Smoot Carter is an entrepreneur at the center of three different businesses. But he didn’t arrive there overnight. A native of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he now lives in Dallas, Texas. Educated at LSU and Yale Divinity School, Carter started driving for Uber on his personal time. Since 2012, he has given over 4,000 Uber rides.
But, as he said, he didn’t want to just be one of the many thousands of Uber drivers. He saw the concept they created to help bring drivers and riders together through a unique App, and he decided he wanted to find a way to use that model to deliver other services to customers.
He co-founded the company BlownAway, which offers health and beauty services for women needing them. His company aggressively markets the app at conferences where there is a large concentration of women – whether those are conferences for health and beauty products or even political conferences. Often, he has found, when women are on the road and preparing to look great in an evening gown at a gala, and are away from their usual stylist back at home, they are looking for services. The app allows them to get their hair and nails done without leaving their hotel room — and the stylists are vetted to ensure high quality. And, like the Uber app does for riders and drivers, the stylists get rated after each service.
After this product saw success, a Dallas family with a deep background in Senior Living communities got involved and led the efforts to create www.craftedstyle.com, which is launching in the next month in Katy, TX. He really appreciates the “moments of joy” that customers get, particularly those in the senior living centers, after getting a stylist to come to them. In addition, he has another company called Restaurant Growth Technologies that is using online technology to help restaurants deliver food to their customers. He is currently test marketing the app in markets in New Orleans and Orlando. For those in Orlando (where the Agents of Innovation podcast host lives), this app is specifically being test marketed for Burger U at the University of Central Florida (and within a 5-mile radius of the campus).
In the end, these products he has created are leveraging technology to help deliver services. It’s a great business model for Smoot Carter and his team, but it’s also helping other entrepreneurs deliver services to their customers. Smoot says the success he is having is a byproduct of “doing well by doing good.” These apps help create jobs or opportunities for contractors.
“There’s a lot of magic that you experience when you hit that button on your Uber app or these apps,” said Carter. “But there’s a lot that goes into it.”
Check out the rest of the story on Episode 18 of the Agents of Innovation podcast.