After more than a decade in the business and owning seven Drybar® locations in the Dallas area, Shannon Williams knows her success isn’t just in pretty hair.
The importance of what the brand provides is more than blowouts. At its core, it’s about creating customer happiness. But that wasn’t apparent at first.
When she opened her first location in 2011, she knew the service a Drybar shop provided and how it gave women a boost of confidence and made them feel good about their day. What she didn’t expect was the impact that an afternoon at a Drybar shop could have on a woman’s overall happiness with her life.
“We do get people coming in to look good, but we do get a lot of people coming in because they have something going on in their life and they just want that time to breathe,” she says. “I cannot tell you how many clients I have who have said to me, ‘Gosh, when I was going through my divorce, a Drybar shop was my one happy place. It was the one place that wasn’t work. It wasn’t fighting with my husband. It wasn’t having to take care of my kids. It was my 45 minutes.’”
That therapeutic sentiment resonated with Williams as she opened other locations over the years. During that time, she’s noticed trends in particular groups of clients. For those groups, it isn’t just about feeling pretty or getting ready for a date. It’s more of a mental reset, or an escape to something that brings them joy – even if it’s fleeting in that 45-minute time frame.
Women who have experienced injuries of various sorts, whether in car accidents, athletic training, or some other mishap, was one group that surprised Williams. They come in with back injuries and neck braces from car accidents or other issues.
“For instance, if you break your collarbone, you can’t dry your hair,” she says. “If you have a lot of hair and you can’t blow dry it, it’s a nightmare. What they will say is that, ‘a Drybar shop was my saving grace because I was hurting, and they made me feel pretty. I didn’t feel pretty, because I had a back brace on.’”
Then there are others who are more emotional to serve, but on a different level.
Williams has noticed there are family members who will come in before a funeral, like a daughter bringing in her mother before the father’s service. “For them, it’s not really to feel beautiful before the funeral, but more for an uplift before they go.”
Williams says one of her locations is also down the street from a children’s hospital, and on occasion they will get mothers seeking a brief escape from the stress of caring for their sick children.
“They will come in and say, ‘I just needed to get away from that damned hospital for 45 minutes,’” she says. “’My husband is with my kid who has cancer,’ or whatever the issue is, ‘and this is kind of my time to get away for a bit.’”
Those instances can be very emotional for both her and her staff, and they serve as a reminder about the impact they can have on people’s lives by improving confidence, self-esteem and providing a respite from everything that can get you down in life.
“A blowout experience at a Drybar shop can help you feel more confident and maybe even a little happier, especially on the days you need a little pick me up” she says. “You leave the shop feeling better about yourself. You walk out and you’re like, ‘I look so much better,’ or ‘I feel so much better.’”