A true self-made entrepreneur, Cynthia Maxwell began her career selling purses out of the back of her car. Now, she’s one of the newest franchisees with the fast-growing salon franchise.
Serial entrepreneur Cynthia Maxwell has launched a range of successful business ventures in industries as diverse as real estate, fashion, communications, construction, fitness and staffing. Now, the jack-of-all-trades businesswoman is also one of the newest franchise owners with Drybar®, the 140-plus-unit blow-out salon franchise.
Growing up, Maxwell says she always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur. Maxwell came from humble beginnings, starting her entrepreneurial journey as a 22-year-old single mother of two selling purses and jewelry out of the trunk of her car. By 27, she had built a diverse real estate investment portfolio with a net worth of over 10 million.
We spoke to Maxwell to learn why she chose the fast-growing salon franchise for her next business venture.
1851 Franchise: Tell us your story – what did you do before franchising?
Cynthia Maxwell: Before becoming a Drybar franchisee, I started out selling purses out of the trunk of my car as a young single mom at 20 years old. It was an extremely tough time for me. From there I dedicated myself to researching as much as I could on how to better my situation. I picked up “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and the rest was history after that. I became obsessed with seizing, creating and taking advantage of the opportunities life threw on my path and was able to create an incredible life for myself. If I can do it, anybody can do it. I want the young generation and young women who had the same situation as me to always believe in themselves. Regardless of your situation and regardless of where you come from, you have the power to do whatever it is you put your mind to. With respects to the beauty industry prior to pursuing DryBar, I opened and currently own two of my own hair salons, The Blow Bar and By Maxwell Salon in McAllen, Texas which have been awarded Best Salon (6 years in a row) and the Hall of Fame Service Award (5 years and counting).
1851: How did you initially find out about franchising and what was your perception of franchising before becoming a franchise owner?
Maxwell: I have always been aware of the concept of franchising, and have 15 years of experience in franchising brands. Franchising is a great way to partner with incredible brands and help build out their reach in different parts of the nation.
1851: How did you decide you wanted to be a franchisee?
Maxwell: Brand recognition is very important, and I love the system Drybar has in place. A franchise gives me the opportunity to focus on growth and operations. Having a community and feeling like a family, we feed off of each other and give ourselves support. I also was thrilled with the idea that this partnership can help create career opportunities for men and women in the beauty industry.
1851: How did you perform your research?
Maxwell: We were in Canada, and I needed to get my hair done. I was referred to a blow bar, and I loved the concept. The location I went to did not franchise though. When I was back in Texas, I was visiting LA and went into a Drybar. I had the most amazing feeling and loved the ambiance when I walked in there. I felt very connected to Drybar. Years later, I reached out to them to bring down this brand into our area. I am incredibly passionate about bringing more large brands down to South Texas to help drive community growth and career opportunities.
1851: Why did you pick Drybar? What excited you most about the potential?
Maxwell: We picked Drybar because our approach was to build growth and have a team. We did not want to reinvent the wheel, and with Drybar’s system already in place, we can focus on the success of the business, our employees and the people around us.
1851: What are your dreams with the business? What does the future look like?
Maxwell: I see myself as a multi-unit developer in franchising. Beyond that, my biggest driver is the passion I have for building teams. The fact that we will be able to have a direct impact on the growth and development of the people currently on our team and all those who join us in the future is incredibly exciting. I cannot wait to dig in and pour as much as I can into those around me.
1851: What advice would you have for others looking at buying a franchise?
Maxwell: Do your due diligence. Do research on the brand and speak with other franchisees. Make sure the franchise has a good system in place and is a brand you can see yourself growing with. Without those components, it makes it harder to get to the next level. Getting into a franchise is different from opening your own business. You are establishing a relationship with that brand, and you both need to be able to communicate, just like a marriage or a relationship. Have passion and confidence with the brand.
1851: What do you do in your personal time?
Maxwell: In my personal time, I love to spend time traveling with my husband – my kids are older now and we love to visit them across Texas when they have time. I went through the craze of buying a Peloton during the pandemic and have loved those workouts so much and competing with my eldest daughter on our apple watches has honestly become a fun hobby of mine.
Drybar is also more than just beautiful hair in about 45 minutes. It’s the experience, the happiness and the confidence women feel after a fresh dose of Drybar! Alli Webb saw this opportunity and opened the first Drybar in Brentwood, CA in 2010. Now with over 140+ locations across the U.S., Drybar has exploded into a nationally recognized and highly sought-after brand.
Today, our growing product line (created specifically for the perfect blowout), is sold through Drybar franchise shops, Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta and Macy’s and online at fine retailers as well as at drybar.com.
Drybar isn’t a traditional hair salon, it’s the answer to the quest to look good and feel good. Our tagline says it best: No cuts. No color. Just blowouts®