When Angela Hall opened Blo Victoria, the first Blo Blow Dry Bar on Vancouver Island, she took a big leap into the unknown. But being able to connect with her community and help them look and feel their best made it all worthwhile.
After 15 years as a real estate agent and two years of working from home during the pandemic, Angela wanted to shake things up. [her] whole career.”
She’s always loved getting her hair done, as well as being able to style at hair dryer bars while traveling, instead of having to carry all her tools and hair products with her.
“One day my bald husband asked if the salon I was going to was really only doing hair. He thought it was a great idea and asked if Victoria had something similar. There is a business opportunity for you! he joked”.
But Angela began to take the joke more seriously after her husband accidentally met one of the original founders of Blo (which first opened in Vancouver in 2007 and now has branches in Canada, the US and the Philippines). She decided to approach them about opening a franchise in Victoria.
“I love how I feel when my hair looks its best – you get an extra boost of energy. I wanted to share this feeling with the women in Victoria.”
While the idea of quitting the steady job she loved and owning her own business seemed daunting at first, Angela says facing her fears has paid off.
“I may have severe impostor syndrome and doubt my abilities, but my best friend gave me a resounding ‘DO IT!'”
So, with the support of Blo’s corporate team, she opened the doors of her space at The Bay Center in February 2022.
Since then, Angela has found her way, “reminding myself that I am capable, [taking things] one day at a time, and don’t get upset when things don’t go according to plan… I just kept telling myself to trust the process and put one foot in front of the other.”
She also stresses that she couldn’t have done it without her talented team. “[They have] I managed to create a pleasant atmosphere in the bar… It is inspiring to be surrounded by women who support women and want them to feel good both inside and out.”
Angela moved to Victoria from the northern part of the island when she was 14 years old, and apart from short trips to Vancouver and Montreal, she has lived there ever since. So it’s no surprise that what she enjoys most about her work at Blo is the relationship she and her team already have with their community.
“We’ve been told many times that Blo has become a lifesaver for our clients. We laughed with our customers and also shed a few tears. Giving back to the community has also been an unexpected joy, and I plan to continue our philanthropic efforts.”
When asked about her main ingredients for a good haircut, Angela replied: “I love the main line we offer at the bar called Unite. Their products smell so good!”
She added that sleeping on a satin pillowcase and using a good dry shampoo is also key to making sure the effect lasts all week.
“And of course booking at Blo for all of that!”
Outside of work, Angela enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids (ages 10 and 13) and two dogs, as well as regularly meeting up with her girlfriends during happy hours.
“I love it 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.
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
I’m not very jealous, but I think it would be fun to spend a week dressed as Sophia Loren in the 1960s. Her charisma, her confidence and attractiveness would be interesting to experience for yourself.
What food could you eat over and over again?
I love good french fries. And because of where we live, I love fresh seafood. Shrimp, salmon, tuna, oysters, whatever.
You have been given 1 million dollars to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
Travel. I love everything about it, from finding a destination to booking flights and accommodation, and then I enjoy the trip. New cultures, new languages, new food – yes, all of that.
People who are rude and unkind, especially to those who work in the service and hospitality industry. Use your manners, tip well, and be a decent person. (Also stirring in fresh peanut butter.)
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?
My bed. There is nothing better than waking up on a Sunday morning to a crisp, white bed with a cup of coffee and sunshine pouring into my bedroom.
What are you secretly proud of?
I have a very good memory. I always remember birthdays and I can probably tell you what you wore to your birthday 10 years ago. And I’m great at music bingo, especially in the 60s and 70s categories.
What makes your heart beat faster?
Nothing beats a good date. Good wine, good food, wonderful conversation and gaze by candlelight.
Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication.
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