Sheree and Danielle
Therapair & Mystro & Healthinomics
‘We’ve always marched to the beat of our own drum, so it was only natural that having a restrictive 9 to 5 job where our worth is determined based on a salary was never a lifestyle we wanted to pursue.’
Sheree and Danielle always knew that following the norm didn’t suit them, not as a couple, not as business owners, it simply wasn’t creative enough. They also knew from a young age they wanted to be entrepreneurs, and their journey began with Mystro, an online management platform for health and wellness professionals to manage their businesses and schedules. From there they identified gaps in their industry and filled them in, launching Therapair and Healthinomics.
Give a brief summary of you, your company and its journey
We’re Sheree & Danielle, co-founders of Therapair, Mystro and Healthinomics.
We’ve been in business for 6 of the 8 years we’ve been together. As a couple, following ‘the norm’ doesn’t suit us, it’s just not creative enough. We want more in life and have set out to achieve that.
We work hard for what we want, are self-taught in everything we do, life hack as best we can, set goals, save, and have learnt not to rely on anyone but ourselves to get us to where we want to be.
Our startup journey began with Mystro, an online platform for health and wellness professionals to manage their business and schedule.
We joined and received investment from Bluechilli, an Australian startup accelerator, early this year – 12 months after launching Mystro. After doing some customer acquisition tests, we realised it’s not enough providing these health and wellness professionals with beautiful software to manage their business if they lack the customers.
This is what led us on to launching our company, Therapair, a website that matches people with health and wellness professionals based on their individual preferences for booking real-time appointments online, instantly. It’s like eHarmony meets Airbnb for the health and wellness space.
On our journey, we also identified a big problem with business owners in this space lacking the time and skills to create engaging content to post on social media. So we started Healthinomics, a digital downloads store for health and wellness business owners to access beautiful ready-made social media content to save time and increase engagement.
What drove you to make a major change to your business life?
We’ve always marched to the beat of our own drum, so it was only natural that having a restrictive 9 to 5 job where our worth is determined based on a salary was never a lifestyle we wanted to pursue.
Danielle knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur from a young age and started a business offering babysitting services whilst still in high school. Sheree’s first taste of business life was when she started her own remedial massage therapy business.
It was through Sheree’s career as a remedial therapist that we identified significant gaps in the market when it came to the tools available for health and wellness professionals to manage their business and schedule, which is what led us to embark on the journey of our first startup, Mystro.
What’s been your proudest moment in business?
Joining Bluechilli and receiving investment from their venture fund early this year was a significant milestone for our business. Knowing that they only invest in 2% of the startups that pitch to them each year definitely made us both feel proud of what we’ve achieved so far and optimistic for what’s ahead.
What mistake have you learned most from?
Like most people going down the startup route, we tried to save money everywhere we could by learning how to do things ourselves to avoid having to pay someone to do it. The biggest challenge for us, and where we learnt some of our biggest lessons, were from a legal standpoint.
Getting legal contracts, agreements and advice can be one of the most expensive costs when starting a business. When we decided to outsource development of our platform to a software development company, we didn’t get our contracts looked over by a lawyer. This meant not having those important clauses put into the contract to protect us in the event that the software wasn’t delivered on time, had security vulnerabilities, or was unfinished.
Because we didn’t do this, this ultimately led to us losing $80K and over three years of our time. We were handed a defective product that didn’t meet the brief and ended up in legal battles, only to walk away without a product. It is mistakes like these where hard lessons are learnt.
What would you say is the recipe for success in your sector?
Building strategic partnerships with health and wellness colleges and associations to not only build credibility, but to leverage these partnerships to get continual exposure to your target market.
What have you learned about yourself?
We’ve both become extremely resilient to things not going our way and, instead of having melt downs, have developed a ‘thick skin’ that allows us to focus on continuing to move forward and see past the speed hump that’s right in front of us.
We actually laugh more when challenges are thrown our way now because, as with anything, whinging and crying about it doesn’t solve the issue. We’ve experienced plenty of these moments over the past 5 to 6 years – every single one of them has been tough but, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to get through it because no one else is going to do it for you.
What has been your biggest sacrifice for the business?
Financial and personal development has definitely been two of the biggest sacrifices we’ve made over the years.
We’ve put many personal things aside for a long time. We lived with Danielle’s parents for a few years, which comes with its own challenges, and then started house sitting about a year and a half ago. House sitting is great and we love living a flexible lifestyle and saving money on rent, but it has its downsides. We move house sits typically every 3-6 weeks and live out of a suitcase. It’s also difficult to maintain routine in our lives and stick to a structure, which is not ideal, especially when running a startup.
Given what you know now, what would you do differently?
We would have paid for a lawyer to review our agreements. We also would have found two technical co-founders who had a vested interest in the company, instead of going through a software development company. This would have saved years of time and allowed us to get to market much faster.
Who would you most like to employ in your business – famous or otherwise?
Google’s lead front-end and back-end engineer!
Best piece of advice to other business owners?
Don’t skimp on costs when it comes to getting your legal agreements looked over. If you’re starting a company that’s heavily reliant on tech, find a technical co-founder who has skills to help bring your idea to life and offer them equity in your company so they have a vested interest in making it work with you.
Therapair – www.therapair.co
Mystro – www.mystro.co
Healthinomics – www.healthinomics.com