A gap in the market and her own unmet needs inspired Phoebe Simmonds to launch Australia's premium blow dry experience - The BLOW - leaving clients walking away with so much more than polished hair,
Q. What inspired you to launch The BLOW?
Phoebe: The idea came from my own experience and need. In my twenties, I would travel to the US regularly for work and I noticed that many professional American women get weekly blow drys, they see it as a professional need and an event necessity. As someone with difficult hair to manage, I came to feel the same way - I had a big job and wanted to feel my best- but in Australia, there was nowhere that met my needs: a consistent service in a convenient location at a competitive price with an aesthetic that smart, stylish women have come to expect.
It was at this time that I noticed that other beauty services from the States had caught on in Australia - manicures and brow shaping had evolved into an essential part of many women’s routines - but hair hadn’t yet made it down here in the same way. I knew the women of Australia were ready and deserved to feel their best in a flash, and so launched The BLOW’s first flagship boutique in Little Collins St in September 2018.
The BLOW to me is so much more than a salon. I wanted to create a brand and a space that means something to women. In my professional and personal life, I’ve learnt that if you don’t stand for something, you won’t stand out at all. Yes, we serve up fast and effortless Blow Drys and Dry Styles, but anyone with experience, a passion and a hairdryer can do this. What I’m more interested in is building emotional connections with our guests and the broader community, creating positive experiences to help women feel like they can conquer their day with confidence. I also wanted to remove the intimidation barrier that some women feel when they visit a salon. Hair should be fun and stylists should be approachable. We work with our guests' hair and their personal style to make them feel fresh, polished, and powerful. And in addition to beautiful hair, we lift our community up through events that bring women together socially and professionally, and through our partnership with Share The Dignity, an Australian charity that provides sanitary items to homeless women and fights for the safety and support of domestic violence victims. That’s a lifestyle any woman can feel good about.
Q. What does self-care mean to you and what role does it play in your life?
Phoebe: Self-care is about giving myself freedom. Freedom to say yes and no to opportunities, obstacles, or whatever comes my way. To have time to reflect, practice awareness, get creative. My job involves a lot of communication and interaction, which I love, but I’ve discovered how important quiet time and solitude are for my personal growth and to be able to tick off my to-do list. I love a massage and a facial, don’t get me wrong, but mainly what I value is time to myself where I can work, read a book, do yoga, go for a run, write in my journal at a cafe, have a drink with a friend, that’s self-care to me.
Q. Self-care isn't always easy. What advice do you have for anyone who's struggling to prioritise themselves?
Phoebe: Agreed. I have a family and two businesses and I get major social FOMO. It’s difficult to make time for it all and feel like you’re keeping all the plates spinning. But when I make time for myself, everything makes sense. I get less stressed, I have clarity of thought and a better perspective. If I didn’t, I’d burn out, and that’s not fun for anybody. As with anything, it’s about balance.
Q. Do you have a favourite quote, mantra or role model that inspires you to practice self-care?
Phoebe: You’ve got to look after #1!