New salon finds niche to success

Katie Holditch never dreamed she would be sitting in a banker’s office explaining the art of blow-drying hair hoping to secure a loan for her new business venture.

Armed with a Power Point presentation and an abundance of enthusiasm, Holditch sat down with Wells Fargo officials to sell them on why she needed a loan to open up Blo Blow Dry Bar along The Woodlands Waterway.

“He brought in his manager because she is a woman,” Holditch said. “I was bubbling over, I just knew I had found it, and they just cocked their heads at me. We worked through the process and we would not be open if it wasn’t for our tenacity and our ambition.”

After securing the loan, Holditch, along with business partner Melissa Ranieri, went one step further and worked to get Blo Blow Dry Bar on the approved franchise list for the Small Business Administration to make the process easier for others in the future.

“It was a very interesting process to get funding,” she said. “But I’m very proud of how we did it.”

Holditch did have to provide 30 percent down but said with some private investment and the “pennies out of my couch,” she was able to launch the business last month along the Waterway where she said the business “needed to go.”

“The place where Blo needs to go … is near the social, business center,” she said of the space on the Waterway where real estate prices are not for the faint of heart. “It was kind of go big or go home.”

Keeping it simple

Holditch said she learned about blow-dry bars while on a girls weekend with friends.

“It was a great experience, my hair looked great,” she said. “I think women will love this.”

While Blo is a hair salon, the business only offers styling; no color or cuts are provided. The salon accepts walk-ins and appointments.

Holditch said the niche focus of only styling hair has proven to be just what women are looking for.

“We are experts at styling,” she said. “We like how we make people feel. It’s all about the experience.”

Women can have their hair styled in 45 minutes for just $40, she said, and even sip pink champagne.

And while the business continues to be a success, Holditch said she and Ranieri are making sure to give back to the community that has welcomed the new business.

“I donate to local charities,” she said. “I want to be involved.”

By donating to nonprofits, she is spreading the word about the business.

“We are donating to all the auctions and galas going on (in the community),” she said. “There are a lot of really great things that we want to be involved in.”