Heyday, Home Of The 50-Minute Facial That’s Won Over Busy New Yorkers, Touches Down In Los Angeles
Heyday, the Drybar of facials, has become bicoastal with the opening of a 2,800-square-foot location in Los Angeles, Drybar’s birthplace, expected to be the first of several in the city.
The new outpost on Beverly Boulevard near The Grove, CBS and LACMA joins the convenience- and customization-driven concept’s five units in New York and precedes a website relaunch intended to boost its e-commerce component. Heyday’s geographic growth is supported by a $3 million round of funding led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures it secured last year.
“We always knew were going to expand and, for us, the opportunity to go to LA felt like a logical next step in terms of brand awareness,” says chief brand officer Michael Pollak, who founded Heyday with Adam Ross. “It’s certainly a market that can hold quite a number of doors given how neighborhood-centric it is and, as a service business, having economies of scale helps us.”
Like so many L.A. tales, a car played a crucial role in Heyday’s. Pollak didn’t have the location Heyday ultimately settled in on his radar initially, but passed by the former home of fashion boutique Oak and a long-time auto body shop during a drive. He spotted a for-rent sign and was intrigued by the spot’s roomy patio, which now, along with a skylight, infuses Heyday with an indoor-outdoor West Coast vibe.
“We weren’t looking there because it’s not a particularly dense retail pocket,” says Pollak, elaborating, “It seemed a bit like our NoMad store at 26th and Broadway when we opened there. The rents were less. The neighborhood was still turning, but it was at a crossroads between live, work and play that works really well for us.”
“It seemed a bit like our NoMad store at 26th and Broadway when we opened there. The rents were less. The neighborhood was still turning, but it was at a crossroads between live, work and play that works really well for us.”
In its locations, Heyday intertwines its universal brand aesthetic with design elements speaking to the local environment. Early New York outposts had a midcentury feel, while the L.A. branch contains concrete floors and white beams referencing its history as an auto body shop with terracotta and aqua accents for California flair. It has 11 treatment rooms, more than the eight or nine customary for Heyday, and space for events and collaborations with other companies.
Since its premiere in June 2015, Heyday has increased the level of privacy in its locations. Partitions between treatment rooms ascend seven feet, but don’t touch the ceiling. Curtains are pulled to make facials intimate. However, they’re not so intimate that customers in treatment rooms are unaware facials are occurring in the rest of the location.
“There’s a bit of an intimidation factor for a client to be in a dimly-lit room with flute music playing. It takes you out of the world,” says Pollak. “A facial is a personal experience, but we wanted to make sure there’s still a social quality to it. You hear music playing throughout the shop, and you also hear the murmur of chatter. You hear conversations between therapists and clients, and you hear laughter. It’s not this very precious ceremony.”
Roughly 40% of Heyday’s clients patronize its locations once a month, 40% come in seasonally and the remaining 20% are annual visitors. About 30% have never had a facial prior to their Heyday service. Heyday’s menu consists of 30-, 50- and 75-minute individualized facials priced at $65, $95 and $140, respectively, and the 50-minute version is the most popular. It offers a limited array of so-called enhancements such as beard and light therapies, microdermabrasion and professional peels that’s due to be enlarged. Customers don’t disrobe for services.
“A facial is a personal experience, but we wanted to make sure there’s still a social quality to it. You hear music playing throughout the shop, and you also hear the murmur of chatter. You hear conversations between therapists and clients, and you hear laughter. It’s not this very precious ceremony.”
“We’ve noticed in the industry that a lot of times a client going for a facial will open a brochure that has 12 different facials and 18 different add-ons. Not knowing about them, the client will pick the signature facial or the orchid facial because it sounds great. It puts the client in the driver set, and they don’t know how to drive or what they need,” says Pollak. “We said, ‘Let’s make it simple for everybody, and let’s do choices by time and three corresponding price points, and allow the therapist to customize the facial for the customer.’”
The straightforward menu has been fruitful for Heyday. Pollak notes its locations don’t take forever to generate profit. “The business has to stand on its own and add up. Our units are breakeven quite quickly,” he says. “We wouldn’t have tweaked the traditional spa model this way if we knew it wouldn’t work.”
Heyday is often compared to Drybar for its concentration on a single beauty service that it attempts to make a routine and not an arduous, exorbitant task to be partaken of occasionally. It varies from Drybar, though, in that it doesn’t have its own product line. Heyday incorporates products from around a dozen brands, notably Herbivore, Ursa Major, Grown Alchemist, One Love Organics and Naturopathica, in its facials, retail sections of its locations and online.
“Consumers are savvy enough to know that, if you’re a small company and have a whole line of cleansers, serums and moisturizers, you’re going to a lab and telling that lab, ‘Give me something at these price points,’” says Pollak. “What we focused on was forging trust between a therapist and a client. That trust is forged when you walk in the front of the store to after your facial, and it’s not just about our line or one or two lines, but it’s a whole bunch of products to treat whatever skin type or condition you have.”
“We collect a lot of data about the facials we do in the shops and, as the e-commerce platform launches, we will be able to tie insights from that to shopping online. For example, we can say that, out of the clients we’ve performed 100,000 facials on, you may be like this 7%, and these are products that worked for those clients.”
Heyday is planning to elevate its assortment of third-party brands as it elevates its website. It will take a clearer stance on ingredients, too, with a forthcoming list of those it stays away from. Pollak spells out Heyday gravitates to skincare brands harnessing both the power of nature and scientific advancements.
“The majority of the brands on our shelves lean toward the greening of the industry – Herbivore, Naturopathica, Ursa Major, One Love Organics – though we’re careful to use the terms ‘all natural’ or’ all organic’ since those are a bit unregulated and skip over the nuance that happens in product formulation,” he explains. “I would say that a brand like Naturopathica mirrors most closely what we believe – using the power of nature in every which way, avoiding the ingredients employed when cosmetics went large batch in the 30 years, but unafraid of well-researched, effective cosmeceuticals ingredients thoughtfully built into formulas.”
On its revamped website, Heyday will tap into the knowledge of its 150 skin therapists to extend customer relationships beyond brick-and-mortar doors and reach clients without locations close to them. “We collect a lot of data about the facials we do in the shops and, as the e-commerce platform launches, we will be able to tie insights from that to shopping online,” says Pollak. “For example, we can say that, out of the clients we’ve performed 100,000 facials on, you may be like this 7%, and these are products that worked for those clients. And there’s a skin therapist you may be able to chat with to thoughtfully choose products that work for you.”
Feature photo credit: Erica Bean