A New Experience: The Blowout Co.

You know that feeling you get when you walk out of a salon after getting your hair cut and styled? That feeling like you can conquer the world because your hair looks fabulous and everyone knows it?

That’s the feeling that Leslie Embry wants to spread among women in Nashville. And she’s doing it with her brand new salon, The Blowout Co. on White Bridge Road.

But before you start dreaming about about inches, layers, and bangs (or Jennifer Aniston’s latest style)–think again. There are no scissors at the Blowout Co. It’s Nashville’s first strictly styling salon.

That’s right. No cutting, no coloring; just blow-drying, teasing, curling, or straightening.

When I first heard about the Blowout Co. (via twitter, of course), I was quite the skeptic. Really? Paying to get someone ELSE to blow-dry my hair?

But the idea intrigued me.  What would inspire a woman like Leslie Embry to put all the hard work and effort into starting a business like this? Would women in Nashville really go for it?  Would I ever go for it?

Well, I went for it.

Yesterday was the Blowout Co.’s grand opening, and in honor of the event, Embry offered discounts to customers (yay!) and a cocktail party to boot. “I love a good party,” she says, coffee in hand.  Embry sits across from me in her own styling chair letting her stylists go to work on her long blonde locks, while I decide to go with the “Eastside” (a messy, wavy blowout).

We’re both lounging in cushy white chairs, with our feet resting on the chrome finishes. Details around the room are refined, polished, and fresh: stained concrete floors, glowing white chandeliers,  sleek marble counters. I’m served a cold glass of water in a beautiful silver julep cup, and all along the salon counter are vases of fresh flowers. This girl knows what she’s doing.

The cool grey and blue walls are adorned with understated local photography in sharp white frames, lighted by sconces and the natural light pouring through the front windows. Each enlarged photograph highlights one of the four parts of Nashville Embry chose as the names for the salon’s four style choices: Bellmeade (classic and polished), East Nashville (messy and wavy), Lower Broad (voluminous curls), and the Gulch (sleek and smooth).

Over the hum of blow-dryers, Embry, whose long blonde locks are in the hands of an expert stylist, explains the life-changing year she’s had. “If someone had asked me in August,” she says, “I would have told them I would be a life-long teacher.”

In August, she began her tenth year at Harding Academy teaching 7th and 8th grade and coaching soccer, cheerleading, and lacrosse. (Obviously we had a lot to talk about.) But in September, then-pregnant Embry and her husband, who also teaches and coaches at Harding Academy, traveled to Santa Barbara, Cali., where Embry experienced her very first blowout.

“I don’t ever pamper myself,” she says, explaining that being a mother of three teenaged stepsons and a three-year old boy had taken its toll.  “But the day when I went to the blowout bar, my husband saw how happy it made me.”

It was at that moment, she says, that she began scheming to bring this business model to Nashville. Over the last six months, she left her teaching and coaching career, built a business from the ground up, and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. It’s no wonder she wanted to be in the business of pampering!

By the end of our conversation, the stylist turned my chair around, and showed me what she completed in under thirty minutes.

I could see why Leslie Embry has put so much stock in this new “blowout” phenomenon. Even Patrick kept commenting on how good he thought it looked. I really did feel great… and now, on day 2… my hair still feels voluminous and shiny.  Though I was skeptical at first, I really could see myself going back for a special occasion. You know, my wedding anniversary is in just a few months…

What about you?  Do you think you’d ever try a “blowout?” Ladies, what do you think about this new trend? Gentlemen, do you think it’s crazy, or would you let your lady splurge on hairstyling?

… and check out the Blowout Co.’s website here!