We recently stopped by for a cuppa at Auckland’s Dry & Tea – part blow dry bar, part tea house – which serves more than 16 different types of tea alongside its extensive list of hair and beauty services.
We sat down with Tane Tamoana, Creative Lead of Dry & Tea Australia and New Zealand, and spoke about what has made the business model so successful.
Watch Dry & Tea’s story in this short video, and read on for the full interview.
Tell us about Dry & Tea and how you got into the industry
“Dry & Tea is a blow dry bar, but we’re also a tea house, so we offer 16 different teas with our services and they’re available to purchase as well. We use a local brand called Tea Total from the North Shore and our clients love it.
“I’ve been in the industry for more than 21 years. I got into it at a young age, but I never really thought I was going to be a hairdresser. It seemed to be a natural progression once I had finished school. I went through the apprenticeship system and that’s how I got into the industry.”
What makes Dry & Tea unique?
“Our business is unique in the New Zealand market because we are a dedicated styling, beauty, blow dry bar. We offer all services, from cut, colour, keratin, but we have a full styling blow wave service menu as well.
“If you’re looking at a normal business model you’re looking at 60% technical, 40% non-technical, whereas we’re the opposite. We do 60% non-technical and 40% of the colouring and technical side.
“We are, as far as I know, the only business model of this kind in the country at the moment, so it’s really cool to drive that point of difference and to have that space to drive that marketing-wise, because we do stand alone.
“Our tea service is something that we really pride ourselves on and it’s a way of starting that ‘moment’ or that time to spend for a bit of pampering. Our clients know it as ‘the dry and tea moment’ so it’s a really important part of our overall service.
“We’re on our feet and it’s quite a hard and fast day in here when there are big events on, but that’s our business in a nutshell. It’s really different but we love that point of difference about our business.”
What does business success look like to you?
“For me personally, what defines success is contentment. Showing up everyday, especially in our industry, to give your best. For me, success after 22 years looks like I’m still really happy showing up every day to do what needs to be done to make our clients happy.
“From a business point of view, that’s exactly how we drive our business. It’s about uplifting the human spirit and making people feel better about themselves. Success for us is a happy team, and a happy client.
“One thing I’m really proud of is that our team is really diverse. What I love most about diversity in a team is that everyone brings a different story, everybody brings different talent, so I think harbouring diversity, making people feel seen and heard first and foremost is paramount in any business.
“I also think how you diversify yourself is the key to business success. This year we’ve been refocusing our services to make people feel even more special. For example on Fridays we do cocktail afternoons where you can come in and have a cocktail. And we’ve spent time revamping our loyalty program too.
“When the salon is buzzing and people are all over the place getting their hair, makeup and nails done and there isn’t an empty chair, that is success.”
How does Kitomba help your business to succeed?
“Because we’ve had a challenging year with COVID it’s been really important to use Kitomba the best we can and focus on our KPIs, such as retail and rebookings.
“One of the things we love the most about Kitomba is that we can focus on all of that in the reports. This allows us to see exactly where we need to be focusing our marketing, where we need to be upselling, and so on. So we’re totally KPI focused at the moment.”
What Kitomba feature couldn’t you live without?
“Kitomba is always there waiting to do everything we need – it’s the best salon assistant you could ask for. It’s easy to send appointment reminders, to see client notes and to put the marketing exactly where it needs to go, which is all valuable for the overall client experience.
“We love Kitomba Online Booking because for us it’s the new walk-in client. We’re not on a main road so it’s amazing that a client can book online and be in the chair an hour later. It pops up as a notification and you can either accept it or do what needs to be done to make the booking possible.”
What’s your top tip for other salon owners?
“My top tip for other business owners is to be ready and willing. Be open hearted. It’s been a very challenging year and it’s proven that we’ve got to take all the opportunity that we can, when we can, and that’s why I think it’s important to be ready, willing and just go for it.”
Want to find out if Kitomba can help your business thrive like it has for Dry & Tea? Book your free demo where we’ll discuss your business’s unique needs, goals and vision, and what features will help you to achieve your business goals this year and beyond.