Rebecca launched Pro Blo Group with a dream, drive, passion and a product she believed would revolutionize the way women blowout their hair or as they call it in the U.K, ‘blow dry’ their hair. Rebecca was convinced that there was a gap in the market for women who wanted to achieve that salon look but couldn’t afford the time or cost, so she set about creating a blowout system that was luxurious yet affordable and CurlME by Pro Blo was born in December 2014.
Fast forward four years and Pro Blo is dominating the hair industry, loved by stylists around the globe, organically endorsed by celebrities such as Huda Beauty and rapidly growing a loyal customer base, or as they are called ‘Blo Queens’ Pro Blo is a phenomenon and a success story that we wanted to hear all about.
Rebecca recalls the moment she decided to walk out on her secure job to pursue what was then a dream:
“I had finally got the promotion I had worked so hard for but it just didn’t fulfill me and I knew I wanted more, I remember my dad saying to me, find something you love and you will never work a day in your life and that stuck with me. I craved the concept of doing something I loved, something I was truly passionate about. Pro Blo grew very quickly in the beginning but I was conscious that ‘overnight success’ was not a real long-term business plan so I stuck to my 9-5 banking and ran the business around the clock. I remember booking a day off work in the bank to go and launch into Selfridges, thinking back it was crazy!
But I balanced both and survived of very little sleep for the first six months until I decided to walk away from the bank, I just knew if I didn’t give Pro Blo 100% of my time I would always question, what if. The day I walked out on my job, I sublet my apartment and moved back in with my mum, every penny I had gone into the business. I had no idea what I was doing, no business plan, no understanding of the industry, no knowledge of manufacturing or logistics, or pretty much anything, but I knew I would make it happen. I believed in the idea but more than anything, I believed in myself, in my ability to make it happen and in my heart and my head I knew that I would launch the product to market and I would make it a success.”
Rebecca is from Liverpool, England a place renowned for glamour and big blowouts! Rebecca would spend Saturday morning in the salon having a weekly blowout and then try to recreate the look at home in between salon visits. Cosmetologists and stylists have always used a technique of leaving brushes in their client’s hair to cool, the hot to cool mechanism allows the hair to lock in the curl. A blowout obsessed Rebecca quickly learned it was impossible to recreate the salon method on yourself so became the queen of the top knot in between her weekly salon visit. The lightbulb moment was in Rebecca’s apartment when her hairbrush barrel snapped away from the hande:
“I was standing in the bathroom with a broken hairbrush and quickly wrapped the barrel into my bangs and heated up the ceramic, ten minutes later I removed the barrel and I was hooked! From that moment I knew I had stumbled upon a product that other women craved (they just didn’t know it yet). The idea was simple, I wanted to give women a salon blowout who either can’t afford a weekly appointment or can’t afford the time. That was the beginning of everything and remains the core of my business”
Pro Blo does exactly that, offering a range of detachable blow dry brush sets to cater for all hair types, creating salon-worthy hair at home. If you want curls, bounce or volume? If you want 6, 8 or 12 CurlME barrels in your kit? Pro Blo has got you covered!
A humble plan to sell on eBay was quickly halted and Pro Blo launched to Selfridges within the initial 3 months of business. Fast forward four years and Rebecca has a £2m empire working with National stockists such as Selfridges, ASOS and Harvey Nicols, distribution in Russia, Kuwait and Europe and more than 12 product lines, including a styling range which is the UK made, vegan and cruelty-free. The further endorsement came in 2018 when CurlME was awarded Beauty Awards 2018 for best hair styling product.
Rebecca leaned on social media in the initial growth of Pro Blo and believes the opportunities on social platforms are endless, but only if you get it right;
“Social media platforms are very saturated with brands and business trying to be seen. Pro Blo launched four years ago and rewind four years content was a lot more organic and the algorithm was chronological so it was a space that you could reach users with very little budget. Fast forward to today and you really have to be smart with your strategy and where you invest your marketing budget, it’s really easy to spend with little return on your investment.’’
Despite the social media changes Pro Blo boasts a social media following of over 500,000 users who are very active and largely promote the brand across their personal platforms;
“It’s honestly amazing! We call our followers and customers our Blo Queens. I just feel it gives them a part in our brand because ultimately they are the biggest part of Pro Blo and social platforms give us the opportunity to connect. We receive thousands of tags, direct messages and photos so to be able to interact is just the best, but equally to be able to share real results, real reviews it really allows us to show our credibility. The flip side is the not so great feedback but that is even more important, it allows us to hear what our Blo Queens want and to become the best we can be. I love that we can drop two new product designs out there and have our Blo Queens choose which one makes it to market. To me, that is just so cool and so relevant in 2019.”
Pro Blo almost feels like it is becoming a machine and what was once a one-woman team now boasts a very on-brand HQ and employees a full team:
“Our new HQ is everything I imagined, we moved in earlier this year and I’m already thinking of expansion for the future, but that is my problem, when I achieve one goal I am already focusing on the next, but that is something I’m working on, I need to learn to celebrate the small successes along the way! As the business has grown so has our team and it is so exciting to feel part of something bigger.”
Finally, I asked Rebecca:
What motivates you?
Freedom! Freedom and feeling fulfilled were what I wanted when I started Pro Blo. Now I would say it is more the thrill of the chase!
Biggest lesson you have learned?
Where do I start? I have learned so much, the good, the bad and the really ugly! The hardest lesson was letting go of people’s opinions because people really do have them! I have made mistakes through lack of knowledge but this is the best learning curve, right? But ultimately I have learned that anything is possible if you are willing to work really hard and commit 110%, to always trust my gut and be true to myself, my morals and what I believe in.