It’s an entrepreneur’s dream; creating a cutting edge business and seeing it expand worldwide. It’s reality for Blo Blow Dry Bar founder Judy Brooks.
Eight years ago, when her daughter Devon was looking for a college business project, Brooks had an idea. She saw places where women could get their nails done. But, she said unless you were ready to fork out $60, there wasn’t anywhere you could get your hair washed and blow dried for a reasonable price. Her solution, Blo Blow Dry Bar. They don’t do haircuts or colour…just “blow-outs.” Brooks says it’s a great option for women who want to make sure their hair looks good for special occasions.
”I’m not a girly-girl and I’m not into my hair. However, I thought I would go and my daughter said she would too. That means two different age groups are interested. It makes me feel good and gives me confidence.” – Judy Brooks
Brooks and Devon acted on the college project. They opened up the first Blo location in Vancouver’s Yaletown. The concept was a small but, stylish hair salon allowing women to experience what they call affordable luxury.
“The business is a micro retail service, when everyone else is going big box, we’re going small box to be sustainable and to not spend too much on a lease.” - Brooks
Brooks says this kind of business didn’t exist in North America and only on a small scale in Asia. It’s grown from one location in Vancouver to four in B.C., more across Canada, the U.S. and cities around the world including Moscow and locations in the U.K. and the Philippines.
“Our average age of blowers is 22. Most of them haven’t gone through post-secondary school. They have found a place to land. They didn’t want to be servers. They have a passion for creativity.” - Brooks
Brook’s adds that many of them have furthered their training and built on their hair styling careers.
Meantime, she has stepped away from operating Blo, she’s onto new business opportunities in business consulting and leadership. For those who are wondering…if she still stops by for a quick hair fix?
“Oh my gosh, yes! I still get blow-outs.” - Brooks