This is a day in my life from wearing PJ’s in the morning while taking care of three kids to training hair stylists at my salon FLOW Blow Dry & Beauty Bar! It’s a behind-the-scenes look at running a salon – it isn’t always glam!
After a successful soft launch this summer at its second location, FLOW hosted its grand opening party on Friday, August 29th, 2014 from 7 pm – 10 pm at its One Loudoun location in Ashburn, VA. Guests received swag bags with samples & special discounts and $25 blowouts between August 29th– August 31st, at the Ashburn location, as part of the celebration.
Sponsors of the grand opening party included One Loudoun, Real Housewives of Loudoun County, Scene 2B Seen, Suki Organics, Organic Bronzing Station, M Shakir Photography, and It Works! Body Wraps. Delicious food was served by Georgees Pizza & Grill in Fairfax.
With the ladies of Posh Seven Magazine
Real Housewives of Loudoun County
With my sisters
FLOW is a “one stop express beauty shop”, bringing big city service and affordable luxury to Ashburn. Women come in and experience a relaxing shampoo and blow dry style for a fraction of the cost and time required to get a full cut and color. They can choose from a menu of blowout styles including the popular F.L.O.W (Flowing Locks of Winsomeness – straight with body) or the Calypso (beachy waves or glam curls) styles. Women can also enjoy beauty services such as hair treatments, make-up application, lashes, waxing, threading, express or glamour manis/pedis and express organic facials.
FLOW is also where glamour and wellness meet. The salon carries high quality organic, natural, sulphate/paraben free or chemical free products that are safe for hair in skin such as Kevin Murphy, Loma Organics, Eufora, Suki Skincare, and Zoya Polish. A keratin smoothing treatment by Cezanne is 100% formaldehyde free.
The pink & white mod/retro interior design, splashed with pops of color, is inspired by the 60’s and is designed to make women feel happy when they walk in. The Ashburn salon includes eight styling chairs, two mani/styling chairs, two threading chairs, two make-up chairs, and a private waxing/facial room. The custom built blow dry bar with overhead pendant lighting, designer white quartz counters, custom mirrors, and eight European styling chairs are complimented by state-of-the art professional blow dryers, high quality brushes/tools and organic/sulphate/paraben-free hair care products.
FLOW Blow Dry & Beauty Bar in Ashburn is located at 44719 Brimfield Dr at the One Loudoun development (ground level between Sprint and Zooe’s Kitchen), at the corner of Route 7 and Loudoun County Parkway. Appointments are recommended but walk-ins are also welcome.
This makes me so happy! All the long days and sleepless nights of launching a new business is so worth it – not just to make money – but knowing your efforts are being recognized by your community… and that your idea is well received and making a positive impact! My salon – FLOW Blow Dry & Beauty Bar – won “Best Reston Busines” by the readers of Reston Now!
It’s been an intense month – not only is my belly growing, but so is my to-do list! I have three running spreadsheets on what needs to be done to get FLOW Blow Dry & Beauty Bar opened: construction management, furniture/product/supply orders, and over tasks/duties. It’s an intense amount of work, but I have been pacing myself and managing time wisely so that I am not overwhelmed at the last minute. Furniture & supplies have been ordered early and are waiting to be set up. We had some delays with construction, but now things are moving along nicely – the floors are down & walls are finally painted. Unfortunately, because of the torrential rain last week, we did experience some flooding at the front of the salon, but the developers are doing a water test today to see what the issue is and they will fix it to prevent it from happening again. The last thing I want is flooding when we open, so it’s good we caught this early on even if it means delaying opening. We will have a soft opening in May, and have our grand opening in June! It’s amazing to hear how many women in the area are waiting for our opening!
Wow, I promised myself that I would post more frequently here, but the past month or so has been super chaotic. Not only am I pregnant with TWIN! boys, I’ve been working on opening the second location for FLOW Blow Dry & Beauty Bar. I didn’t think it would be this challenging, but carrying two means more backaches, pains, and discomforts while trying to get through the day. I take it day by day, and try not to get stressed or overwhelmed between caring for Rumi and the million things I have to do to prepare for opening. There were some delays with permits, approvals, and inspections, but now we finally have our sign up for our new location at One Loudoun in Ashburn, VA, and the construction is moving into its final phase! In the meantime, I’m doing other things such as project management, construction/design management, furniture/supply/product sourcing, recruitment/training, marketing, etc…. as well as making sure the other location runs smoothly. Thankfully, I have hired two managers for each location who take care of a lot of the day-to-day, so it’s made it easier, but there is still so much to be done to prepare for opening! I’m also lucky in that I have a home office, so when I feel tired or worn down, I immediately lie down and drink lots of water, and breathe…..
