Kickass entrepreneur: Blo Blow Dry Bar Gaslamp
Laura Alexon Willey has a passion for hair and style on-the-go.
For years, she worked hard as a real estate agent, and she recently became a military spouse. With her husband deployed, she decided it was time to try something new.
She started to notice the popularity of “dry bars” all over San Diego and decided to jump in and invest in a downtown location with Blo, North America’s original blow dry bar with more than 50 locations all over the U.S. and abroad. Their motto is “No cuts, no color: Just wash, blo, go.”
Willey loved Blo Blow Dry Bar’s chic marketing and felt like downtown San Diego was the perfect fit. So in 2015 she opened her doors and welcomed women from all over to come and feel appreciated and beautiful in just 40 minutes. Blo Gaslamp also offers an beauty bar dedicated to nails, makeup and wax. Recently, Willey launched Blo Hearts Military, a nationwide initiative to provide military veterans with franchising opportunities.
Q: Describe your perfect day in San Diego.
A: My perfect day in San Diego consists of sleeping in (which never happens with a new baby), grabbing a coffee at the Roast Coach in East Village. Swinging by Blo to check in with staff and see how things have been running. Driving down to the harbor and renting a boat, docking for brunch at Bali Hai and watching the sunset on the water in front of downtown San Diego. Finishing off the night with sushi in bed watching “The First 48" with my husband and son.
Q: Misconceptions people have about blow dry bars?
A: There are plenty of misconceptions people have about blow dry bars. I’ve heard the question, “What is a blow out?” countless times. Sometimes, people ask me, “Do you wash the hair?” and the answer is yes! I also typically get, “So ... you don’t cut hair?” We just wash, blow and go. No cuts!
Q: Celebrity you admire for their style and hair?
A: A celebrity I admire for their style and hair is Emma Stone. I love that she’s able to rock anything from a preppy button up with wide leg trousers to a plunging sheer studded ball gown. She also is adventurous with her hair color, which I wish I had the guts to do more. She’s been anything from a blonde, to a red head, to a brunette. Although her hairstyle is usually something similar -- it’s a look she’s mastered (something similar to our “Pillow Talk” style). No matter what she’s wearing or what color her hair is, she always looks classic yet edgy, which I love.
Q: Celebrity you would love to give a makeover?
A: Miley Cyrus I think is due. She has a naturally pretty face and great body (as everyone saw in her “Wrecking Ball” video). It wouldn’t be that difficult to get her looking fabulous.
Q: Explain what Blo Hearts Military is.
A: Blo Hearts Military is a nationwide initiative that provides military veterans with franchising opportunities after duty as well as discounted Blo services as a small token of our thanks. With the help of the corporate team at Blo, I had the opportunity to spearhead the initiative that really hits close to home. As a military spouse, the number of friends I have made in the military community are countless. I know from personal experience that service members and their families are often forced to make sacrifices, both physical and emotional, often from the absence of loved ones. However, the camaraderie and friendship that abounds in the community has made me feel like I have a second family, which I would not trade for anything. I would like to add to and spread the kindness that has been extended to me by the military community in any way I can, even if it’s just for 40 minutes to make someone feel appreciated and beautiful! Through the Blo Hearts Military Program, we are able to create opportunities for military veterans in franchising their own bar. As an added bonus, military service members and dependents receive 10 percent off services.
Q: Motto you try to live by?
A: As repetitive as it is, the motto I try to live by is, “Treat others how you would like to be treated.” I treat my staff and people surrounding me with respect and as a support system. I love being someone that people can learn from, grow with, and someone that people can come to for help or guidance. I think it’s really important to show the people around you with respect and kindness -- whether it’s the mailman, your employees, or your family and friends.
Q: The one accessory you never leave home without?
A: The one accessory I can never leave home without is without a doubt my child ... Haha, just kidding. It’s my Swell water bottle in hot pink, of course.
Q: If someone played you in a movie, who would it be and why?
A: If someone played me in a movie, it would have to be Anna Kendrick from “Pitch Perfect” (I do play a mean cup song, but can’t sing to save my life). I think we’re both pretty spunky and goofy, tell it like it is type of people, but also very kind.
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