From the military to the beauty industry Terry Michaud’s career has come full circle
While the past year has been difficult for many, women in the business world continued to demonstrate their resilience and persevere through the hard times.
For one Blo Blow Dry Bar franchisee, nothing was stopping her from turning her passion into a reality. A real life G.I. Jane turned blow-out queen, Terry Michaud’s career came full circle and is now setting new standards of what it means to be a woman in business.
From spending two decades in the military to rediscovering her love for the beauty industry, Terry can handle anything life throws at her. About 30 years ago, Michaud started cosmetology school. After having her second child, she decided to switch to nursing halfway through the cosmetology program to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Over the years, she continued pursuing her education and eventually earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in December of 1998.
She has always had a passion of serving others, so it came as no surprise when she decided to join the United States Air Force in February the following year. Once in the Air Force, she became a Certified Emergency Nurse working in the emergency room at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia for eight years. She then took her desire to help others a step further and became a Nurse Anesthetist for 12 years before retiring.
At the end of her 20-year military career, she knew two things: she wanted to go into business for herself and continue serving others. After researching franchises and taking a Franchising 101 class on her Air Force Base, she found her herself coming full circle to where her career first started – the beauty industry. “You get to serve people in both roles, I’ve always loved the beauty industry, and I loved the customer service element,” said Terry.
Blown away by Blo Blow Dry Bar’s franchise concept, she joined the team last year and opened her doors in Colorado Springs in the midst of the pandemic. Terry was drawn to the concept of Blo and believed the women in her community would appreciate it just as much as she did after having her first blow-out at a location in Denver, CO.
Throughout her lifetime in the service industry, Terry has experienced it all. Just as she was about to sign the lease for her Blo location early last year, COVID-19 hit and put a road block in her development. Knowing there was great uncertainty, she started the process again in May 2020 but knew she needed to get creative and think outside of the box to ensure her business was safe for customers when it finally came time to open. Using her experience as a nurse and medical knowledge, Terry hit the books and stumbled across a research article on Far-UVC lights, a new tool to control the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases. With the evidence in hand, she decided to pay out of pocket to install these lights and add an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 to her bar.
When her business officially opened in October, she heard an abundance of feedback from guests and employees on how safe they felt with the Far-UVC Lights and other precautions Terry took. “When COVID hit, I knew there was a reason I had all of the knowledge that I did,” Terry shared. “My background was such a blessing. I’m glad I was able to find a way to keep my customers and business safe.”
Since opening, Terry has treated each of her customers like a VIP. A simple way she does so is by going above and beyond when it comes to customer service. Aside from quality work and making them feel comfortable, Terry and her employees make an effort to get to know everyone who walks through their doors. Blo Blow Dry Bar is not just another place to get your hair done – it’s a sanctuary for clients to come in, relax and be pampered.
Taking the time to learn about guest’s kids, life, job and more are the little things that mean the most to them. A firm believer in supporting small businesses, she also likes to hold monthly member events where they invite local businesses in to share their products and stories. Supporting other businesses and introducing them to her clients will only strengthen the community around them – which is beneficial for everyone.
Throughout her career as a nurse and a Major in the Air Force, Terry has embraced her role as a leader. When she started with Blo, she knew that great leadership would be the key to its success. Terry is the physical form of servant leadership, always taking employees under her wing to make sure they are learning and growing successfully. Authenticity is a quality she carries with her throughout each day while taking the time to connect with all employees on a personal level. Perhaps the most important thing a leader can do is to work hard alongside their team and get their hands dirty.
Backed by immense corporate support, the Blo Blow Dry Bar team is just as passionate as its franchisees. Being able to continue to serve women and her community is a win for Terry. “Why wouldn’t I want to join the people who started the concept and do it the best? Choosing a franchise full of diverse talent and who welcomes everyone just makes sense,” Terry said.