Executive Q&A With Jeremy Morgan, CEO of Drybar Parent Company WellBiz Brands, Inc.
Drybar, the blow dry bar salon franchise with 141 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, was recently acquired by WellBiz Brands, Inc., opening up its traditionally exclusive franchise opportunity to more prospective franchisees than ever before. 1851 Franchise caught up with WellBiz Brands, Inc. CEO Jeremy Morgan to learn more.
1851 Franchise: What inspired the Drybar brand?
Jeremy Morgan: Alli Webb fought her naturally curly hair from a young age but didn’t incorporate that into her professional life until years later. After going to beauty school and working as a hairstylist in Florida and New York City, she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a happy stay-at-home mom to her two sons until she “got the itch to get back out there and do something for herself.” That led to Drybar’s 2008 precursor, “Straight-At-Home.”
While her kids were at preschool, Webb would drive to other women’s homes to give them $40 blowouts. She was quickly overwhelmed with clients, who told her that when she wasn’t available, their regular cut-and-color stylists didn’t want to be bothered with a blowout. Webb sensed an opportunity.
She opened the first Drybar in February 2010 in Brentwood, California, using a $250,000 investment from her brother Michael Landau, $50,000 of her own savings and the design magic of her brother’s friend, successful architect Josh Heitler.
Webb wanted Drybar to have the feeling you get when you go to your favorite bar and you know the bartender, and everyone’s really nice to you and engaging. She also wanted it to feel like an oasis for women. While the business started as an affordable luxury for stay-at-home moms in the Los Angeles area who wanted a 2 p.m. pick-me-up, it quickly turned into a service craved by women of all means.
1851: What makes the Drybar brand stand out in the blow dry bar industry?
Morgan: First and foremost, Drybar has created a culture that is dedicated to the ultimate customer experience, and that’s what keeps customers coming back. From the flattering lighting to the feminine decor, Drybar offers an elevated, high-end salon experience with no detail overlooked.
Drybar offers a simple booking process via web, phone or app as well as branded products created and tailored to complement the ultimate blowout experience.
Drybar’s unique Barfly Membership Program brings franchisees recurring monthly revenue, and its nationally recognized products, which are sold in all Drybar locations in addition to national retailers like Nordstrom and Sephora, have helped give the brand national recognition.
Now, after being acquired by WellBiz Brands, Inc., which also includes beauty, wellness and fitness brands Amazing Lash Studio®, Elements Massage® and Fitness Together®, Drybar is backed by extensive support, infrastructure and beauty brand experience.
1851: What are some of the milestones in the brand’s history that have led to its success?
2013: Drybar’s product line was launched.
2015: After focusing on growing the company footprint and building the brand name, Drybar started franchising again.
2018: Drybar opened its 100th location.
2021: Drybar was acquired by WellBiz Brands, Inc.
1851: Who is the typical Drybar customer?
Morgan: Drybar’s customers are typically between 35 to 55, and the most lucrative group in that age range live in dual income households without children. Most clients initially come in before an event — a wedding, job interview or gala — and enjoy it so much, they end up building it into their weekly routines. Drybar’s hours are appealing to professionals who need to get their hair done at 7 a.m. Monday morning before a presentation, and for busy moms, Drybar offers a chance to get some “me time” after dropping the kids off at school.
1851: What does an ideal Drybar franchisee look like?
Morgan: Most of our franchisees have been Drybar customers who have an appreciation for the experience, quality and consistency of the brand. Typically, they have professional degrees and are either leaving corporate America to build something for themselves or re-entering the workforce after being home with the kids. Our ideal franchisee has a passion for customer service and can demonstrate retail or managerial experience. Socially engaging and active in their communities, our franchisees are optimistic and take pride in their ability to stay on top of beauty trends.
1851: What’s next for Drybar?
Morgan: By the end of 2021, Drybar plans to add up to 60 units to its system. The Drybar team has identified several markets primed for growth, including Boise, Cleveland, Columbus, Fresno, Madison, Memphis, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Portland, Salt Lake City, Tallahassee and Tulsa. WellBiz Brands, Inc. is experienced in enabling customer brands to accelerate scalable and predictable growth. For the last three years, our company’s brands have each claimed a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies. We plan on replicating this successful growth strategy with Drybar.
The initial cost to open a Drybar ranges from $639,180 to $1,391,470. For more information, please visit: https://www.drybarshops.com/franchising.