While jet setting around the country as the vice president of corporate sales for a large financial technology company, Anne Evers knew how to close business deals.
What she didn’t know was how to do her own hair. That’s how she found a Drybar® shop, and it left a lasting impression.
“I left feeling confident,” she says. “I got a great experience and I thought, if the numbers will work for this, this could be a really good business venture, too. I’m very passionate about the brand and what it stands for, what it means to people.”
The Drybar brand wasn’t her first venture into franchising.
While Evers and her husband, Matt, both had backgrounds in corporate sales, she always knew that she wanted to be a business owner. She just didn’t know immediately that it would be in franchising.
About a year after they were married, Matt gave Anne a journal to chronicle her entrepreneurial ideas as she contemplated becoming a business owner.
“It was like a business ideas journal to sort of help start my entrepreneurship journey,” she says. “I was thinking more along the lines like maybe I’ll have a consulting business, or maybe I’ll do a sales education and training business. I wasn’t thinking necessarily about franchising until after we had our first child.”
Shortly after having her first son, Cooper, in 2014, Evers had difficulty in finding reliable childcare near her in Northeast Houston. That eventually led the couple to the Primrose Schools.
Just over a decade later, the couple have left behind their careers in corporate sales and now have two children, five Primrose Schools, seven Drybar shops in Texas and are in a partnership in an eighth Drybar shop in Minnesota.
Sometimes the speed at which everything happened makes her head spin.
At first, gaining entry into the Drybar brand was challenging. The shops around her in Texas were corporately owned when she first inquired about them. That was before WellBiz Brands took over the brand. Then, with a quick switch in gears, she received a call about a business partnership in Minnesota and building a new location there. As the deal moved forward and building had begun, that location was put on hold when the pandemic began in 2020.
“It was an extended process,” she says of getting on board with the Drybar brand. “During that time, a lot of things changed for them.”
In short, WellBiz Brands bought the Drybar franchise rights and those properties in Austin and Houston she had been inquiring about were suddenly available – all seven of them.
“It really became an opportunity for me, because I had been reaching out to them a long time about the Houston and Austin markets, begging them basically to let me take those over,” she says. “So, we went through a process with the Drybar brand after the acquisition to take over the Houston and Austin locations. And then we opened the shop in Minnesota.”
Within a few months in 2021, Evers became the owner of all seven shops and a partner in the eighth. While Matt concentrated on operating the schools, she focused on the Drybar shops.
“So, it was a really challenging time period to navigate taking on the new shops and getting through what seemed to be a never-ending pandemic,” she says. “We still weren’t out of the pandemic at that point. I remember, I’d go to bed at night wondering, ‘Did I do the right thing?’”
She leaned heavily on her teams at the time, many of whom are still working at the shops.
“It starts with making sure that we have good culture at the shops and that clients have a great experience and that our team members have a good experience,” she says. “That’s been our focus from the beginning.”
Evers admits, like many other franchisees’ experiences in getting into the business, she had her doubts about making it work. But she kept working hard and is glad she did.
“Having a relationship with such a great brand like Drybar, the systems and infrastructure that they had in place, a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work helped everything just fall into place. I’m so very lucky.”
In addition to Drybar, the WellBiz Brands portfolio includes Amazing Lash Studio®, Elements Massage®, Fitness Together® and Radiant Waxing®.