Eight years ago, Alli Webb created a concept that took the beauty world by storm: blow dry and hair style services served up in a chic, modern venue at an affordable price. This year Drybar’s 100-plus locations and products generated more than $100 million in revenue. The company has remained ahead of the fray—blow dry-only concepts have since become a global phenomenon—due partly to its 50-plus product and tool line, which are sold through retailers such as Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta Beauty and select Bloomingdale’s. The other part of its success is attributed to good old-fashioned smarts. Here, Alli answers burning questions about her rise to success.
Beauty Insider: Over the course of your professional journey, what was the biggest mistake you’ve made?
Alli Webb: Not thinking things through. I tend to be reactionary and passionate, which can sometimes get me into trouble. It’s important to bring people into your organization that can balance this out. Because, at the end of the day, both are paramount.
BI: If you could change one thing about your brand, what would it be?
AW: I love the white chairs we have, but they are next to impossible to keep clean. We’re in the middle of swapping them out for beige.
BI: What’s something no one tells you when starting a business?
AW: That it completely takes over your life and the majority of your brain space. It’s all-encompassing and needs your constant attention and love, so you have to genuinely enjoy what you are doing. Think through as many of the thousands of big and small details you can. It can also be lonely and isolating.
BI: What’s your greatest accomplishment so far?
AW: My two beautiful boys. Then it would be getting to 100 Drybar locations and being able to provide 3,000 people with jobs and opportunities to grow.
BI: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
AW: Trust. Learning to trust my own instincts and the people we have brought in to help us grow.
BI: Best advice for newbies entering the business today?
AW: Focus on giving a great and unforgettable experience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance on things that you don’t know much about.
BI: What’s the mantra you live by?
AW: Treat others the way you want to be treated. And, it’s only temporary, everything changes whether we like it or not.
BI: Which product (not your own) is your favorite and why?
AW: I’m obsessed with Too Faced new glittery 20th anniversary eye shadow palette – so many gorgeous shades and you can use your fingers to apply.
BI: If you were to write a note for a fortune cookie, what would it say?
AW: Be kind and patient, you never know what someone else is going through.