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Alli Webb

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Profile

Drybar founder Alli Webb has always loved a good blow out. Even as a little girl, Webb always loved having her naturally thick, curly hair blown straight. As she grew older, she found she felt more confident after a good blow out. Still, her passion for hair would only become her career path after several detours. After a year at Florida State University, Webb pursued a career in fashion. Inspired by her parents’ clothing business and her own love of fashion, she moved to New York, where she worked for Nicole Miller.

After leaving Nicole Miller, Webb followed her passion for hair, training as a stylist at Toni & Guy. Her career as a stylist included several years working under John Sahag. In her mid-20s, Webb took a break from hair, taking a public relations position for Rogers and Cowan. She stayed with the firm for several years, working with client list that included Faith Hill, Paul McCartney and Keith Urban.

Webb’s next career was full-time motherhood. Though it was a position she enjoyed, five years in she was looking to diversify. In 2008 she founded Straight-At-Home, providing in-home blowouts in Los Angeles. The side business grew beyond Webb’s dreams and expectations, and soon she had more clientele than she and her 2001 Nissan Xterra could handle. She had clearly found an underserved need, a place where women could go for just blowouts.

In 2009, backed with $250,000 from her brother, Michael Landau, Webb opened the first Drybar blowout salon in Brentwood, CA. The venture was a success. In 2010, with the help of friends, Webb and Landau raised another $2.5 million to expand the business. They opened three new stores that year, in West Hollywood, Studio City and Pacific Palisades. Later, Castanea Partners in Boston invested $16 million, financing Drybar’s continued expansion. By the end of 2012, the company had opened 26 salons in six states, styling more than 50,000 women each month. By 2014, there were 43 Drybar locations in eight states and Washington, DC. Revenues also grew, from $1.5 million in 2010 to $19 million in 2012 and $39 million in 2013. As of 2014, Drybar had grow into a $50-million-a-year enterprise.

Webb’s accomplishments have been widely recognized, with accolades including the 2014 CEW Achiever Award, Fortune’s “40 under 40,” Marie Claire’s “16 Most Fascinating Women,” Cosmopolitan’s “2013 Power List” and Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.” She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Cameron, who leads Drybar’s branding, and their two children.

Companies and Investments

Drybar (Founder), Straight-At-Home (Founder), Rogers and Cowan (Public Relations)

Lessons Learned

I learned that I was not alone in the need for great blowouts nor was I alone in feeling the confidence and bliss that comes after getting your hair styled. However, at 35 years old, I was still hoping and wishing for a place where I could get a great and affordable blowout in a beautiful space and fun atmosphere. I had pictured this “Drybar concept” in my head for so many years, and finally got tired of waiting for someone else to do it. So I approached my brother with the idea. He lent me the money, and we did it ourselves! (Alli Webb on building something you wish to see in the world, in an interview on MariaShriver.com)

Surround yourself with people who are good at what you are not. My brother and business partner Michael have a lot more business experience than me and so together, with my hair experience, we make a great team. Knowing what you are not good at and where you need help is so important to your overall success. (Alli Webb on surrounding yourself with people with complementary skills, in an interview on MariaShriver.com)

I know it sounds cliché but be honest with yourself about what you love. It took me a long time to pursue beauty school even though I always felt passionate about hair. I truly believe that a huge part of Drybar's success is that I know what my strengths are, what my weaknesses are and I've brought people around who are good at what I’m not. That can be a hard thing for people to get comfortable with, but knowing what you're good at and knowing what you're not good at is everything. (Alli Webb on following your passions and knowing your strengths, in an interview on CareerContessa.com)

I think one of the best lessons I have learned is to take a step back and look at the big picture. My nature is to react and respond super fast, but I've learned how useful it can be to think things/situations through before responding. (Alli Webb on making sure to look at the big picture, in an interview on Byrdie.com)


Inspiring Quotes

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

Peter Drucker

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.

Maya Angelou

Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes.

Sophia Loren

Gorgeous hair is the best revenge.

Ivanka Trump

Alli Webb's Quotes

Don’t let “perfect” stand in the way of progress.

Alli Webb

Make it happen. I know it’s cliché, but talk is cheap. Stop talking about, just go do it.

Alli Webb

Don’t listen to people who tell you it’s a bad idea. Listen to your heart. If everyone shared your passion, someone would have already done it!

Alli Webb

What we’re really selling is self-esteem.

Alli Webb

The best way to get things done is simply to begin.

Alli Webb

Influential Books

Mentors

Josie Maran, Deborah Lippmann, Janet Gurwitch

References


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