When Angela Hall opened Blo Victoria, the first Blo Blow Dry Bar location on Vancouver Island, she was taking a big leap into the unknown. But getting to build connections with her community and help them look and feel their best has made it all worthwile.
After 15 years working as a real estate conveyancer and two years of working from home during the pandemic, Angela wanted to “shake up [her] career entirely.”
She’d always loved hair care, as well as the convenience of getting blowouts at blow dry bars while travelling, rather than having to pack all her hair tools and products.
“One time my husband—who is bald—asked if the salon I was going to really only did hair styling. He thought it was a great idea and asked if Victoria had something like it. ‘There’s a business opportunity for you!’ he joked.”
But Angela started taking that joke more seriously after her husband happened to meet one of the original founders of Blo (which first opened in Vancouver in 2007 and now has franchises in Canada, the US and the Philippines). She decided to reach out to them about opening a franchise in Victoria.
“I love the way I feel when my hair looks its best—you have an extra pep in your step. I wanted to share that feeling with the women in Victoria.”
While the idea of leaving a long-term job that she loved and becoming a self-employed business owner felt terrifying at first, Angela says, facing her fears has paid off.
“I can have major imposter syndrome and doubt my own abilities, but my best friend gave me a big, resounding ‘DO IT!’”
So, with the support of Blo’s corporate team, she opened the doors of her space in The Bay Centre in February 2022.
Since then, Angela has found her groove by “reminding myself I am capable, [taking things] one day at a time, and not getting overwhelmed when things don’t go as planned…I just kept telling myself to trust the process, and to put one foot in front of the next.”
She also stresses that she couldn’t do it without her talented team. “[They have] been amazing at cultivating a feel-good vibe in the bar…It’s empowering to be surrounded by women who support women and want to make them feel good inside and out.”
Angela moved to Victoria from up-island when she was 14, and aside from brief stints in Vancouver and Montreal, she’s been there ever since. It’s no surprise, then, that what she loves most about her work at Blo is the relationships she and her team have already built with their community.
“We have been told many times that Blo has become our clients’ escape from the day to day. We have belly laughed with our clients, and have shed a few tears as well. Giving back to the community has also been an unexpected joy, and I plan to further our philanthropic efforts.”
Asked about her essential ingredients for a good hair day, Angela answered, “I love the main line we carry in the bar, called Unite. Their products smell so good!”
Sleeping on a satin pillowcase and using a good dry shampoo are also key to making a blowout last all week, she added.
“And of course, booking in at Blo for all of it!”
Outside of work, Angela loves spending time with her husband, two kids (ages 10 and 13) and two dogs, and having regular happy hour catch-ups with her girlfriends.
“I like when the people I care about are happy,” she says, and it’s clear that with Blo Victoria, she has created a space where happiness—and great hair days—can be found in abundance.
The 7 Sins
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
I am not big on envy, but I do think it would be fun to spend a week as Sophia Loren in the 1960s. Her charisma, her confidence and her appeal would be fun to experience.
What is the food you could eat over and over again?
I love a good French fry. And thanks to where we live, I love fresh seafood. Prawns, salmon, tuna, oysters, you name it.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
Travel. I love everything about it, from researching the destination to booking the flights and accommodations, and then actually enjoying the trip. New cultures, new languages, new food—yes to all of it.
People who are rude and unkind, especially to anyone who works in the service and hospitality industry. Use your manners, tip well and be a decent human being. (Also, stirring new peanut butter.)
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?
My bed. There is nothing better than waking up on a Sunday morning in fresh, crisp white bedding with a coffee and the sunshine pouring into my bedroom.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?
I have a very good memory. I always remember birthdays, and I could probably tell you what you wore on yours 10 years ago. And I am great at music bingo, especially the ‘60s and ‘70s categories.
What makes your heart beat faster?
Nothing beats a good date. Good wine, a good meal with great conversation, and the gazing eye contact over candlelight.
Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication
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