SoHo Analytics is a NYC-based tech start up launched by Morgan R. Gantt. Through it, Gantt has a patent pending algorithm for “All Things Hair” and HairLibrary. com. It’s a unique startup. “My solution matches consumers with hair products based on their specific hair type and texture with products from all over the world. Currently, we have about 1,500 products in the database with the goal of reaching 6,000 by the end of the year,” says Gantt.
A social commerce platform, HairLibrary. com matches consumers with hair-care products based on their hair type and texture. Consumers can shop, share their hair story, and build their own product library directly on the site from featured brands such as Kimble Beauty, Dry Divas, ColdLabel, LisaRaye Hair Products, Mixtina and Basic Hair Care.
Gantt came up with the idea over her personal struggle to find the right haircare products. “The idea came from the frustration of standing in the hair product aisle and being faced with hundred of bottles with bright labels. I truly believed there had to be a better way for consumers to identify what products which should be ranked based on performance and not their marketing budget,” says Gantt, who is in process of doing the first round of funding. Up until now, Gantt has self-funded the business.
HairLibrary. com is filling a niche. “There is a need for consumers to be able to filter the market with only the things that pertain specifically to their needs. There is so much “stuff” out there and almost no regulation to provide the customers with a bar to measure products against. Our technology focuses on revealing what’s relevant, not only for products but also for story telling,” notes Gantt. “Other consumer experiences with the same or similar items can be extremely helpful, especially when the information is coming from someone who has similar type, texture or chemical process.”
Starting her own business has been full of surprises and challenges. “There is nothing that anyone can say that will prepare you for the start up journey. It is the craziest, riskiest, most exciting, terrifying, exhilarating, heart-wrenching experience I have ever had,” shares Gantt. “Even bigger than the idea is the amount of drive required to overcome the small challenges along the way. Every challenge you could ever think of: lack of funding, lack of human resources, fear, closed doors, more closed doors, exhaustion, the merciless learning curve and the challenges of keeping time.”
But Gantt persevered. “I overcame the challenges by continuing to face them everyday, one at a time, and constantly reminding myself why I was doing this, even if it did not make sense to others around me,” she says.
Through the process, Gantt says she has learned a valuable business lesson. “The importance of consistently evaluating our value proposition for our partnered brands and for our customers has been the biggest lesson. Technology, consumer behavior and needs are changing daily so it’s important to stay current. It’s about being open to change and keeping an eye on what the next big thing is in the future, not what is already here now,” she says.
Currently, we have about 1,500 products in the database with the goal to add an additional 6,000 by the end of the year. “The long-term goal is to continue to expand the technology in other areas of life for consumers to filter the market only with the criteria based on their ever-changing needs,” says Gantt.