Blow drying is big business. Check out my exclusive conversation with Ari Yakobson, CEO of Blo Blow Dry Bar where he discusses the brand's partnership with Gwyneth Paltrow and how mentorship has made a difference to his professional life.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
To be a leader today, you need strong ethics and the respect of not only your peers but those around you. This, I believe stems from what your parents teach you at a young age. I was very fortunate to have a wonderful mother and father that provided me with strong family values that included integrity, honesty, helping and treating others with respect.
They also stressed the importance of a great education, working hard and how to build on a dream. And, this is this foundation that I built all my businesses. If people wish to call me a leader, I am honored but I truly look at myself as a man who has a passion for seeing things thrive.
How has your previous employment experience aided your tenure at Blo Blow Dry Bars?
During my career, entrepreneurship has always been a passion of mine. I enjoy seeing my visions and dreams come to fruition and helping others to build their own success stories.
Also, my education, law degree and MBA provided me with the knowledge and background to fulfill my entrepreneurial goals to open various businesses. It is through all these various experiences that I learned what works and what doesn’t.
What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Blo Blow Dry Bars?
I have always felt that every business that I have opened has taught me something which in turn, helped me to create a better environment whether it is for my employees, franchise partners or a new business I wish to start. One evolves from these experiences only to create a better and stronger foundation. Another component is having a passion for what you do as this is key to help others achieve their own success stories.
Tell us about your partnerships with individuals like Gwyneth Paltrow and David Babaii.
This has been such a great and important business opportunity for Blo! Gwyneth is an incredibly talented Academy Award winning actress who also has a keen business instinct for the latest and hottest trends as well as an emphasis on high quality customer experience that makes this an ideal collaboration. David Babaii on the other hand, is a global renowned hairstylist; he is the expert when it comes to hair and the beauty industry as a whole not to mention his business experience. Together, we make a unique team that will be able to provide our franchise partners with many new and exciting changes.
Why do you think 95% of women are Blo franchise partners?
This is something I am truly very proud of to say. It is time that women emerge as leaders in the business world and we provide them a platform to be a partner. After all, for decades they have run their households, taken care of their families and wore many hats. They have the knowledge, experience and a passion for this type of business as many have enjoyed services at our other locations. In fact, many of our female franchise partners not only own one of our franchises but also contribute to their communities volunteer for charities plus family life. They are amazing women! In fact, 50% of all graduates from law school and business school are females.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
My life and work make me a very busy man BUT, my family comes first. I am a proud husband and father of three and they are my whole world. My average day consists of getting up early before everyone is up to catch up on emails and then my wife and I each share in their care before I am off to the office. If one of my children needs me to attend something at school or an activity they are involved in, if it is important to them that I am there, I will be there.
I can say this as my wife, children and I have a very open and honest relationship and they know that I need to work but, more importantly they know that I am accessible to them at any time they need me.
How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
My family has been my mentors teaching me priorities, what life is all about and how to balance it all. I also look up to everyone who has a business because in their own right, they have worked hard and want to succeed. I feel I share a common bond and respect with them.
Which leaders do you admire and why?
I admire those who have created successful business that have helped the world be a better place to live, provide jobs and offer opportunities for others. This is the meaning of true success as it is not about me but what we can do for others.
What do you want Blo Blow Dry Bars to accomplish in the next year?
My goal is to see us grow even bigger and provide even greater services that are affordable. Another wish is to establish additional strategic partnerships which in turn will create more jobs and help our partnerships flourish. We will never stop creating and building the best dry bar franchise partnership around the world!