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parlor dry bar at cameron village

By 12/29/2014

one of my favorite new spots in raleigh is parlor dry bar, owned by allison conley and emily cutts. these ladies were the first to introduce the blowout bar concept to raleigh with the opening of their store in cameron village earlier this year.  now hundreds of women aren't sure how we lived without it for so long.

you can drop in their gorgeous new shop—light-filled and glam with its lucite fixtures and high gloss trim—for a quick transformation.  just bring a pic or choose from their menu of styles and in one hour you're runway ready with a fresh wash and a fiercely styled mane.  their talented stylists really work magic with a brush and blow dryer. curls that last for days, loose waves that can get you through a long weekend, trendy braids for the brave, or a chic updo for a special occasion.

we stopped in last week before our christmas party to get parlor perfected and had a morning of pampering, including champagne and beyonce blasting while we got did up. check out a q & a with allison and emily after the photos.

photos by gary meyer

years in business
1 year

number of employees
11 plus 2 freelancers and ourselves​

where do you find inspiration 
For hair inspiration we look to runways, house of bumble stylists, editorials​

what gets you most excited about getting out of bed in the morning 
French press from benelux, slightly joking.  Knowing that people walk out of our doors feeling more confident and beautiful than when they arrived. Being proud of what we have created as a business as well as our team's talent and the family we have become.​

the culture of your business in three words
family, creative, invigorating 

what's your 5 year plan 
We hope that you will soon be visiting Parlor in a few different locations!

favorite place to travel 
We send pictures back and forth of huts over clear blue water...so I guess that could be part of our 5 year plan. (winky face) That vacation as been a goal of ours since before we opened our doors. ​

when did you know you had a profitable business model 
We carefully laid out our business plan & projections before jumping all in.  The business model made sense from the very beginning.​

three most important characteristics of an entrepreneur 
humble, focused, lighthearted ​

only half of small businesses survive after 5 years, and 1/3 last 10 years.   why will you be successful?
We put in a huge effort into selecting our team. We want not only exceptional talent, but fabulous personalities.  The culture within the salon is vital.  If our staff isn't happy and loving coming to work, then it will show, and ultimately the clients won't be as happy.  We also focus on staying affordable & staying relevant - keeping abreast of current trends. Ultimately, women will always do things to pamper themselves and feel beautiful.  It is our job to make sure they want to do that here.  We feel we have created a desirable environment that will keep clients wanting to come back.

which words or phrases do you most often overuse? 
​Like. We went to a business immersion class in NYC at the House of Bumble.  We were taught communication by their incredible team.  We were in awe of the lack of "likes" and "ums" that they used and strive to use less of both.​ "Amazing" makes its way into our conversations a little too often as well.

work hard or work smart? 
Work smart so you don't have to work hard.​  If you love what you do, you won't consider it "work" anyway

why raleigh? 
We saw a huge gap in the market and we were ready to fill it.   

your biggest extravagance 
Shoes & eyelash extensions (both totally worth it).  Professionally- our lighting & our high gloss millwork. 

one piece of advice you'd give to a prospective entrepreneur 
Make sure you love the field in which you are going to open a business.  It isn't easy and it takes a lot of time and dedication. But if you love it, you don't mind all the extra effort you have to exert. It won't feel like work and you will love showing up every day.  If you do everything with integrity and always consider not only yourself, but everyone involved, then you can lay your head down at night proud and with peace of mind.  That is priceless

what one word do you want to own in the minds of your customers, employees and partners? 

thoughts on failure? 
Not an option​ - we only see it as opportunity. 

three favorite spots in raleigh 
Cantina 18 (where we get our margarita fix), Tazza (for brunch & old fashioneds & company - there's always a solid crowd), Parlor (we aren't just the owners, we are also the clients. We can't function without our weekly blowouts)​.


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  4. where did the girl in the plaid shirt get her shoes! i LOVE those.