Welcome to the next instalment of the #beautyinsider Q&As, where you can find out who is behind some of your favourite beauty brands, what they are working on and how they got there. This month’s guest is Yulia Rorstrom, Founder and CEO of Duck & Dry, a blow dry and updo bar available in several London locations. I discovered this highly Instagrammable brand of beauty bars when I reviewed them for Wedding Ideas magazine, and have shared my thoughts on the beautiful blowdry I received in my Beauty Salons Reopening post. Read on to find out what makes Duck & Dry stand out from beauty salons and what’s next in store for this ever-expanding brand.
1. Hello Yulia, thank you for being my #beautyinsider Q&A guest this month. Let’s start from the beginning: tell us more about Duck & Dry.
Duck & Dry is a beauty brand of blow dry bars across London and a range of hair care products. The first flagship store in Chelsea opened its doors in 2014 and since then we’ve launched two more locations, in Oxford Circus and Soho. The first franchise opened in the Old Spitalfields Market, which is a really exciting step for the company growth. The focus is on uncompromising quality yet affordable in a fun and vibrant environment. Developing the Duck & Dry product line has been a real labour of love for me. I wanted to bottle the Duck & Dry experience and create a capsule edit of styling solutions that fulfil our salon needs as well as easy to use for our clients at home when we are not at hand. It is a small batch production in Somerset that fuses modern science with natural active ingredients.
2. I always find the inspiration behind a brand name intriguing – how did the name Duck & Dry come about?
Duck & Dry is a play on words – ducking in and drying out! And our duck ampersand logo was born along with the duck egg blue colour theme, to make the brand distinctive and memorable.
3. What is it that makes Duck & Dry stand out from beauty salons?
Duck & Dry is not just about the great hair styles, but the experience. It’s a fun, social, buzzy place to relax and just enjoy yourself. You can have good coffee, a glass of prosecco and bring a group of friends to get ready before a night out. Plus, we are not just a blow dry bar, but an updo bar. I really love putting my hair up, and wanted to make this more accessible to people of all ages, whether it’s for a special occasion, or just a pick-me-up for the day. We didn’t want updos to be a two-hour affair – at Duck & Dry you can spend 30-35 minutes and get something quick, affordable and beautiful.
4. The Duck & Dry blow dry bars have a distinctive design-led style. Where do you get your inspiration from?
The design inspiration mainly comes from my travels, I also love looking at interior design magazines and follow trendy design accounts. Unlike typical salons, I wanted to create a beautiful, buzzy and welcoming space with an open plan seating that can be enjoyed by everyone. You will find splashes of our signature pastels, greenery and natural materials such as wood and marble to add a sense of luxury.
5. As Founder and CEO of Duck & Dry, what so far has been your proudest moment?
I always get excited when people say that they got their hair done at Duck & Dry at an event or a wedding. It feels great to meet real happy customers! And another proud moment was to see my brand bottled in a product line. I am incredibly proud of the products that we have developed and that we use in-house on thousands of clients!
Lastly, the endorsement from fellow business owners who want to run and own Duck & Dry as a franchise has been incredibly rewarding for me as an entrepreneur and I am very supportive of other women in the business and helping them setting it up.
6. You’ve had incredible brand growth since you launched in 2014. What’s next for Duck & Dry?
Having established ourselves as London’s leading blow dry bar, we are putting our focus on growing the brand outside of London, by offering franchise opportunities nationwide and internationally, as well as further expanding our existing product line. In addition to Duck & Dry’s own locations in Chelsea, Oxford Circus, Soho and Mayfair, the first franchise was launched in Old Spitalfields Market, along with another franchise to follow in Summer 2020 in trendy Islington.
Duck & Dry’s success is based upon six pillars as a proven framework for a salon business. It includes providing franchisees the rights to the distinctive brand along with all its characteristic elements, unique brand interiors, advice on store selection, detailed design specifications, access to its menu of on-trend and in-demand hairstyles, alongside rigorous training programme to ensure consistency and performance across the whole team. The franchise model also gives exclusive access to the Duck & Dry product range, propriety salon software, as well as in-house marketing support.
Being a passionate supporter of female entrepreneurs, along with my personal Duck & Dry journey and experience over the last five years, I hope to embolden other women to launch and run their own successful business.
7. And finally – what do you get up to when you’re not at work?
When I am not at work, my two little ones (Lucas, 5 and Luna, 3) keep me very busy and I love spending quality time with family!
If you have any burning questions you’d like to ask Yulia why not leave a comment below? Or you can get in touch with Duck & Dry directly on Instagram.