(Photo by Paige Gross)
The first time executives from Ireland-based software company Phorest visited Philadelphia, it felt familiar.
The team was scouting a location for its first U.S. office, and the software company which makes products for salons and spas had narrowed its options down to the East Coast because of the five-hour time difference and direct flights. When leadership arrived in Philly, it was exactly what they were looking for, said Barry Quinn, the company’s general manager of U.S. operations.
“I see so many similarities between Dublin and Philadelphia,” he said, mentioning the city’s educated workforce, community feel and ability to navigate around made a good fit.
“The people themselves are quite like they are in Dublin,” he added. “Hard-working people, not afraid to speak their minds. It felt like home straight away for us.”
Phorest has been around since 2003, and has since made its mark in Europe. The company creates software to take bookings online, manage appointments, control inventory and roll out marketing strategies for salons and spas.
Quinn called the company “somewhat of a slow burn,” as it’s grown rapidly in just the last few years to about 200 employees now, up from 120 about a year ago.
And the team’s about to add about 40 more to its Philly office near Chestnut and Juniper streets following a kickoff event Thursday evening. The company will occupy space on the third floor of the Hale Building.
Phorest also runs a flagship event, the Salon Owners Summit, in Ireland, bringing owners and educators together for panels and networking. This year, the company is bringing a roadshow version of the event to Philadelphia. On Oct. 21, the roadshow will convene at The Lucy on North Broad Street.
Being in Center City was an important part of putting together a U.S. office, Quinn said: “Working in salons and spas, you tend to draw a creative, eclectic workforce and people want to be in an area that reflects that.”
Another factor in having a Philly office was having Bala Cynwyd investors Susquehanna Growth Equity nearby.
“Last year, we invested in Phorest, and when they started thinking about Philly, we got extremely excited,” said Jonathan Klahr, a managing director at SGE.
Quinn said the Philly office will have around 40 employees within the first eight weeks — some hiring from the area and some relocating from Phorest HQ — and hopes it can double that within a year or two.
“We will definitely have job announcements soon,” he said.
Check out some photos from the Phorest’s launch event:-30-
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