TreatNOW Interview: AER BlowDry Bar

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With the mission statement to “make beauty fun and luxurious” AER Blow dry Bar in South Kensington is a brand new destination for beauty, brows and blow-dries that is really making waves not only in the beauty, but also the fashion industry as well. The founder, Anushka knows a thing or two about hair, having previously worked for the likes of L’Oreal and being a self-confessed blow dry addict. With this knowledge she set up AER in 2014 and hasn’t looked back. TreatNOW was lucky enough to catch up with Anushka and find out more about the blow dry beauty destination.

The Opening of AER Blowdry Bar at Old Brompton Road, London, Britain on 15 Jul 2015.

How did for Aer Blowdry begin? What inspired this career choice for you?

I was born in New York but I have grown up around the world. I have lived in Canada, Boston…all over really! I moved to London 2 years ago after completing my MBA and what I found living here is that having curly hair is really inconvenient! I went to get a blow dry and I noticed that in this city people are generally charged based on their hair length and that an make getting good blow dry treatments really expensive. That’s part of the reason that I decided to set up AER because I wanted to offer women an alternative like what I had experienced in America and that’s particularly in the area of South Kensington, where the bar is, needed somewhere like this. 

We very much wanted to be involved in the fashion side of the industry and this is always a good way to gain initial coverage and to have a proof of concept for the type of treatments that we wanted to offer. We broke into the press by partnering with Barrecore for a pop up last year at fashion week. It was great, we got to see how the stylists could work on the treatments, gained coverage in the Metro and The Evening Standard, plus we got a good idea that these styles of treatments were really needed in the market and so AER was born!

Which is your personal favourite treatment to give?

I am not actually hands on in giving the treatments but I find that it is really important to always be there in the salon to speak to customers and find out what is going on. I have made a point to email every client asking for feedback on how we are doing and where we could improve. I am not a trained stylist but after years and years of getting my hair done and working in the industry I understand hair and what it takes to have a good salon experience.

 

Your menu offers “beauty, blow dries and brows”, why did you pair these things together?

We wanted to keep things simple. We have café and a bar style set up in the salon and so it makes it easy for our clients to sit back and relax, chatting to one another whilst they are having their treatments done. As for the brows, blow dries and beauty side of things it is just a winning combination. If you have your eyebrows done it can completely change how you look. It can give you confidence and brighten up your whole face, so that combined with new hair is just a complete transformation.

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In your opinion, what is the selling point of your brand? What makes you different from other salons?

As I have already touched on, we are not like other salons in the area and we have more of a flexible and American approach to the whole blow dry process. We don’t have a restricted menu; instead it is very bespoke so that you get what you want. On average each one of our stylists have 6 years of experience and we train them on a special process so that each treatment is unique and gives the best results. Each treatment takes about 45 minutes so that the client is not rushed and we offer the premium service along with the blow dry using only high quality hair care brands. We also have wifi so that the ladies can come in and work, it’s a real community feel.

How do you make sure that your customers find you?

Our partnerships with complimentary businesses have really made a difference, such as with Barrecore, and we have recently partnered with Lomax gym who offer a women’s day once a month. We also flyer to local businesses and we like to work with local businesses, like nail salons where we can refer clients to one another. We are constantly looking for new marketing and PR opportunities! London Fashion Week is also a very busy and exciting time for us.

Finally, if a new business/practice was setting up, what’s the best piece of advice you could give them from your own personal experience?

It is important to have patience and to persevere. You need to make time and focus on your goals. Meet and speak to as many people as possible. Get as much experience as possible. It’s not just in the beauty industry, with any business you need to have a clear vision about what you want to achieve.

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