The Franchisee: Joy Vertz

Joy Vertz, owner of Drybar in Wisconsin and Illinois; founder of Shoot the Moon Photography.
Joy Vertz, owner of Drybar in Wisconsin and Illinois; founder of Shoot the Moon Photography.

The Franchise: Irvine, California-based Drybar has gained a nationwide following for its signature – and only – service: the blowout. Since 2008, the company has expanded to approximately 150 independently owned and operated shops across the U.S.  

Clients choose from Drybar’s menu of styling options, ranging from a Classic Blowout to Uptini (aka an updo), all done using Drybar brand hot tools and line of hair products.
Clients choose from Drybar’s menu of styling options, ranging from a Classic Blowout to Uptini (aka an updo), all done using Drybar brand hot tools and line of hair products.

October 2016: After running her Mequon-based Shoot the Moon Photography studio for two decades, Joy Vertz was considering her next career move. Her husband had suggested she open a franchise. Later, on a trip to New York City, Vertz discovered Drybar.  

“It was such a fun experience. The women were having champagne, it was a party in there. … I was literally sitting in the chair getting my hair done when I clicked on the little form to get more information (on franchising), and I just thought Milwaukee would be the perfect place.” 

February 2018: About a year after signing her first franchise agreement, Vertz brought Drybar to Wisconsin, opening a studio at 243 E. Buffalo St. in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. It took some time to build brand awareness and just as business was picking up steam, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

“But ever since we’ve come back from COVID, once the restrictions were lifted, we’ve really noticed that people are more excited than ever to get out, do stuff, treat themselves. Self-care is really becoming more of a necessity, which is great for us because that’s what we do.” 

February 2022: Vertz acquired Drybar’s three corporate-owned locations in the Chicago area.  

“It’s such a great market with such amazing potential. It’s the third largest city in the U.S., and they only have three locations – verses New York and L.A., they have 20.”

Late Fall of 2022: Vertz will debut her second Milwaukee-area Drybar at 324 E. Silver Spring Drive in Whitefish Bay, just in time for the holidays. Vertz is eyeing suburbs like Brookfield and Oak Creek for a third location within the next couple years. 

The franchise fee: $50,000

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