Biography Profile / Wikipedia Information
- Alli Webb is the Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder at Drybar, a large chain of hair salons that focuses on blow-drying and styling hair, or ‘blowouts.’
- Webb oversees the hiring and management of hair stylists for all Drybar salons, and leads the development of Drybar’s line of styling products and tools.
Family Background & Parents :
- Now in her forties, Alli Webb grew up in Boca Raton, Florida. Her frizzy hair used to be a challenge for her mom to keep straight due to the humidity. She credits this for her interest in doing hair.
- Her family owned a small chain of women’s sportswear stores at strip malls in South Florida retirement communities. As a child, Alli spent a lot of time sweeping the floors & helping out there.
- She has one brother, Michael Landau, who also happens to be the first investor of Drybar.
- Her husband Cameron Webb is also a co-founder & the creative mind behind Drybars branding.
- They have two children, Grant and Kit, and two dogs Captain and Cooper.
- Webb attended Florida State University for one year, but left when she couldn’t settle on a major.
- She then decided to pursue a degree at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale to study fashion marketing.
- She then went on to a beauty school in Florida and continued her further education in Dallas.
Early Career & Jobs before Business :
- After beauty school, Webb had the opportunity to work for a renowned stylist John Sahag in New York, who is a pioneer in dry cutting hair. This is where she developed her primary skills in the business.
- She left styling & took a job in Public Relations for a while. She then met her husband, got married & they moved to Santa Monica, where she settled on the idea of being a stay at home mom.
- After five years, Webb wanted to try to earn some money and keep busy, but did not want a traditional job. So she put her skills to work and start a mobile blow-drying business in 2008 called ‘Straight at Home,’ placing ads in her local community targeting mothers and daughters.
- Soon she was flooded with emails and started a website to further promote her business. She started to get too many appointments to manage herself, so she came up with the idea to open a brick and mortar salon with a team of stylists.
Success as an Entrepreneur & Hair Stylist :
- In 2010, Alli approached her brother Michael Landau to be an investor, and he accepted. The first Drybar store was opened in Brentwood, California that year.
- When developing the concept for the business, the focus of the salon was on the experience. She changed the concept of a blowout – it would no longer be an extravagant luxury reserved for special occasions or for starlets with personal stylists. In order to make it accessible as an everyday treat, she drove the price point down from $90 to $45.
- Webb decided that Drybar should only offer styling services & adopted the slogan “no cuts, no color, just blowouts”. She incorporated many factors in the operation of the salon to make it feel like a ‘haven’ for women.
- For example, she decided to place the mirrors behind the clients rather than in front. She believed that clients would have a tendency to stare at themselves and criticize not only themselves but the process.
- Also, she wanted to incorporate the ‘spin’ of the chair as a grand reveal at the end of the process. In order to occupy them while they waited, she installed large televisions & showed female-centered movies such as Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada and Mean Girls along with the subtitles.
- In the background, music from Rihanna and Lady Gaga would add to the atmosphere. Webb is committed to selling “happiness and confidence” and not blowouts.
- She now has a line of hair care products, hot tools and brushes for sale as well to extend the life of the blowout (even silk pillowcases). These items are on sale at all stores as well as Sephora and Nordstrom stores nationwide.
- Drybar celebrated its seven-year anniversary in 2017, with more than 72 shops open in the US and Canada.
Interesting Facts, Height & Trivia :
- Webb is now an author of the book ‘The Drybar Guide to Good Hair for All: How to Get the Perfect Blowout at Home’.
- She is passionate about helping children and families in need and actively works with Baby2Baby, an organization which provides low-income children ages 0-12 years with diapers, clothing and other basic necessities. She also works with Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.
- Webb traces her customer service know-how back to when she helped out with her family’s female clothing stores. Her father used to set up chairs at the front of the stores for men to wait on their significant others and would provide newspapers, bagels and juice. She now offers her clients champagne or other beverages on arrival and even cookies while they wait.
- Rose McGowan was one of Webb’s first celebrity clients and eventually became an investor.
Concept of ‘Drybar’ :
- Drybar has a very unique design and concept that was crafted by Cameron Webb to establish a very relaxed and casual atmosphere, as Alli strives to keep a mom and pop feel.
- They modeled the salon after a swank cocktail bar and incorporated that theme into every aspect of the business, from coaster gift certificates to hair products lining the shelves like liquor with names like Happy Hour shampoo.
- Clients choose styles from cocktail inspired menus with choices like a Manhattan and Dirty Martini.
- They also chose to use buttercup yellow accents everywhere as part of their branding, and this can be seen throughout the stores, like with their signature yellow hairdryers, curling wands and aprons.
- There are also vases of yellow roses refreshed weekly. The staff & the stylists are all trained in the signature styling methods as well as on customer service techniques.
- Even their dress code is relaxed, and they can wear anything once its black and white, yellow, or denim.