If you don’t know who Danesha Sapp, you better Bing her now because Danesha is a digital star in the making. The creater of the Go Nappturale iPhone app, this unique application has already got tongues wagging.
Charcoal Ink got an exclusive interview with Danesha all about creating this app dedicated to women with natural hair aka Charcoal Ink readers.
1. What was the inspiration behind creating the app?
Honestly, my inspiration was my own hair. I have moved a few times in my life and each time one of the hardest things was finding a salon in my new city. I was growing tired of the google search, which wasn’t really giving me everything that I needed. I wanted an easier way. One day, I was on my phone running a google search and it just hit me. Why not create an app targeted specifically for urban salons, that provide directions, contact info, etc. So that’s how it began.
2. What did you want to achieve with the app?
I want the app to be a precursor for a bigger picture and that is keeping money within the black communities. So many of our dollars are given to non-black business owners and I want to change that. For instance, the apps have a beauty supply locator in them as well. Which locate black-owned beauty supply stores. This is significant. Mainly because we know, that black hair is a multi-billion dollar industry. Those making money from that are sending that money back to their home countries and injecting it into their communities. These our dollars that we can use for the revitalization of our own communities. Simply by redirecting business to the black owned beauty supply stores. Although some of these black-owned supply stores may be smaller than what you are use to, with your continued support they can grow and possibly become chain stores located in more places around your city and state. In order to do that though, we MUST pro-actively support black-owned business. So, I am looking for ways to integrate 3rd party apps that reward consumers for their loyalty. We actually have a thing or two in the works.
3. What has the response been so far?
I have received an overwhelming response. Everyone loves the app. I have had a blog or two critique the app without purchasing it, but I just look at it as an ignorance to our plight within the black community. There aren’t very many apps out there that satisfy some of our most important needs, so I am happy when I find a developer who is trying. I can appreciate it for what it is. Other than that, so many bloggers have shown an extraordinary amount of love and kindness by featuring the app and interviewing me. It really is great, when we can support each other.
4. Has it been financially successful?
Well apps are very expensive to develop, especially for 3 platforms like we have done BUT given the time the app has been on the market..I deem it as being financially successful so far. The more apps that sell, just means more upgrades that make it more useful as well as new apps. You just have to find your core audience and hone in on them. I hired a PR consultant, so that will provide even more exposure..and I suggest doing the same thing. You must find one who has experience in reaching the audience you are trying to capture.
5. Did you build the app yourself?
Yes, I designed and created the apps myself.
6. What has been the best experience so far from creating the app?
Just to finally see a physical product. Watching it grow from concept to product is a really great thing. I love the feeling of project completion.
7. What has been the hardest experience since creating the app?
Getting the word out to salon and beauty supply owners. I dont think they realize how valuable a tool like this is. Some people try to fight technology, but its going to happen- with or without you. You can get onboard or be left behind, and those onboard will flourish.
8. What mobile platforms is the app available on? Available on IPhone, Android, and Blackberry.
9. What advice would you give black women who want to break into technology like you?
I say go for it! When you begin projects, they are your baby and you want to do everything right because you have this pretty little picture in your head that you don’t want to sway from, but mistakes will happen. Just prepare for the unexpected. Everything will work out. You just have to keep your eyes on the prize and keep pressing forward. Sometimes you might put out something that doesn’t pick up traction right way, keep tweaking it and listening to the people that will benefit from it. They will give you valuable feedback. Engage your audience. If you aren’t good at certain things, hire people who are. Your product will come out looking a lot more streamlined and professional.
You can buy Danesha’s app on iTunes.
What do you all think of her initiative? I love this, and think it sounds great. Shame I don’t have a smartphone. Danesha should make one for the LDN or African cities like Nairobi!