Q&A with Rosemary Camposano, Halo Blow Dry Bar

P@W: What is Halo Blow Dry Bar, and how did it get started?

Rosemary Camposano: As a technology executive in Silicon Valley, I traveled internationally, and I discovered a fabulous personal service called “brushing.” Little shops offering blow drying/styling were everywhere. Years later, after leaving the tech world to start a family, I reencountered the concept while on vacation in El Salvador. For between $1.50 and $10, depending on the level of service you wanted, you could have up to three technicians working on your scalp at once, blow-drying and styling your hair in just 15 minutes. When I got back home and began researching similar services here in the States, I was not impressed with what I found. With my husband’s encouragement, I decided to launch Halo Blow Dry Bar about four years ago.

P@W: How has the concept done here in the U.S. so far?

RC: I was amazed how quickly our first location (in Palo Alto, California) took off. It was a runaway hit and turning a profit in just three months. We opened our fourth location in August, and we have our sights set on two more locations in the South Bay area before next spring. Longer term, we expect to have 15 locations in the San Francisco area, and we plan to continue growing into similar large suburban markets.

P@W: Does social media play any role in your marketing plan at Halo?

RC: The social media boom happened during the 10 years I took off to raise my son, and it has taken me awhile to embrace these new tools. However, just like traditional marketing tools, social media tools all have a place and an audience. Learning what to say and how to communicate on each platform is what I focus on now. All the social media we use is an extension of our email campaigns, which are sent directly to our mailing list of more than 15,000 women.

P@W: How else do you use technology in your business?

RC: Many of our clients are busy executives who stop in to Halo on the way to an important meeting, and they often need to continue working on projects while they’re in the salon. Like most residents of Silicon Valley, they take access to reliable Wi-Fi service for granted. Unfortunately, Halo’s previous Internet service was not up to the demand. Customers complained, and we were getting negative Yelp reviews citing poor bandwidth and slow Wi-Fi speed as the problem. We solved the problem by moving all our Internet and phone service to Comcast Business. It’s faster and more reliable. It’s like having another employee working for me.

P@W: What’s your tech footprint like since switching to Comcast?

RC: We have a private Wi-Fi network for corporate business, and we offer our clients access to a public XFINITY Wi-Fi Hotspot. The bandwidth is there for both our employees and our customers when they need it. And Comcast Business provides us with a technology backbone that is helping us in so many areas of our business. We’re using a Web-based point-of-sale (POS) system that makes it easy for our customers to make appointments online, and Halo staffers use it to check clients in and process their payments. Credit card processing was a drain on productivity with our previous Internet provider because it took so long, but with Comcast Business, it’s now lightning fast. Our newest checkout stations allow stylists to cash customers out themselves rather than sending them to a central cash register, and we’re switching to tablets for our magazine subscriptions. That all requires more bandwidth, and having a fast connection is going to become even more important as we grow. With Comcast Business Deluxe 100 Plus Internet, I’m confident about our ability to handle it all.