Small Business Spotlight: Drybar

Stylists attend to clients at the Drybar in Cary’s Waverly Place. The shop opens at 7 a.m. daily, so scheduling an appointment is often easier than at a full-service salon.

Sarah Woodson, owner of the Cary Drybar, can attest to the confidence-boosting appeal of newly styled hair.

Before she opened the blowout franchise at Waverly Place last December, she was a customer seeking a little pampering. Her husband would be in Atlanta on business, and Woodson would get her hair done while she waited for him to wrap up his meetings. She was impressed with the skill of the stylists, the atmosphere and, more than anything else, the experience and how great it made her feel.

Sarah Woodson, salon owner, says her father always told her to “provide exceptional service,” and that philosophy has guided her throughout her career.

Woodson, a former sales rep for medical equipment, was looking for a venture that would allow her to spend more time with her two daughters, ages 9 and 12. She was also impressed with Drybar’s commitment to customer service.

Unlike at full-service salons, Drybar stylists don’t cut or color hair. Armed with the trademark blow dryer, stylists efficiently tame frizzy, curly or otherwise out-of-control hair. Along with the complementary glass of wine, another perk is that the styles will last up to five days with proper care.

Stylist Natasha Flowers dries her client’s hair, section by section.

Nationwide the trend is popular with younger, affluent professional women, but Woodson says she sees a variety of clients. Blowouts are $45, and members of the frequent styling club get discounts on services and products. The Drybar team also does styling for weddings, proms and other off-site events.

This month, Woodson will open a second Triangle location in Raleigh’s Midtown East shopping center at Wake Forest Road and I-440. “We look forward to expanding into Raleigh and building off of the momentum we have begun in Cary,” she said.

For those new to this affordable luxury, Woodson describes her business and why she loves it.

Can you describe the Drybar experience?

At Drybar, the experience is everything. When you come into the shop, you will be greeted and offered a drink. Yes, we serve wine! Your stylist will have a consultation with you to decide what style you are looking for, and then will wash, blow-dry and style your hair. We also do updo’s and braids. Our goal is for our clients to leave feeling confident and happy, and we will bend over backward to achieve this.

Emily Teeter’s curly hair is tamed into a sleek, bouncy style by stylist Rachael Woolsey.

Why would a client come to you instead of a hair salon?

While a typical full-service hair salon offers a range of hair services, the core of their business is typically cut and color. Our founder, Alli Webb, chose to focus on blowouts and being the best in the industry. Our stylists are trained to be exceptional at this service and to complete them in a short period of time. We also have a wide range of hours, which allows clients to be scheduled before, during, or after work or school. We also have weekend hours for date nights and special events.

What attracted you to the Drybar franchise?

As a customer, I fell in love with the exceptional experience and how confident I felt after the service, which is why I decided to look into becoming a franchise partner. The amazing company culture was the tipping point for making the decision to join the Drybar family.

Mari McKenzie relaxes as she has her hair washed before getting her hair styled.

Why was Cary a good location for Drybar?

Cary is central to the Triangle and a perfect area for our first shop. We have a fabulous group of women here — clients and business owners — and they have welcomed us with open arms.

What’s been your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge of being an entrepreneur has been the work/life balance, especially at the beginning. The first month we were open, I was in the shop from open to close seven days a week. This allowed me to get to know my staff and customers, and to really learn the business, but as a mom, it’s not sustainable. My amazing staff is now at a point where I can be both a mom and entrepreneur, and I know my business will run smoothly.

The exterior of the shop displays the franchise’s signature yellow blow dryer.

What’s the best part of owning a business?

I have LOVED making connections with other business owners, especially women. There are some amazing female entrepreneurs in our community, and I love that we can collaborate and help each other grow our businesses!

302 Colonades Way, Suite 206, Cary
(919) 238-7264

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