Duck & Dry has built up a name for itself as one of the coolest blow dry bars in London. To get there, they had to break a few rules – and come up with some contagious new ideas!
In just five years, Duck & Dry has expanded to cover five locations – each keeping true to the original vision.
We caught up with founder, Yulia Rorstrom to find out how she took her hair salon to such heights…
How did Duck & Dry begin?
I left my career in finance to start my own company and to make my vision into a reality. Coming from a very entrepreneurial family, I always knew that eventually I would want to build my own brand.
At the time I was travelling a lot to the US, where blow dry bars are huge, and I loved the energy and buzz that was lacking in many of the UK’s more traditional salons. So, I wanted to combine the experience and brand aspect to create Duck & Dry – the go-to blow dry bar for great hair and a great time!
How did you decide upon the aesthetic of the salon?
We have hatched five ‘nests’ in iconic locations. Each one reflects the brand, but also has its own unique identity in accordance to the area. Each nest features our signature egg shaped styling pods and our colour palette of pastels, including our signature duck egg blue.
There is a feature wall at each location with a fun slogan such as ‘A Ducking Good Blow Dry’ and ‘Feeling Flocking Fabulous’, as well as an instagrammable element, such as our birdcage and swing. There is a chic and trendy vibe about our salons and every aspect has been painstakingly designed and selected by myself – from the pretty wallpaper, to the marble, to the light fittings. It’s all about getting a great shot of your blow dry in fabulous surroundings.
How do you stand out from your competitors?
When I created Duck & Dry, I noticed a gap in the market for a styling destination in the capital that does high-end blow dries and updos amidst stylish decor with a buzzy atmosphere. This is what would set Duck & Dry apart in the market, as a brand and experience-led hair styling concept. What salon out there has a Prosecco bar?!
How do you think social media has influenced our industry?
Social media plays a big part for beauty businesses, due to the very visual nature. However, although we fully utilise our social media platforms to reach out to our audience, we only use it as one of many marketing channels.
We believe in promoting the business with a 360 degree approach, as pretty instagram images are not always going to be enough to sell your services. You must have more of a physical presence by collaborating with other brands you share synergy with and cross marketing with other businesses that inspire you.
How do you keep up to date with the latest industry trends?
We frequently collaborate with other innovative beauty brands that align with our brand and would be interesting for our audience and client base. It’s always been important to us to support other brands in the industry, which often involves mutual product testing and cross marketing, as well as maintaining friendly relationships.
What do you think makes a successful salon?
It’s important to identify a well defined niche and point of difference in order to stand out and make your mark in a highly saturated and competitive market. You then need to define your client base, the experience and vibe you want to offer, along with core services. Then it’s all about targeting your audience and ensuring they have the best experience you can offer so that they become loyal customers.
What advice can you give to others wanting to open a salon?
Don’t just think about the look and feel, but most importantly, the customer experience and your target market – who is your customer and what do they want? You must have a cohesive plan.
When thinking about your locations, think about who it is you’re trying to appeal to. You need to define your unique selling point, ensure you have brand consistency, be flexible and agile. Do your research and, most importantly, be patient and determined!
What can we expect from you in 2019 and beyond?
We have launched a franchise model so we’re super excited to see more new Duck & Dry nests hatching with our franchise partners. Our first was in Spitalfields and we hope to open more very soon! The ultimate goal would be to see more Duck & Dry stores opening outside of London, so we’re always on the look out for ambitious franchise partners.