In the Summer of 2013, our founder - Sarah, turned her hand to physical design in the form of one of the UKs first ever blow dry bars.
The traditional hairdressing experience was frustrating; with final bills ranging between £80 and £130 each time for seemingly the same service, and never being truly happy with her hair, Sarah sought to change what she felt was glaringly wrong with her usual hairdressing experience. Blushbar was born out of frustration of there being no salons locally where you could book everything online. Her mantra of "if you can't book it online it doesn't get booked" stood true, and she sought to build her perfect salon from the ground up, using all the skills she had used across the years and plowing them into a physical business.
Conceptualised in April 2013 and opened on the weekend of her late Mum and Pops' birthday in August the same year, Blushbar has gone from strength to strength since, firmly becoming the place to go for beautiful hair. Blushbar concentrates on the "pretty" - we don't do crazy colours, nor asymmetric cuts. We focus on classy, traditional and most of all beautifully natural, hair. Think Kate Middleton more than Katie Perry.
User Interface Design
User Experience Design
Logo & Branding Consultancy
Retail Store Design
Despite us trying to keep the salon as eco-friendly and paperless as possible, we've still managed to design over 103 different materials for the salon; ranging from full brochures to individual stylist cards. We're big fans of good photography; we never use stock. We love a soft-peachy look to everything we do, inline with our branding which is soft and feminine throughout.
We re-design our menu twice a year and print in semi-small runs to allow for pricing updates or ad-hoc changing, allowing us to be agile and flexible as a salon without too much investment. We work with a local printer to Leigh-on-Sea who prints everything onto a gorgeous 380mic recycled pulp.
The store quickly become the biggest project of 2013, although quickly brought into reality in all aspects as we went from idea to paying customers in under 4 months.
Branding was a huge part of the initial work completed for Blushbar - we took spoons and spoons of our own medicine and followed the exact process we follow for clients; looking at target markets and bringing our 14 years of experience to the table. A subdue colour palette of soft pink, dark blue and grey is used throughout the brand, including the custom-made soft furnishings seen in the store itself.
We then needed to fix an age-old problem that the hairdressing industry came across, and that's how to secure an online appointment book so that it's not open to abuse. We hooked up the Stripe API to talk to our booking system and put a paywall in place whereby the customer has to input their card details into Stripe, prior to making a booking. These card details are held on file, and if they don't give us 24 hours notice of cancellation or simply don't turn up - we take full payment of the service. We're very strict on this.
Inside Blushbar we're using all kinds of technology to make the experience better for our guests. Having the knowledge to code up each of these elements in-house meant that we were able to quickly roll out some great features that are normally deemed to much of an investment for other salons; giving Blushbar a competitive advantage before we even opened our doors.
Social Campaign Design
There's no doubt our socials drive tons of our sales, so it's important that we always look our best. Our stylists are trained to take before and after pictures and upload them to our company messaging system, daily. These get stored up for art direction of beautiful social campaigns, as seen below.
We send out one email campaign a month. We're very aware of clogging up our client's inboxes, so we make sure that when we have something to say, we do it in a visually compelling way that's easy to skim-read. We love to include behind-the-scenes style imagery in these emails, to give our most valued customers a glimpse into the company behind the screen and to show that we're not a faceless corporation, but a dynamic team of individuals working hard towards a common goal of beautiful hair belonging to confident women.
Blushbar is now open to select franchise partnerships.
We're expanding and currently looking for motivated partners to become franchisees of Blushbar.
Please register your interest and details directly with Sarah and we'll arrange a Google Hangout to get to know one another better.