A mother who was branded a ‘wannabe’ by a ‘cruel’ male investor has revealed how she made over £100,000 in a year despite giving away services for free during the pandemic. 

Jody Riley (33), a Liverpool native, was expelled from school without any qualifications. She then moved from one job to another before starting work in the beauty business while she was pregnant with her first baby. 

She spent years honing her skills. In late 2019, PamperBook was launched. This app offers freelancers and beauty salon owners a digital calendar and booking system. 

The entrepreneur has since gained over 40,000 customers and had 150,000 appointments booked through her service – making a profit this year despite giving services away for free during the pandemic. 

Jody shared her struggles with investors and web developers who dismissed Jody as an inept young woman.  

Jody Riley, 33, from Liverpool, made over £100,000 in a year despite giving away services for free during the pandemic after launching a digital beauty appointment booking platform in 2019

Jody Riley, 33, from Liverpool, made over £100,000 in a year despite giving away services for free during the pandemic after launching a digital beauty appointment booking platform in 2019 

She stated, “I’ve shared it with a lot people.” They thought that I was too small to grow into a business. 

I have experienced a lot of this. I’ve been beaten quite often. “Who’s she?” “Who’s she?”

Jody is a mother-of-two who lives with her sons in Aintree. She has always been a hard worker and went to charity shop rounds, did a paper roll, and worked in car boot sales since she was nine years old.  

She said, “I don’t understand why,” It’s crazy because it’s not the money that I was focusing on. The selling, being there, working are all the problems. “I can remember walking out from the store with the cash in my hand and leaving it there.” 

Mother-of-two Jody, who lives in Aintree with her two sons, has always had a good work ethic, going to car boot sales, doing a paper round and working in local charity shops from the age of nine

Jody is a mother-of-two and lives in Aintree. She started working at local charities as a volunteer, selling cars, making paper rounds, and has been a mom to her sons since she was nine years old.

Jody had a hard time focusing at school. She was then expelled for not completing her schoolwork. 

She stated, “While it sounds awful at school, I was just not willing to learn and went through some rough patches and got expelled.” ‘I didn’t do GCSEs, left school. Although I’m not ashamed to admit it, my eyes are filled with regret. 

“I was not really bad. You see, I don’t have an attitude. I did not want to be there. “I just wanted to do what I want.  

PamperBook: The virtual PA created by beauticians 

PamperBook acts as a 'virtual PA' for freelancers or salon owners

 PamperBook acts as a ‘virtual PA’ for freelancers or salon owners 

PamperBook Customers can check the availability of hair services and make appointments directly with the stylist or freelancer. 

This eliminates the need to hire a receptionist or staff member, which in turn saves money and increases bookings by 25%. 

With the app, customers are able to book appointments any hour of the day or evening. In fact, more than half of booked appointments can be made during salon hours.

This app works on Mac, PC/Smartphones and other smart devices.

You can set up reminders for your diary and receive push notifications from salon owners as well as customers. 

To secure appointments, customers can use the PamperPay payment method to pay for treatments. 

PamperBook is partnering with Facebook and Instagram to offer a PamperBook “Book Now Button” 

Jody quit school to go from “job to job”, which she describes as a ‘nightmare’. Then, Jody got pregnant and had her first child. 

She stated that she took several beauty courses, and then started her own beauty business. “I traveled around the country while pregnant, doing makeup and nails. 

Jody opened her first salon at the tender age of 24 through determination and hard work. 

She said, “I went around eight months pregnant doing nails and make-up for people.” 

It was terrifying, but I didn’t mind it. I just kinda threw everything at it and thought it would work. I just felt it came easily to me.

PamperBook was born out of frustration after she visited the spa’s pool and couldn’t find an appointment for her hair. 

Jody, then 29, was able to ‘threw herself in the deep end’ two years later and began work on the app. She reached out to local developers when she was 29. 

Finding a web developer for her website was the biggest challenge she faced. 

“I love/hate them,” she stated. “They are so difficult to work together with the one that I have now, honestly. He’s just an angel.”

Next came the challenge of finding investors. She revealed that one investor who rejected her was a harsh critic. He tried again to contact her via social media after her success. 

“Join the Line” was the words of an investor that I remember. She recalled joining the ranks of other wannabes. 

“That was one of the biggest pushes I had where I was like, “I’m going tell you” and thankfully I did. He even went on to follow me on LinkedIn. 

“People can be cruel. I don’t want to be considered sexist. But men, especially, can be very cruel. I am a young woman. Some people think she’s a dumb thing. 

To date, Jody has over £500,000 invested in PamperBook and says that when she finally found an investor, while they loved the product, it was her attitude that convinced them. 

Jody said that it was mind blowing to witness the first success of the platform’s soft launch after the firm’s soft launch. 

‘I’ve come from travelling around in my little car and you know, not being able to afford petrol some days, doing £10 nails, to “Wow I’ve got £200,000 in the bank for a  business that was literally just a thought”.’ 

Jody decided to not charge for the services she provided when the pandemic struck and used her time instead of charging users. 

After a soft launch, the business was in full swing and Jody says it was 'mind blowing' to see the initial success of her product. Pictured, the PamperBook app on a mobile phone

Jody describes the launch as’mind-blowing’. PamperBook on a smartphone. 

Jody says what sets the app apart from her competition is that PamperBook is a female-led business 'built by a beautician for beauticians'. Pictured, the PamperBook app on a mobile phone

Jody claims that PamperBook’s uniqueness is due to the fact it’s a woman-led company ‘built for beauticians by beauticians. Photograph of the PamperBook app for mobile phones

“We were more of a support network and started just sending welcome packs on how to handle COVID pressure. And we really stood by our users. So we set up support groups, gave away everything, basically. 

“We were fortunate to have the opportunity to invest in the bank. It allowed us to get to know the users, strengthen our product, and be regarded as a trustworthy institution. 

“So, being more than just booking systems. We can also say we’re reputable by our support system. We are available to assist you at any time by calling our customer service number. 

Jody said it was hard homeschooling her children with her mother who worked night shifts in nursing. She would often be awake until the early hours of the morning to work on her app, while her children slept.   

PamperBook was founded by a beauty therapist for beauticians, and she believes that this is what makes it stand out from other apps. 

“I’ve been there. Done that. The T-shirt is my friend. This T-shirt is super feminine and easy to use. They are all corporate men, who don’t know much about beauty and have put this together. 

From June 2020-21, Jody turned over more than £100,000 and after another £200,000 investment, PamperBook are planning to expand to locations outside of the UK

From June 2020-21, Jody turned over more than £100,000 and after another £200,000 investment, PamperBook are planning to expand to locations outside of the UK

“So I think that a is really what sets us apart. It’s just so easy to use, you know, very cost efficient and only the people behind it really makes us more impressionable.

From June 2020-21, Jody turned over more than £100,000 and after another £200,000 investment, PamperBook is planning to expand to locations outside of the UK – with the team ‘constantly’ adding new features to the app.  

Jody states that she would advise her clients to “set aside their ego” and that her primary goal is to assist young women in similar situations as her. 

She stated, “There was no direction for me”. She said, “I did not know what was happening.” It would be incredible if I could pick them up and offer my knowledge and assistance. 

These young girls leave school because they know. It’s not possible to determine what kind of lives they have had. This is my ultimate goal. I want to mentor, coach and invest in women in similar situations.