Alice, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was born and raised in St. Petersburg. My grandmother was a stylist for 29 years, so I grew up in her salon. I tried the college thing for a few years but ended up gravitating back towards hair and attended the Aveda Institute of Tampa Bay in 2016. I graduated in February of 2017 and immediately started working at a well-known salon in the area. I left that salon in June of 2018 and in August of that same year I signed on with Blo Blow Dry Bar to open my own franchise location.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It took 15 months to find the perfect location in downtown St. Petersburg. Our buildout began in January of 2020 with an opening date of March 29th. Covid-19 has other plans though. We pushed our opening date to the end of April, but then all non-essential businesses were ordered to close. It really seemed like we were never going to be able to open! Finally, in May, salons were allowed to open. We began our week long training with our bloers, aka stylists, on May 29th. We had protests walking up and down Central Avenue multiple times a day, we lost power once, and we were adapting to a new way of working; masks, disinfecting spray, hand sanitizer, temperature checks, etc. It’s been an insane ride, and I wish Covid was NOT a thing for obvious reasons, but I have learned so much about myself and discovered so many strengths I didn’t know I had because I had no other choice.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
We are your one stop shop for beautiful blow outs, braids, updos, and makeup. No cuts or color! I’m most proud of the environment and culture I’ve created with my team in our bar. We have an amazing vibe and our guests notice it and comment on it frequently. I know my team loves what they do, so all I want to do is provide a safe and happy haven for them to be able to do it. What sets us apart from others is our commitment to guests’ satisfaction. Our stylists go through extensive training and we have a brand and culture that we adhere to ensure that our guests love their experience and outcome at Blo. I also believe having an owner that is also a stylist definitely helps. I’m able to take guests myself, build real relationships, and I can jump in and help when needed. I understand the business from a stylist’s perspective while also knowing the ins and outs of the business side of things.
Can you talk about how you think about risk?
I definitely think there are no rewards without risk! Opening a business is 100% the biggest risk I have ever taken, even more so now. But I know there is no way I’d ever get to where I want to be in life without taking this leap of faith.
- Blow Outs $45
- We offer Memberships for $80 a month ($105/month for guests with extensions). It includes 2 blow outs a month, retail discounts, free birthday blow out, and monthly perks.
- Address: 920 Central Avenue St. Petersburg, FL 33705
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.blomedry.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blo_stpetersburg/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BloStPeterburg