Curls and Cocktails: The History of Blo-It-Out Lounge
Lorrie and Desiree Velez are true Jersey girls, in every sense of the word. To these 4th generation natives, Hoboken means home, family, and business. With Lorrie being the “brains” behind the operation and Desiree in charge of the “beauty,” the two sisters opened Blo-It-Out Lounge in November 2014 on 12th and Washington, right around the corner from where they were raised on 12th and Hudson. For almost two years since, Blo-It-Out Lounge has been giving women (and men) a different kind of hair experience.
Blo-It-Out Lounge specializes in washing and custom blow outs done simply with rollers, brushes and hairdryers, but are not afraid to use hot tools if needed. The fast service ensures customers can be in and out quickly before a date, party, or just for that busy girl on the go. They also offer full face makeup, extensions, braiding, updos, and keratin treatments, for clients who want to get fully pampered in one place.
Co-Founder and Professional Hair Stylist Desiree Velez said opening something in the beauty industry was always what she planned to do, so when the opportunity came up, it was a no brainer. “When Lorrie and I got the opportunity to get the space, we looked at, talked about it, and kind of jumped on it. It wasn’t something we were planning at the time, it was in the moment,” said Velez. “We were like, we have the opportunity, let’s do it now,” added Lorrie.
Desiree was only 23 when the sisters starting talking about owning their own business, and instead of putting her dreams on hold, Lorrie encouraged the two to move forward. “My sister and I grew up very close, so when we talked about it, she was like, let’s do this as a family, instead of waiting,” said Velez. “She’s a very big part of the business, her and her husband get everything together, we all put our ideas together, but she was the main person behind it, saying you know what, if this is your dream, let’s do it together.”
Another clever tactic the sisters used to make Blo-It-Out Lounge so different is the way they name their signature styles. While most salons offer the typical updo or straight and sleek look, Blo-It-Out Lounge names their styles after cocktails, the Hoboken Uptowner being full bodied and straight, while the Mojito means sexy, loose curls. “We did a lot of research and looked at a lot of places, but we wanted to do something different to make it our own, whether it was locally in Hoboken or in dry bars worldwide. We definitely wanted to name something after Uptown Hoboken, where we were born. Some of the drinks, like Sex On The Beach, is for our sexy, messy look, so that went hand and hand. We also did a lot of research putting things together, used some of our personal favorite drinks and just figured it out, it worked, so we were like, let’s keep it,” said Velez.
Lorrie and Desiree’s roots and hearts will always be in Hoboken, explaining that when it came time to open, they knew where they wanted to stay. Their families were raised in the small city, every place is in walking distance, and they know everything they need to know about their hometown. But when it comes to the future, the sisters aren’t opposed to breaking out of the bubble.
“We’re kind of homebodies, this is our town. We’re going to raise our families here, we have our business here, we’ll stay here. In heart, this is where we’ll be planted for good, but in the business aspect, Hoboken is such a small town. Hair, nails, all of those kind of places are so overwhelming here. We have our location, we’re doing well, but if it came time to expand, let’s go to another city or state, and have our name grow somewhere else. Hoboken, we’re here, we’re known, let’s venture out a little bit.”
On their most recent venture, Blo-It-Out Lounge now offers mobile services and will send their hair stylists and makeup artists to your office, hotel, home, or wherever you need a quick beauty treatment on the go. Whether stopping by the salon or having them come to you, Blo-It-Out Lounge continues to leave ladies (and guys) smiling with their fast, fresh new dos.