With 60+ locations and a product line to boot, you’ve likely heard of (and probably even sipped champagne inside of) Drybar. What makes the salon so brilliant is its focus on doing just one thing, blowouts, and being the very best at it. We caught up with Drybar’s inspiring founder Alli Webb to learn more about how she turned her frustration of overpaying for blowouts into a booming brand.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING 7-10 YEARS AGO BEFORE DRYBAR?
AW: I was home with my babies and loved every second of it… until I got the urge to start doing something for myself again.
IS DRYBAR YOUR DREAM JOB?
AW: Absolutely! It’s a dream come true! I really love the fact that we continue to provide jobs and many amazing opportunities for stylists all over the country.
WHEN DID YOU HAVE YOUR “AH HA” MOMENT OF DRYBAR?
AW: Since I was a little girl, I’ve always been obsessed with my curly, frizzy hair and used to beg my mom to blow it out. So you could say it’s been a lifelong journey for me. I think the idea for Drybar was planted many, many years ago. It wasn’t until I was much older (and wiser) that I realized an actual business could be created around this idea.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS BUSINESS CONCEPT AND DID YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE IN IT PRIOR?
AW: I decided to start my mobile blow dry business, Straight At Home, where I would go to all my mommy-friends’ homes and blowout their hair while their babies were napping. That little side business quickly took off and the idea for Drybar started percolating! I realized there was a huge hole in the marketplace to get a great, affordable blowout in a fun, beautiful environment. I needed to do this! So I went to my big brother and business partner, Michael Landau, and my husband and Drybar Creative director, Cameron Webb, to help make Drybar a reality. Michael put up the money to open our first Drybar location in Brentwood in 2010. We were booked solid that very first day and knew we were onto something special. Now we have 65 locations and a full product line. I still can’t believe how much Drybar has gown – I am incredibly proud and humbled by it all.
HOW DID YOU FUND YOUR START UP?
AW: After I started my mobile blowout business in 2009, I was seeing such high demand that I went to my brother and business partner, Michael Landau, and asked him to lend me the money to open my own shop where women could come to me instead of me going to them. This definitely took some convincing! Michael (who’s bald!) worried that there weren’t enough woman out there that needed or wanted a blowout – I proved him wrong.
NAME 3 OF THE SCARIEST MOMENTS YOU HAD WHEN DOING THIS.
AW: I once signed a towel contract that had us on the hook for about 30k. I was freaking out, but luckily we figured a way out of it. Needless to say, these days, I don’t sign anything without my lawyer reading it first. (That fine print will getcha!) And I still get so nervous no one will show up to new shop openings! Currently, I’m pretty nervous but excited to be launching my first how-to book The Drybar Guide to Good Hair for All. It’s scary to put yourself out there, but I’m super proud of it!
WHAT IS YOUR PIECE OF ADVICE TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO STOP WHAT THEY’RE DOING AND CREATE THEIR “DREAM JOB”?
AW: Find a good partner to help you – it’s a ton of work and you need smart people around you that you trust implicitly.