Haute Air, located at 20 Thompson Street in Soho has been operating since July of 2011. After a trip back to LA, owner Gigi Arjomand discovered “blow-dry” bars. A blow-dry bar provides blowouts (wash, dry and style) within a standard pricing model.
Loving the idea, Gigi saw a huge market for it in New York. At the time, there was only one blow dry bar in New York, Blow, which Gigi thought could step it up. She studied Communications and PR and has always had a natural interest in marketing and entrepreneurship. A 26 year old immigrant who has been living in the US for the past 9 years, Gigi currently employs around 10 employees.
“I was living in SoHo and thought Soho was the perfect destination for a blow dry business. Soho is known for it’s shopping and it attracts the right type of customers for a blow dry salon; well manicured women. It was pure chance that I found the space that became Haute Air.”
Gigi didn’t have to do a lot of construction and and was realistic of her budget. Plumbing was installed for wash sinks, the bathroom was made smaller by moving a wall to allow space for wash stations. As high-voltage blowdryers would be running, electrical work was also necessary to add power. Other cosmetic upgrades such as changing the door knobs, bathroom vanity and sink were also made.
As a Soho resident herself, Gigi knows the community more intimately than the shopper that visits Soho on weekends. Locals were very supportive upon opening and after being mentioned in the press, people from other areas stopped in as well.
“There weren’t too many blow dry bars at the time and although you could go to your neighborhood salon to get a blowout I think clients were excited to have an actual destination uniquely designed for blowouts. Blow dry bars are still a rather new concept and is still very fresh and exciting.”