Here at Salons Direct, we like to search both near and far to find you the most beautiful salon interiors! So, for this months feature we are heading to the Sunshine State to take a look inside one of Florida’s prettiest blowdry bars, Sip & Dry.

Owner and manager, Blair Hiller, tells us more…

How did Sip & Dry begin?

It started as a dream of mine 5 years ago. I used to go to one of the six blow dry bars once a week in Tampa FL. I live in St. Petersburg FL, which is 25 minutes from Tampa and would make the drive just so I didn’t have to worry about my hair. I truly became addicted to the luxury of having an hour of me time and having a gorgeous blowout! There is something different about getting a blowout in a blow-dry bar rather than a salon. The vibe and atmosphere are what truly makes it!

I knew St. Petersburg, Florida could use a blow-dry bar, it just had to be the right timing for my husband and I to open one!

How did you decide upon the aesthetic of the salon?

I am born and raised in St. Pete and I knew I wanted to tie in some staple design elements that are memorable to my home town. I designed each hair style after a landmark. These elements are found in the bathroom as well. I wanted to keep the salon chic, girly and inviting to all ages! Our colour palette is where we started and it became the brand. Light blush pink, white and gold. These colours are timeless and elegant.

How do you stand out from your competitors?

Our design elements, and our size (10 styling stations + separate makeup area) definitely set us apart from our competitors. You can have your whole wedding party get ready at the same time in a fun atmosphere!
We also have our beer & wine license. How many salons can you enjoy a glass of champagne and get a blowout. It is definitely a game changer!

Related: The Law on Serving Alcohol in Your Salon or Barber Shop

How do you think social media has influenced our industry?

Social media is constantly changing our industry. I find myself always trying to do research to keep up with the latest trends. I made an effort in the design of our salon to have “instagrammable” photo spots. We added a feature wall with 60 real blow dryers, a neon sign, and a swing. It essentially became free marketing and now it’s how people recognise us all around the world! We also added little sayings to each mirror that is great to take a selfie in! Even down to our bathroom, you can see the flamingo wallpaper in the mirror to take another photo in. We strategically made our salon photo worthy!

Related: Tips for Making Your Salon ‘Instagrammable’

How do you keep up to date with the latest industry trends?

Styles and looks are always changing and keeping up with it is so important. I am constantly keeping up with the top stylists, lifestyle bloggers, and social scene – not just in Tampa Bay, but around the world!

What do you think makes a successful salon?

I definitely think it’s a mix of things. To start the owner has to be present and able to connect to the clientele. Learning and growing with your staff. Building a team and a brand all together; it’s not just about one stylist or owner that is the brand. Being flexible and adapting to change. We live by the three A’s – Availability, Accessibility, and Affordability.

What are some of your favourite products and tools to use in the salon?

We use Dyson blow dryers and wow are they amazing! They are so powerful but so quiet. The client and stylist can have a conversation without having to yell over the blow dryer. When I was looking at tools for the salon that was a must. I wanted to find the quietest dryer but still powerful. We also use Bio Ionic long barrel curling irons and that is another favourite. They are long enough to use on the clients with extensions or just long hair but also work well for everyone else. Any Kevin Murphy product would be my go to for hair care! We carry the whole line and it has definitely sells itself. I mean look at the packaging! It fits our brand perfectly.

Related: The Best Ultra Lightweight Hairdryers for Your Salon

What can we expect from you in 2020 and beyond?

I could only dream of Sip & Dry becoming a household name. But first things first. We would love to open more blow dry bars, but in the meantime we are going to continue to bring great hair to Tampa Bay!

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