Recently we had an opportunity to speak with Corinna Hernandez, the Owner & Founder at Pony Education about Pony Education LIVE
Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.
I founded Pony Education in 2014 after spending a couple decades teaching hairdressers how to cut and style hair. In the first version of the business, I would travel to host salons and train their staff. Soon we would book regional events and sell tickets to the general public-- all across the USA. We hired some of the most amazing educators from my career to also teach on the road.
Then in 2018, with my techy husband, we opened our first salon which was wired with all sorts of audio and video technology so we could start streaming live events with multiple camera angles and studio-grade lighting. We began developing an app so people could attend these classes virtually. We also started flying out educators to record on demand videos from the salon.
All of these efforts aligned perfectly with the whole remote-education movement during COVID. While in-person, hands-on education is still going to change your life, people can still participate in these events from the comfort of their own homes or salons :)
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
We are building a fundamentals sort of "Master Series" for beginners now, and will continue to release bundles in the future. We have some really exciting content that is taking a long time to edit.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?
We are continuing to build a culture that we are all really proud of. Being able to keep in close touch with some of my best friends all across the USA has also been great. We find ourselves really pushing each other, which is important in this craft. And seeing people from all over the world attend classes is really humbling and just motivates us to keep investing in a really excellent experience for them. We will not let you down!
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
The ability to remotely attend our incredible classes and view HD images is really amazing. You can participate by asking questions live and can even pop up on a video panel to participate. We are seeing people cast from their iOS or web based app onto huge TVs and the quality is still amazing. Zoom classes are "ok" but we have some really great gear for shooting and amplifying these events.
What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?
Building our studio was a really taxing effort! But it has been well worth it.
Which other mobile apps or technology have inspired you?
Masterclass is a really great idea-- where you can have access to the BEST. That's what we aspire to do. And while most of our educators aren't huge influencers they ALL have done amazing work and have been forged in fire to be the best educators around.
Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?
This has only worked because my husband totally runs the non-creative side of this endeavor. So artists should all find free labor that allows you to focus on the craft while they focus on the tech :)
How did you decide which platforms to release your app on and do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms?
Over 90% of our web traffic is via iOS devices so it was a no-brainer to release it in the App Store first. Android users can still easily access the web based app through any browser. Android users and Apple TV users can expect versions in the next year.
How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?
Pony Education LIVE has an abundance of live events and on demand videos for a low subscription fee. We also only use live models instead of doll heads. No other offering combines these 3 variables.
You can view Pony Education LIVE here
For more information, visit: http://live.ponyeducation.com/