We’re sure you’ve heard it before – Change is the only consistency in life. While most people know this to be true, it’s also undeniable that change - no matter good or bad - comes with its own set of challenges. The best thing to do is take control of what you can while enjoying the ride. Don't ever feel stuck or pressured to continue something that no longer interests or serves you, whether that’s in your personal or professional life. Nowadays with only 27% of college graduates getting a job relating to their major, there’s more freedom than ever to embrace change and do something completely different! Do what feels right for YOU.
Don’t only take our word for it, meet Gerdwine “Gerdy” Bourdeau and Siani Purdie. These ladies didn’t have a background in IT but spent the last two years teaching themselves how to develop an app. We reached out to the girl boss duo to talk about college, trying different things, and taking that first step to bringing an idea to life.
Tell me about the app!
Gerdy: The Look app! It’s a merge between Instagram and Yelp. A central location for beauty and wellness professionals to increase revenue and clientele. Clients can search for a specific service based on location, leave reviews, book appointments, and many more.
How did you two decide to partner up and where did you get the idea for “The Look?”
Siani: We’ve been best friends since freshman orientation at East Stroudsburg University and were heavily involved on campus together. I wanted to design an app and Gerdy does hair so we combined that to create ‘The Look.’ We signed up for a bootcamp on how to build apps without code, which gave us the fundamental tools to begin building our app.
Gerdy: We had a best friend moment one time where Siani jokingly mentioned wanting to design an app. I said let’s do it! We agreed to try it out and see it through.
What challenges have you run into and how did you overcome them?
Gerdy: The challenge arose when we realized we would need to utilize some coding . Our knowledge with IT has been trial and error so we relied on great research skills through Google and YouTube university . Siani’s ability to understand formulas helps us navigate plug-ins in our application. We couldn't have imagined overcoming these challenges without the assistance of our bootcamp mentors. Understanding them and having them understand us is something I couldn’t imagine.
How do you persevere through the rough times?
Both: We motivate each other. We dedicate three days a week to work on the app and set mental health days where we hop on a call to check in and talk life into each other. It’s okay to take a break!
What do you hope to achieve?
Both: This constantly changes. Ultimately, we want to make an app for businesses to connect with their clients and make life simple.
What was your educational journey like?
Siani: During undergrad, I was a finance major heavily involved on campus. I was always thinking of ways to make things better than when I found them. After, I went onto West Chester University of Pennsylvania to pursue my MBA. My campus involvement created a network of people that I still collaborate with.
Gerdy: I was a Biology major in hopes of becoming a pediatrician. I quickly realized that the program wasn't for me. I changed my minor in psychology to my major which piqued my interest in industrial organization. I continued my education at ESU and graduated with my M.S in Management and Leadership in Organizational Behavior. Just like Siani, I was heavily involved with campus activities which allowed me to be more creative. The skills I’ve gained in those leadership roles are contributing to our business now! Whoever said you’ll never use what you learned in school lied!
What’s your favorite part about working together on the app?
Siani: Building something brand new and being able to see the progression. We complement each other well. Gerdy is very creative and research driven where I am more technical and detail oriented.
Gerdy:The messaging system! It wasn’t easy to code, but we did it! Also, our scheduled app days. It allows for us to debrief and catch up on life outside of our busy work schedule.
How did you know that this was the path for you?
Gerdy: If it wasn’t meant to be we wouldn’t have gotten this far. The path feels right. If it veers off, we are still aligned.
What advice do you have for our readers?
Siani: Plan for the unexpected and align yourself with diverse backgrounds. Do different things you never know what tomorrow might bring.
Gerdy: Don’t be afraid to freefall. One day the glass ceiling will be your floor. Success is nothing without failure. Keep an open mind.
Anything else you want to say/add?
Both: Look out for the Look app, baby!