Maiken Paaske is the Founder and CEO of Beauty Match, a digital marketplace for cosmetic treatments which gathers consumers and clinics into one platform, with the purpose of creating more transparency, quality insurance and safety within the industry.
For the past 5 years Maiken has worked in some of the fastest growing Danish tech-startups, including Lunar and Plecto, where she’s been responsible for building the companies marketing strategies from scratch.
During her time in the startup environment she developed a keen interest in both tech and marketing, and today she’s using all of her skills for building a revolutionizing digital platform for an industry that hasn’t seen much technological innovation – yet.
Early on, in the journey of Beauty Match, she allied herself with a friend, who soon became a co-founder of Beauty Match. His name was Anders, and he specialized within Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality – skills which was needed for the innovative beauty platform she had set her mind on building.
Beauty Match was established in May 2019 and in November 2019 the first version of the platform was launched. On the platform, consumers have the opportunity to read information about non-surgical cosmetic treatments, they can book appointments at some of the best cosmetic clinics and they can review the clinics – which helps other users make better decisions in regards to choosing treatments and practitioners. And in the near future it will also be possible for consumers to “try on treatments” before booking.
On the platform, consumers can find and book treatments such as filler, botox, laser, permanent makeup, teeth whitening and so on – also known as non-surgical cosmetic treatments.
Statistics from Sundhed Danmark – Brancheforening for Danske Sundhedsvirksomheder shows that every fourth dane is considering getting a cosmetic treatment at the moment. But cosmetic treatments are still surrounded by social taboo and stigma in the Scandinavian Culture, and this has big consequences because people don’t talk about this or share experiences and knowledge in the open today.
Combine that with the fact that this market is under regulated in general, and you have the perfect grounds for consumers choosing all the wrong places to go for these treatments today, and that’s what Beauty Match is changing.
1. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LEARNING YOU HAD?
Working within a field such as cosmetic treatments, you’re navigating a space which is surrounded by stigma and strong opinions by many, so you have to be cool with listening to a fair deal of critique and opinions. With my previous experience from working in data and finance companies, I’ve actually experienced quite a shift in how people perceive me now versus then, because beauty is also perceived as a much more girly field – and at times also taken less seriously. So I feel like I have had a big task in proving myself and our product more than ever before. But somehow this has become a motivational factor for me and the opportunity to prove people wrong actually fuels my drive.
2. WHY ARE YOU THE BEST TO RUN YOUR COMPANY?
From my previous roles in startups I’ve had an extremely steep learning curve. I’ve had the chance to make my own mistakes and at the same time I’ve had several exceptional leaders along the way, who have trusted me with great responsibility and coached me on how to be a better leader myself.
This experience – where I’ve worked with both strategy and high growth, management and execution, within several aspects of tech startups – from marketing to business development, has proven really handy now in my own startup. There’s a lot of shortcuts you can make, when you’ve been through it before. This, combined with the fact that I’ve always had a big interest in the beauty industry makes me a good fit for the role – which is btw. changing from day to day. You really have to be Jack of all trades in this game.
3. WOULD YOU RECOMMEND OTHER WOMEN TO START THEIR OWN COMPANY AND WHY?
If you have the will, drive and passion for an idea or product, then I believe anyone should go for it. Man or woman – I believe the most important thing is to be aware of the fact that it’s most likely not going to be easy or fun most of the time, but when it succeeds it will be worth all of the blood and sweat along the way. But if you’re going for the glamorous entrepreneur lifestyle often portrayed by the media, the CEO-title or the “freedom” of being an entrepreneur, then you’re in for a wakeup call – because in reality it’s nothing like that. Not even in the beauty industry 😉
4. WHAT IS YOUR BEST TIP TO STAYING HEALTHY AND PRODUCTIVE WHILE YOU ARE RUNNING A STARTUP?
I prioritize to work out on a daily basis and while doing so, I listen to books on Audible. I don’t have the patience to read a traditional book, but when I’m able to listen while doing other things (such as power walking or working out) I’m actually able to read 1 book a week. Listening to soundbooks is a great way for me to learn new things and gain knowledge within specific fields of the business world.
Other than that I also try to do at least one thing a month, that I’ve never tried before. It has to be something that gets the adrenaline going – for instance like trying out a new extreme sport or speaking in front of a huge crowd. Moving my personal boundaries and growing is actually very much linked with having fun in my world.
5. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU HAVE MADE?
I’ve made countless mistakes – as in A LOT. But I’ve always managed to learn from my mistakes – and it has given me some valuable takeaways that I wouldn’t be without today.
If I look back a few years, the biggest mistake I’ve made was being too uncomfortable about dealing with conflicts and difficult situations up front – and therefore postponing them for too long.
Today that’s not an issue for me. I’ve worked with myself in this aspect and I’ve had more experienced mentors and coaches around me, who has helped me find my own voice and my own way of dealing with all of the difficult situations that you encounter on a daily basis, when being a leader and decision maker in a fast paced startup – where you often have to make crucial decisions on behalf of the team and the company.
6. WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE TO FUTURE ENTREPRENEURS?
Go for it – but always make sure to stay true to yourself along the way. It may sound like a cliché, but it actually matters in the long run.