Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - Money - South Flor­ida Sun Sen­tinel

ike many Amer­i­cans, you whip out your credit card to pay for your fab­u­lous new look from your fa­vorite sa­lon. But the sa­lon won’t let you add a tip, and you for­got to get cash.

What to do? Jump on the Tippy app on the sa­lon’s iPad at the check­out counter to thank your stylist with a gen­er­ous tip.

Tippy, a new app by a Fort Laud­erdale startup, makes it con­ve­nient for cus­tomers to leave tips for their hair stylists and spa work­ers when they don’t have cash and can’t add them to their credit-card tab.

The app, launched in early De­cem­ber, is al­ready be­ing used in 60 sa­lons, ac­cord­ing to par­ent com­pany Direc­tTips, which has raised more than $3 mil­lion. It’s in sup­port of the com­pany’s na­tion­wide roll­out of plac­ing an iPad fea­tur­ing the app in sa­lons.

Mod­ern­iz­ing tips

The idea for Tippy came from con­ver­sa­tions be­tween two brothers-in-law, David Tashjian and Terry McKim.

“The sa­lon and spa in­dus­try has been slow in catch­ing up in the money-pro­cess­ing busi­ness and pay­ment-pro­cess­ing busi­ness,” Tashjian said. “The app is solv­ing a huge prob­lem in the in­dus­try.”

Direc­tTips was co-founded in 2015 by Tashjian, CEO and pres­i­dent, an en­tre­pre­neur who founded At­lanta-based com­pany Linq3, which al­lows con­sumers to buy lot­tery tick­ets along with their gro­ceries. Other co-founders are McKim, chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, who founded Dig­i­tiz­ing, a dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ing com­pany; and Terry Derr, founder of Penn­syl­va­nia sa­lon chain, Lords & Ladies.

Of course, there are other tip­ping apps avail­able to con­sumers, such as Venmo and Square Cash that trans­fer money via a cell­phone. But Tashjian said Tippy of­fers the con­ve­nience of be­ing part of the sa­lon check­out.

Jasen Wil­liam, owner of the Jasen Wil­liam Sa­lon in Coral Springs, said cus­tomers im­me­di­ately liked Tippy be­cause of its “ease of use.”

“The cus­tomer has some­thing vis­ual to look at to add a gra­tu­ity,” he said.

Mak­ing it a breeze

Stylists like it be­cause they can see the tip on their cell­phone app, and they get a di­rect de­posit into their check­ing or sav­ings by the next day, he said.

The app is also mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the size of tips, ac­cord­ing to the sa­lon owner and one of his hair stylists, Chris­tine Jus­tice.

“My tips have never been this high,” said Jus­tice, 21, who has worked at the sa­lon for two years. She said many stylists live “pay­check to pay­check,” so Tippy helps man­age tip money. “When I have cash, it dis­ap­pears. Now it’s a lit­tle more con­trolled,” she added.


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