Amid the hum of blow dryers, clatter of hairstyling tools and faint cooing of Stephen Malkmus singing Pavement’s “Shady Lane”, Emily Frosaker walks with calm and collective authority through the sunlight-drenched shop situated at 1212 N. Walker, or suite 101 of the sleek “1212” building.
Dry/Shop is open, and Midtown just got a bit hipper.
The 27-year old behind the newly opened Blow-Dry Bar & Boutique makes the whole operation look effortless. With clients at every station and customers perusing the boutique side of the Fitzsimmons-designed space, day one of the all-in-one style haven garnered an attention level not to be scoffed at (55 sessions to boot).
For those of us that are a little less up-to-date on the blowout craze, a movement popularized by Blow, the New York blow dry bar, Emily explains the basic M.O. of the blow-dry shop.
“We offer a look that isn’t always easy to accomplish at home. Dry hair, wet hair. Doesn’t matter- we’ll give you a full-body look that will leave you feeling pampered.”
What makes Dry/Shop different than the average blow-dry venue is the experience Emily, along with her sister Caroline, are aiming to create.
“Caroline has been cutting and styling hair for years, and I’ve always been interested in fashion. When I first came up with the idea of combining the two, I thought a blow-dry bar with a boutique in Oklahoma would be amazing. My sister could do hair, and I could do the retail side,” says Emily.
While the downstairs chic industrial space is primarily reserved for blow-out stylings, Emily’s sister, Caroline Waldron, will offer the cut and color side upstairs overlooking the shop.
The colorful and lively atmosphere is washed in natural light from the bustling Midtown Plaza Court area beyond the storefront, and is adorned with nods to the classic icons of style. Think Mae West, Audrey Hepburn and Bette Davis. Mantras from the women are incorporated into everything from the structure of the space to the photography by Cary Anne Holton. All of these subtleties set the tone for the unique experience Dry/Shop provides (even if you’re simply passing through).
When you ask Emily why our beloved Midtown was her district of choice, the answer is pretty simple. She sees the potential of the area and the opportunity to capture that vibrancy in a retail setting.
“With how much this area is growing, I’d like to see more retail. I think that’s really what’s lacking. We have retail spots being built, but right now we really don’t have much shopping down here.”
As a young new business owner and style connoisseur, she emulates that brand of moxie of the women you see quoted in the environment she has created; a hybrid of West’s tenacity and the undeniable grace of Audrey.
As a person who typically dreads entering salons or other pampering outposts, anxiety and apprehension didn’t factor into my experience at Dry/Shop. The leading lady behind this gem of a new business has captured something Midtown has been thirsty for.
And as kitsch as you may think it is, you won’t ask why after you try.
Give our fellow Midtowners a follow @DRY_SHOP