Interview: Alli from Drybar

Whenever we venture to New York or LA, a visit to DryBar is always on the top of our to do list. So when we got word that Drybar was coming to Vancouver, we were ecstatic.

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Located in the newly opened Nordstrom, Drybar’s concept is simple: no cuts or no colour, just fabulous blowouts. Did we mention the flat screens featuring your favorite chick flicks, the iPhone charging stations, and the crisp glass of champagne you’ll enjoy during your service?

Founder Alli Webb has successfully grown her company from a side business called Straight-at-Home, which provided in home blow-outs in L.A to almost 50 Drybar location and counting. Alli has been on the list of 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’.

We chatted with Alli to learn more about what sets Drybar apart, and their exciting launch into the Canadian market.

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Tell us about the concept behind Drybar
Drybar was created around a very simple idea: no cuts, no color, just great blowouts at a reasonable price. Truth be told, we had no idea that this little idea for one shop in Los Angeles would turn into almost 50 locations across the nation within five short years. One thing we’ve known from the start, however, which has become our internal rallying call, is that we’re not just providing blowouts. But rather, the confidence and happiness that comes from a great blowout. I believe that this, above all, has been the reason for the success we’ve been humbled by so far.

AlliStyling_22What motivated you to create Drybar?
As a kid, I always struggled with my naturally frizzy hair, and longed for place that would happily blowout my hair at a price I could afford. While I was operating my mobile business, Straight at Home, it occurred to me that I was not alone – there was a big hole in the market for a place to get great blowout, in a fun, beautiful environment at an affordable price. I realized I needed to do this. So I partnered with my brother, Michael Landau, and my husband, Cameron Webb, to help make Drybar a reality. I never dreamed it would turn into what it has.  West3rd_2We love the design of your locations. What is the inspiration behind the design?
We wanted the shops to feel like a fun, yet beautiful bar where clients weren’t staring at themselves in the mirror (and picking themselves apart). Rather, they get to enjoy chick flicks and relax while Drybar-trained stylists work their magic. We also wanted the shops to be feminine, clean and happy, so the pops of yellow felt like the perfect complement to the white décor. Our architect, Josh Heitler, is really the mastermind behind the shop design and layout. He has been with us since the first shop and we couldn’t be more grateful for him. Palisades_2

Vancouver will be your first Canadian location. Tell us about your partnership with Nordstrom to bring Drybar to Canada.
We love Nordstrom and how obsessed they are with customer service. We share so many of the same values and philosophies. It’s also one of my favorite places to shop! We are honored to be partnering with such an amazing company.
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Where did you get the idea to name your styles after cocktails?
While we were developing the whole bar concept, naming hairstyles after drinks seemed like such a fun way to order your favorite style off the “bar menu”.  Women love it!

Many celebrities are fans of Drybar. Who were you most excited to have as a client?
Well, I actually didn’t think we would do as many celebrities as we do. But they hate over-paying just as much as everyone else and they really enjoy the overall experience of Drybar. I was really excited to recently have Lana Del Ray in one of our shops, as well as Julia Roberts and Tina Fey, who have all become regulars! bwood_7

Your product line has become incredible popular with your clients. What inspired you to create your own line of products?
We needed products that were designed to create the perfect blowout. There wasn’t a line out there that quite worked for us. So a few months after we opened our first few shops, I started going down the path of creating our own products. It wasn’t until I met Janet Gurwitch (founder of Laura Mercier Cosmetics, who now sits on our board), who introduced me to some of the best labs in the country, that we really got the line going. I’m incredibly grateful to her for all her help and support. But the biggest difference, by far, between our line and everything else out there, is that our line was created by stylists for stylists. Our 3,000 stylists do over 150,000 blowouts every single month. We know what works and what doesn’t. And we take and apply that learning to every single one of our products and tools.  

What is the best part of your job?
I really love my job and feel like this is absolutely what I was meant to do. I’ve been obsessed with hair and blowouts since I was a little girl and I love making women feel better through gorgeous hair. I often pinch myself and can’t believe what we have created! Shampoo

What is the most memorable moment of your career so far?
I’ll never forget the first time Vogue sent an editor into our Brentwood shop! It felt great to get that vote of confidence. I’m so proud of what we have created and feel so humbled by the response women have had to Drybar. I feel like we are making the world a better place one blowout at a time! I’m also thrilled that we have created over 3,000 jobs across the county and have given stylists another avenue to pursue. 

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What’s next for Drybar?
We have a really big year planned with about 10-12 new shop opening (including 4 coming up in New York City alone!) as well as some new product launches I can’t wait to share. We also launched our new Dry-on-the-Fly App in July, which I believe will be a game-changer for us.

pacpal_52Alli’s Favorites

Go to Blowout Style
That’s easy, a Mai Tai!

Drink of Choice
Vodka Soda with a twist of lime

Vacation Destination
Nicaragua

Currently Listening to
The Kooks

Guilty Pleasure
Anything at a spa

Beauty Must Have
My 1.25” 3-Day Bender curling iron

Your Hair Muse
Gosh, I have so many… Blake Lively, Michelle Williams and Taylor Swift

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Book your Drybar appointment by calling
1 800-898-9246

Images courtesy of DryBar