DryBy, the latest hair and nail bar to arrive in London, takes a fuss-free approach to beauty. We spoke to sisters Krisztina van der Boom and Anita Puluczkai to find out what sets their Fitzrovia-based salon apart from others in the capital
What is your career background and why did you decide to open a beauty salon?
I (Krisztina) was in corporate headhunting and Anita worked in finance at RBS and as the story goes with so many women in the corporate world, we were more than a little disillusioned by the lifestyle. Neither of us has any sort of beauty background – other than the fact that we’re women with our own very particular tastes – but we both had a heartfelt desire to build a business from scratch and do everything by our own standards. After a trip together to New York, we came upon the idea of starting a blow dry business. Some of the salons there are so incredibly chic and offer such thoughtful service, that we wanted to introduce this into our own lives in London. So we’ve basically built a business for ourselves and we believe that resonates.
How have you drawn on the beauty rituals from your home in Budapest?
Budapest is our hometown and the capital of thermal spas. We grew up going to the thermal spas, not only for beauty but mainly for its health benefits. Not all of the salons in Budapest are beautiful, but there is a serious sense of precision when it comes to the treatments. Whether they’re doing it at home, or making a regular visit to the spa, women in Hungary take their beauty regimen seriously – it’s a ritual rather than an occasional treat. The idea is to make it possible (and accessible enough) for women in London to make a ritual of blow-dries and nail treatments. Making the space totally beautiful, and ensuring stellar service are the added benefits.
What makes DryBy different from other nail and hair bars in London?
Because neither of us comes from the beauty world, it makes us question certain aspects of the business more, and think outside the box. For one, we work with small independent brands that think hard about the quality of their ingredients. We’re an independent business and the brands we choose reflect that. Additionally, by offering both hair and nail services, we make it that much easier for women to get all their weekly beauty needs in one place. And perhaps most strikingly, we focus a lot of attention on the space itself. We don’t want to look like a traditional salon, instead we’ve created a beautiful place where women actually want to spend time.
Do you plan to open more salons in the capital?
We feel we need to focus on the first shop now and on making DryBy the best possible experience it can be for the customer before moving onto to expanding the brand. If the feedback is great we will look to grow it slowly and organically.
You live in Hampstead. What’s your favourite place to hang out in the area?
We spend a lot of time with our family in Hampstead Heath. We love the Holly Bush pub, the Freemasons, Gail’s for morning coffees and the best cheese straw in London, the Everyman cinema, and Artichoke for morning juices.
What are your beauty secrets?
Anita is into kick-boxing and is very sporty, and is a hair treatment junkie. She uses a lot of various oils as masks for her hair. For me it is Thermal spas, Omorovicza facials in Budapest, drinking hot water with lemon (which we learned from our Studio Director, Emily, and our family) and a glass of Merlot to keep us happy.
DryBy, 74 Mortimer Street, W1W 7RZ, 0207 637 9477. dryby.co.uk