Blow Pro Products LLC has attracted a lead investor to help it grow from $4 million in sales in 2010 to $15 million in sales in the next two to three years.
This story first appeared in the June 6, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
David Maleh, an entrepreneur from the children’s apparel sector, has joined Blow as its president and will be funding its growth with “several million dollars,” which will help finance the firm’s growth and new headquarters in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, scheduled for late summer.
Maleh came from 20 years experience at Children’s Apparel Network, a family-owned company which sells to retailers ranging from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to Macy’s Inc. Maleh joins Blow’s co-founders Julie Flakstad, Stuart Sklar and Jen Denton and their business of Blow Dry Bars, which offer blowouts ranging from $40 to $60, and professional hair care products, called Blow Pro. The company also has a growing network of educators to spread the Blow technique of blow-drying hair.
“The founders have built a comprehensive foundation consisting of services, product and education and we are exploring several opportunities to scale the platform they have built,” Maleh said.
Blow was founded six years ago based on the premise that 80 percent of women blow dry their hair, with many of them frustrated with the results. “We knew we would be creating something and others would be joining. We feel that the more of a presence there is the more relevant [this category] is. But we need to drive the growth,” said Sklar.
There are many goals in line for 2011, such as doubling retail distribution. Last year, the firm doubled product sales from 2009, in part from landing in retailers such as Ulta. This year, Ulta has placed Blow’s hair range in a permanent endcap in a more prominent area of the store, Sklar said. And in July, several of Blow’s best-selling professional products are launching in Nordstrom nationwide; a smaller number of Nordstrom doors will offer a larger selection of items. There are 19 items overall, with star items including Ready Set Blow, a blow dry lotion designed to accelerate blow dry time while plumping hair. Prices range from $9.50 to $20.
Blow is also looking to expand its Blow Dry Bar presence, which is now at just one, located at 342 West 14th Street, as its Lexington Avenue location closed in May since the space was too small to accommodate a high volume business. The firm is even considering airports, hotels and gyms as possible partners. A new Web site and product innovations are in the works, as is beefing up merchandising displays and sampling.