Former employee at Barclays Capital, New Yorker Alanna Gregory is the CEO and Founder of Vive, a mobile beauty concierge that allows members to book blow dry appointments within a network of over 250 pre-vetted salons in New York City and Chicago (more cities will be launching soon).
Alanna runs a team of seven (plus interns) and they are based in the Flatiron Building in NYC.
As part of ELLE's Tech Titans series, she shares her tips for how to make it in the digital world.
Describe yourself in two sentences...
Born and raised New Yorker and former finance girl turned entrepreneur.
Love yoga, solving complex problems, hiking, and have a mild obsession with dogs.
My career in tech started because I never felt fully dressed without a blow dry
Somehow curls haven't made it into the 'professional' sphere just yet.
I was working on Wall Street, first in trading, and later in research.
A simple blow dry was a game-changer in my confidence on the trading floor or at an important meeting.
I had a hard time booking beauty appointments, particularly last-minute when my schedule was often in flux.
I wanted to create an easy way for women to not only conveniently, and reliably book appointments, but to also look and feel their best each and every day.
I took a quiz and discovered a completely new way of working
I started working with an executive coach 9 months ago and she introduced the concept of work styles to me through a short quiz.
I did this assessment later with my team and I learned that each person has a work and leadership style.
The four types are 'controller'; 'persuader'; 'analyser'; and 'stabilizer'.
Typically, each person will be a mix of two, sometimes three styles, with one style being dominant.
Understanding both mine and my teammates' style helped figure out how we each make decisions; their priorities; strengths; blind spots, etc and how we might work together based on our styles.
The idea of 'good career' was informed by my family
On the one hand, my mom's side of the family held very traditional views of what this meant: becoming an attorney, advertising executive or consultant.
In their eyes, 'good' meant a path to follow and an increasing salary over time.
Yet my father and godfather were both entrepreneurs, and this meant taking risk.
I've been influenced by both sides, and they definitely are at odds with one another.
Transparency. Reliability. Integrity. Learning.
They're my most important work values; I try to conduct myself this way with whoever I'm dealing with and we've built our company culture on these values as well.
My biggest luxury...
Is an unlimited (Y7) yoga membership.
If I'm not upside-down regularly, life gets topsy turvy for me.
The book every woman should read is...
The God of Small Things, by Arundhiti Roy.
Separately, I just read Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In and despite all the hype, it lived up to my expectations and provoked a number of great discussions.
My mantra is...
Always be hustling, and never ever give up.
The five apps I couldn't live without...
Uber. Google Maps. Spotify. Instagram. Slack/Messages.
That's easy. The monkey face. He makes me giggle.
The soundtrack to my life would be...
Dancing On My Own by Robyn.
Complete this sentence: I am here to...
Create products, services or experiences that dramatically improve people's lives and wellbeing.