Rachel Zoe wants to cover all the bases.
With the formation of the Hudson Blvd Group, a company that merges blow dry bar DreamDry, waxing service provider Spruce & Bond and makeup studio Pucker, entrepreneurs Zoe, Robin Moraetes and Justin Joffe aim to offer the full spectrum of beauty offerings.
“Our customer was already getting a blow dry at DreamDry, and then hopping in an Uber to go have services at Spruce & Bond,” said Joffe, formerly Spruce & Bond’s chief executive officer, who will serve as ceo of HBG. “We wanted to make these services easily available to her in an upscale environment.” HBG will continue to acquire, operate and develop a portfolio of like-minded specialty beauty service brands, said Joffe.
“Our team will curate the absolute best in modern beauty services, delivering the luxury experiences, treatments and products,” said Moraetes, formerly ceo of DreamDry, who will serve as chief brand officer for HBG. “We want to be a destination, not a big salon. And we adapt to the markets. For instance, in New York, we have an extremely busy customer — she’s in and out quickly. Our customer in Chicago has a little more time.”
Zoe, formerly cofounder and creative director of DreamDry, will serve as creative director of HBG. In this role, her duties will include conceptualizing and executing company-wide look books, the first of which is due in March, as well as working closely with Moraetes and Joffe on creative direction for all three of the brands.
HBG currently operates Spruce & Bond’s six New York studios, DreamDry’s five salons (two in New York, two in Chicago and a soon-to-open location in Atlanta) and Pucker’s flagship studio in New York’s SoHo district. “It excites me how busy the salons are and what a need there is for them — and that the quality of service has been maintained everywhere we go,” Zoe said. “Everywhere I travel, people beg me to open them in their city. I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface of what we can do.”
Further down the road, Zoe noted that she hopes to expand the portfolio to include additional products. Currently, DreamDry sells hair dryers, a detangling brush and a turban towel under its own moniker, and carries a collection of luxury hair care, jewelry and scarves, tailored to shoppers in each market (jewelry does well in New York, while Chicago shoppers buy things like winter scarves in bulk, said Moraetes). He noted that another dream is opening in airports, where harried travelers will be able to leave with a blowout. Nails, skin care and eyelash extensions are on Joffe’s radar.
HBG is positioning itself to be able to do all of that and more. “HBG has established the infrastructure, team and operating principles to effectively scale boutique brands in the services and personal-care category,” said Joffe. “The group will create consistency across all brands to satisfy each consumer’s beauty needs, and our corporate organization will provide support to our growing portfolio as they scale.”
HBG’s most recent capital round from Kuzari Group LLC and prominent consumer retail investors brings the company’s capital funding to over $10 million to date, with revenues approaching $20 million, said Joffe.
“We view the premium retail services marketplace, particularly in the beauty and personal-care space, to be one of the more powerful retail environments in which to engage with the consumer at this time,” said Elan Ben-Avi, partner at Kuzari and HBG’s chairman. “The personalized nature of these services allow for thoughtful brands to build authentic relationships with clients, especially given the typical 30- to 60-minute commitment the consumer is making on a recurring basis. Brands that successfully scale at the high-end of the service market do so with strong cultural systems, proprietary business practices, and even still, it comes down to extraordinary execution on the part of management. We are confident that the executive team at HBG is prepared to deliver on our shared vision, both for the initial brands in our portfolio, and as we continue to add to the platform, compelling brands with shared values.”
Later this year, the group will introduce a new rewards program that cross-pollinates the three businesses, Moraetes said. “For instance, if the customer has a blowout at DreamDry, she might get a free brow wax at Spruce & Bond,” she said. “Rewards and loyalty are two huge priorities for us.”
In addition, the group is testing pop-up concepts among its three brands — for instance, a brow waxing pop-up at DreamDry’s 21st Street location in New York. “We’ll also have colocation opportunities going forward, including products through third-party retailers,” added Joffe. “We will also open more doors in more states. However, in this capital round, we’re focusing strongly on our existing locations and our client service experience.”