or our Marketplace, please feel free to send an email to [email protected] or visit socialventurescbus.com.