What made you want to start Squeeze, and then expand into The Feel Good Company? What is the overall philosophy behind these companies?
Squeeze is the brainchild of my business partners and co-founders Michael Landau and Alli Webb, also the founders of Drybar. We used to say at Drybar, where I ran marketing for four years, that we didn’t even blowouts, we just created a better way to experience the service. It was similar with Squeeze – we are all avid massage goers and felt that the current options (before Squeeze) were limiting – discount chains with subpar experiences on one end of the spectrum and pricey high-end hotels and spas on the other. There wasn’t an affordable luxury option in the middle that merged the high-end, sophisticated feel at an affordable price-point. Not to mention so much about our competitors’ booking and checkout processes were frustrating and quite frankly, stressful.
At Squeeze, we’ve streamlined the process by eliminating the headache of having to call a place to book or wait in a long checkout line after your massage. We’ve also made the experience much more convenient and personalized too. Our guests do everything through our iPhone app or our website – from booking their appointment to setting their personalized massage preferences through to rating, tipping, and reviewing at their leisure. We like to say that our guests “walk-in and float out.” Guests can also easily become a member, read therapist bios and see other guests’ ratings and reviews, re-book and favorite a therapist as well as refer a friend all through our app. Once in the shop, guests can select a scent of their liking at our interactive aromatherapy bar, we have a refreshment station with spa-water, almonds, feel-good sayings to lift your spirits as well as tea from my favorite female-founded brand Tea Drops; and then in our massage suites, we offer mints, hair-ties, a phone charging station, and guests can adjust the dimness of the room’s lighting as well as select from 6-different music playlists. We’ve even added a ready button to the table so guests can let their therapist know when they’re ready for them to re-enter – avoiding that hurry-up-and-wait feeling. Turns out, this is a favorite feature of our therapists as well!
The idea for The Feel Good Company came to me after building Squeeze on the heels of my experience at Drybar. We always used to say that we weren’t selling blowouts, we were selling happiness and confidence that came with a blowout because when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you can literally take on the world. You can do anything! Carrying that through to Squeeze, which we literally coined at the outset as “a feel-good company,” I think I just realized after building these two businesses that we had a pretty special secret sauce – between the amazing branding to the surprise-and-delight architecture through to our revolutionary technology and really the biggest piece, our commitment to a feel-good experience for both our guests and team members. I had one of those 3-in-the-morning “a-has” where I thought – we could really do this for all kinds of verticals in the wellness space and wouldn’t it be so neat to support other female entrepreneurs who have dreams of creating disruptive retail experiences. That’s really the vision – to disrupt the way people experience retail by transforming the mind, body, and soul for good. We partnered with a philanthropy when we launched Squeeze called Canine Companions and set it up so that for every membership that we sell, we’re helping to provide a day of canine support to a person with a disability, which is just a cool thing for everyone to be part of – to know that whether you’re getting or giving a feel-good experience, it’s also doing good. So there’s a philanthropic component to all brands that The Feel Good Company supports as well. Not but a couple months later, Christy Desai reached out to me with this idea for Okay Humans, which is a fresh approach to face-to-face talk therapy meant to destigmatize seeking help for your mental health by making it more accessible and acceptable. After our meeting, she literally ran into Alli on the street outside of Squeeze – it all just felt very kismet. The stars were definitely aligned, and so Okay Humans became the next brand in our feel-good collective, with more to come!
How did you get started at Drybar?
Oh my gosh, I was a Drybar fanatic! I loved everything about the brand and the experience, all of the little touches were so thoughtful and special. I loved Alli’s story and just felt like it would be the next big thing. After about a decade in marketing and advertising working on world-class brands like Disney, Coca-Cola, Hilton, Barbie, and Hot Wheels, I was itching to take my experience in-house and dedicate my efforts to a brand that personally resonated. I scoured my network to see if anyone knew someone who worked at Drybar. Turns out one of my best friend’s cousins lived with one of the gals who ended up working for me for years, and somewhat of the same thing happened, I met with the founders and it was just an instant connection. I believed wholeheartedly in their vision and championed it through for years. I loved every second of my time building that brand and have formed some of my closest friendships that will last a lifetime. I’m so grateful for the experience and to Michael, Alli, Sarah and Cam for letting me spread my wings on our next adventure together and supporting me every step of the way.
The pandemic drastically limited the ability to touch people, but also made us more than ever need self-care. How did this allow you to get more creative and try to reach more people virtually, or change the direction of the companies that you want to start under the Feel Good umbrella?
Interestingly enough, it’s made me even more of a believer in the necessity of in-person experiences. I started my career in experiential marketing putting on large scale events with interactive experiences and meaningful connections. If there’s anything the pandemic reinforced in me, it’s that we’re not meant to go through life alone. We need each other – whether it’s through the power of massage or the transformative experience of talk therapy – I am such a believer that if there is a convenient, enjoyable way to experience anything outside of our home, we as a society will jump at the chance. Especially now. So while I’m excited to see the new companies and ideas that were born out of the pandemic, I’m even more bullish that our in-person, feel-good experiences are just what people need to get back to feeling their best.
As a female founder and someone who invests in other female businesses, what do you want your legacy to be?
That’s a big question. Our company values at both Squeeze and Okay Humans are called “The Feels” and the Feel that threads through both companies is “The Feel-Good Revolution.” The idea being that not only do our service offerings make people feel-good, but more-so it’s this bigger mission and calling to remember that every day we’re given is a gift and that with every opportunity and interaction there’s a chance to impact people for the better. The quote that inspired our approach to building our culture and creating our values was Maya Angelou’s, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I hope we’re able to transform communities for good, and the way we’ll do that is by being the best part of our guests’ and team members’ day. If we can make that happen at scale, I can’t imagine a sweeter legacy.
What can we expect from the Feel Good revolution and Brittany Driscoll in 5 years?
I sure hope people in hundreds of towns across the country will get to experience Squeeze and Okay Humans, and that the people working for our brands feel valued and recognized not just for what they do, but for who they are. If we’re impacting lives in this way at a massive scale in 5-years, I’ll be over the moon.
what’s the first thing you do every morning?
Look out my window to check the weather.
what’s the last thing you do every night?
Count my blessings.
what app can’t you live without?
what book do we need to read?
So many! Radical Candor by Kim Scott is the best business book I think I’ve ever read so I’ll go with that.
what business or person should we have our eye on?
My friend Maegan Giffin of Skin Pharm – she’s changing the cosmetic dermatology game in the most approachable, down-to-earth way. If you live near one of her clinics, I highly recommend visiting and if not, her products are game changers. I can’t live without her Youth Serum and Glow Factor.
Brittany Driscoll is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Squeeze, a way better massage experience from the founders of Drybar. She also Co-Founded and leads The Feel Good Company, a service agency set out to transform the way people experience retail by building and scaling a collective of female-founded wellness brands dedicated to bettering the mind, body, and soul for good. Brittany is also co-host of the podcast, Girlfriends & Business.
Prior to launching her own businesses, Brittany spent four years running marketing for Drybar where she helped take the company from $30M to more than $100M, and prior to that she spent over a decade in marketing and advertising. As a female entrepreneur, cancer survivor, and wellness advocate, Brittany has a strong passion for supporting other women in business and has become a thought-leader in her community.