Who said being a mom to a toddler – while pregnant with twins, managing a growing salon business, and opening a new location – would be easy? I will be posting my adventures here – stay tuned!
I’m a mom to a four year-old and currently 20 weeks pregnant while managing FLOW Blow Dry & Beauty Bar and a few other projects – guess you could call me a MOMpreneur. Right now, I am working on opening a 2nd location for FLOW, and the past few months have been about designs, plans, approvals, permits…all the fun things, right? In parallel, working on tasks for the current location, marketing/advertising campaigns, recruitment, product/furniture orders, signage, working with the architect and contractor for the new salon and so much, much more.
Opening a salon is a lot of work, but doing it while being a mom and expecting has been more of a challenge than I thought. But I’m always up for challenges, and I am taking it day by day and scratching off my to-do list in the process (I’m obsessed with to-do lists and project management – devil is in the details). My goal is to expand the FLOW brand regionally and beyond! If you haven’t checked it out, here is the website: www.flowblowdrybar.com!
Wow – I can’t believe it’s been about two months since I’ve posted! Since the last time, some major things have happened in my life that I am ready to share!
First, the big news is that I’m expecting! We are so happy to expand our family, and to give a sibling to our little Rumi, but I was so not ready to be hit with the severe morning sickness that I endured for over a month. Or shall I say – all day sickness. It was pretty bad – much worse than my first pregnancy. On top of that, I got hit with vertigo recently which came out of the blue. It’s not related to the pregnancy, but rather from crystals in the ear that get off track and cause dizziness and feeling imbalanced. Wasn’t fun!
In parallel to all of this, I have been busy working on the second location of FLOW Blow Dry & Beauty Bar! In January, I was busy working on the interior design & floor plan, then working with an architect on the architectural/MEP plans to submit to the county for permits. This took longer than I had originally planned, but we finally did it and now are waiting for the permits so we can start the build-out.
So over the next few months, I will be blogging about opening the next location, fashion/beauty/lifestyle and also being pregnant while expanding the business! I don’t know how I”m going to juggle it all but I plan on doing it in style! : ) Or that’s my plan – I have been feeling so tired lately, all I want to do is be in my sweats with no make-up and a bun but that can’t happen when you own a beauty bar! I have to say the pressure to look good at all times, especially when leaving the house, has gone up since I’ve opened this business. I feel everyone expects my hair and make-up to look fab at all times, but the truth is that some days I am SO busy running the business in addition to taking care of a toddler, that it’s hard to take care of my own self sometimes! Before I opened FLOW, I imagined myself getting blowouts all the time and feeling glamorous, but I have to say the amount of work it takes to run this business is a lot more than I imagined it would be, and some days I am just EXHAUSTED. This winter weather hasn’t made things better, but I am staying positive, and going into Spring, will focus on my health and bringing back energy into my life that I will need to be a good mother and successful business woman.
I will post and update more going forward!
Here is the Coming Soon sign for the next location. I need to get a Coming Soon t-shirt and point to my belly, too! I will be giving birth to a baby and a new location (possibly 2) this year!
After months of planning & negotiating, we finally signed the lease for FLOW Blow Dry & Beauty Bar’s 2nd location last week! It will be located at One Loudoun in Ashburn, VA, a new mixed-use development that will be similar to Reston Town Center. I am so excited about the second location, and am in the process of working on the design, floor plan, lay-out, etc. From there, it’s all about approvals & permits – then we can start the build-out! Here is what the exterior looks like:
What do you wear for a cover shoot? This was my first one, for Fairfax Woman Magazine’s November/December issue, featuring FLOW Blow Dry & Beauty Bar as the story and the backdrop. I wanted to wear something that looked professional and stylish. I chose a navy blue Catherine Malandrino eyelet and cotton dress that I picked up from a boutique in NYC. I love the princess sleeves, square neckline, button down front and overall classic cut. To accessorize, I wore a black, gold and silver knotted beaded necklace, navy tights and black ankle boots. Before the shoot, I had my hair blown out and curled into FLOW’s Calypso look (loose waves).
To be honest, it was a bit challenging to pose for this shoot. I didn’t want to look to sultry, too sexy, too anything – I just wanted to convey a professional, stylish business woman kind of look. I felt a bit awkward throughout, but the photographer was good at making me feel at ease.
Here are some pics taken before the shoot as well as some behind-the-scenes ones. Looking forward to seeing how the cover turns out!
Catherine Malandrino dress, Steve Madden shoes, vintage necklace