Diana Winegarden is the co-founder and CEO of HeyThrivy, a comprehensive household management service that allows our clients to focus on living their big, bold lives. Her and her co-founder, Danna Redmond, are both active Female Founders Alliance members.
Tell us a little about HeyThrivy? What inspired you to start the company?
The short answer is HeyThrivy is kind of like a cross between having a hotel concierge and a property manager – for your life! The longer answer is that HeyThrivy is a comprehensive household management service that allows our clients to focus on living their big, bold lives. For one flat monthly fee, clients get a dedicated home manager, unlimited tasks and errands, weekly home sessions to tidy up, end to end management of household projects, and access to our vendor network. Everything is managed through the HeyThrivy app and we mine data in our system for insights into client trends. In this way, we can make proactive suggestions for clients before they even know they need something. We designed the service as a monthly subscription because we recognized that many people want help during busy times but may also want to pause their service during extended travel or other ‘down’ times.
We are all about flexibility. The idea for the service came from my own experience of moving to new houses four times in five years, with two of those moving being international moves. We used every kind of service to get things installed, fixed, delivered, managed, etc. What I found was that having access to things like Task Rabbit or Angie’s List or Amazon Home Services was helpful, but it still meant that I had to do all of the legwork and all of the management. It just didn’t save us any time. Danna Redmond and I met for brunch in the Spring of 2016 and were talking about juggling all of these services and how it still left a big gap in getting things done. We started brainstorming how we could use technology to fix some of this and high touch service to tie it all together. HeyThrivy was born!
How is HeyThrivy making a difference?
HeyThrivy’s success has been in part because of the community of entrepreneurs and startup leaders that we have been able to learn from. I try to pay that forward however I can to support other entrepreneurs including introductions to people in my network, giving feedback on prototypes, sharing referrals for services or even sharing sales leads. I know that Danna (my co-founder) does the same.
What are some challenges you’ve faced?
The model we’ve created is brand new for most people and so there is a fair amount of education up front in our sales cycle. Before we had word of mouth referrals, the concept of a comprehensive household management service on a subscription basis was just a lot to understand. I underestimated how different our model would be and frankly we under-invested in making that easier for potential clients. We have a wave of marketing deliverables coming out soon aimed at making our service easier to understand but it was an expensive early misstep.
What’s been your biggest win?
We were thrilled with the response to Geekwire’s Startup Spotlight on HeyThrivy at the end of June and have started getting requests from Chicago, the Bay Area and Dallas. We’ll get there! We also recently rolled out a new $300/month package and that has been really well received in Seattle. We are bringing on a technical co-founder now and his vision for driving scale in our operations will really help support out next level of growth.
Who is your role model?
I always struggle with this question, my bookshelf and podcast library are filled with
people who have shaped my thinking over the last year in particular. I am definitely inspired by David Chang of Momofuku. He has built an empire with extraordinary creativity and experimentation.
What has been your experience been with FFA?
I am grateful that FFA was in place as HeyThrivy was getting started. Starting a company means big dreams and bold ambition, and the other female founders in this community inspire me to dream bigger and get bolder. The willingness to send a referral or weigh in on an interaction with a potential investor or help to amplify each other’s companies – incredible. The recent Access Media event was one of the best events I’ve attended all year and filled with valuable takeaways. I cannot wait to see the impact of the Ready Set Raise program for those companies accepted – programs like that are how we will change the funding dynamic for women.