From socialite to start-up boss, Susanna Quinn has an app for that

Entrepreneur Susanna Quinn. (Photo courtesy of Susanna Quinn)
Entrepreneur Susanna Quinn. (Photo courtesy of Susanna Quinn)

Anyone who’s ever uttered the phrase, “My Uber’s here” without hesitation believes strongly in the democratization of luxury. Washington native Susanna Quinn plans to do the same for daily extravagances once out of reach for everyman. Often described as a socialite, Quinn, the wife of Democratic super-lobbyist Jack Quinn, is setting her sights on the start-up world with Veluxe, an app that provides access to lifestyle services like blow drys, personal training, make up application and more — on-demand and in your home. 

Where did the idea for Veluxe come from? 

A lot of start up founders met at Harvard. I met Suzanne [Folsom, chair of Veluxe's board of advisors and the SVP of U.S. Steel] and Monica [Spaller, the app co-creator] through our kids. The playground is our incubator.

I love connecting people so finding an entrepreneurial way to do so  has always been a goal of mine. You’ve got Angie’s List and all these websites that spit out different names but who has time to vet them?

How did you get from the light bulb moment to launching this summer?
Monica and I hired an app developer and we worked with them every step of the way to come up with a user interface that was beautiful. One minute we are trying to find the perfect colors and the next, we are meeting with security companies regarding background checks for our vendors.

So who exactly will be using Veluxe as a verb?

There are 650 super zips in the U.S. and 63 are in the Washington, D.C., area alone. Our costumers are people who want these services but don’t have them because getting them isn’t fast, easy, simple or affordable enough. I think we’re creating a market.

Some critics might dismiss this as a vanity project. 

Working 18 hours a day is not a vanity project. It’s so funny that I still get called a socialite–I’m an entrepeneur. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about Veluxe and can’t fall back asleep. I’m totally obsessed with it.


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