Drybar Q&A

If you haven’t heard of Drybar yet, you will soon.  They’re popping up all over the US!  The concept is simple: “No Cuts.  No Color.  Just Blowouts.”  I have a monthly membership and go every month with my daughter for a girls’ night.  I also regularly give Drybar gift cards.  It’s not only the service that I love; it’s also the clever branding.  Check out their website to see what I mean.  From creating a “bar menu” featuring blowouts named after cocktails, like Cosmopolitan and Manhattan, to using coasters as gift certificates, the whole enterprise is creative genius.  I got in touch with Alli Webb, Founder and President of Drybar, to find out the story behind this incredible success.


AP:  How did you come up with the concept for Drybar?


AW:  It was truly out of personal necessity.  Even as a professional stylist, I’ve been hooked on having my hair blown out by someone else.  However, for years I struggled with the two bad options: overpaying at my salon or enduring a yucky discount chain.  I always longed for a fun, beautiful, hip place I could go to for a great and affordable blowout.  It didn’t exist, so I created it!


AP:  When and where was it introduced?


AW:  Our first location opened in Brentwood, Los Angeles last February 2010. We chose this spot because I had so many existing clients there from mobile blowout business.


AP:  It seems like these are popping up everywhere!  How fast have you grown?  Have you been surprised by this?  Excited?


AW:  It’s been a wild ride the past two years.  We’ve opened 9 locations already, and there will be 13 by the end of the year.  Completely surprised, and humbled, by how quickly this has taken off.  I’m beyond excited, but am definitely adjusting to the challenges of running a fast-growing business, with over 300 employees, and managing to still be a great mom and wife!


AP:  Let’s talk about the branding of Drybar.  I LOVE the concept.  Details like yellow blow dryers as light fixtures, barflys, bartabs, drink names for items on the menu – it’s all so fun.  How did it come together?


AW:  The branding was a totally creative collaboration between myself, my brother (and business partner), who’s a marketing wiz, and my husband Cam, who is an unbelievably talented creative director.  We really had fun with the bar theme.


AP:  I have to ask: What’s the story behind your mascot Buttercup, the yellow upside down blow dryer?


AW:  It’s a fun story, actually!  We all constantly referred to it as “the upside down yellow blow dryer.”  That was too much of a mouthful for me, so I began referring to “her” as Buttercup.  And it just stuck.


AP:  I know your husband is a creative director.  What has been his involvement in this?


AW:  He has been absolutely instrumental in the creation of the Drybar brand.  We honestly could not have done this without him.


AP:  I also know that you worked in PR.  Has that background helped you establish Drybar?


AW:  Very much so.  I know it sounds a little corny, but I actually feel like everything in my life up until now has prepared me for Drybar.  From growing up working in my parents clothing store, where they were obsessed with over-the-top customer service, to working at Nicole Miller with my brother, and, of course, going to beauty school (mostly to learn how to blow out my own hair better).


AP:  I go every month for a girls’ night with my daughter – and I noticed that you have a “Spirit Director” who handles parties.  Are events a big part of what you do?  Can you tell us about any memorable ones you’ve held?


AW:  Aw, that’s so sweet about you and your daughter.  Events are a very big part of our business.  Our Spirit Director is my sister-in-law, Sarah.  She does such an amazing job not only planning all of our events, but also keeping our 300+ (and growing) stylists “spirits” up – which is such an important role!


She just planned a Shirley Temple blowout birthday party that was a huge hit with the girls (and their moms) at our Scottsdale location!  The party girls came dressed in tutus, sipped on sparkling pink lemonade, snacked on cupcakes, and got their hair done!  Made for the cutest pics ever too.  🙂

AP:  What would you say is the one thing that has contributed to Drybar’s success the most?


AW:  The team we’ve managed to put together.  I like to call it the “perfect storm.”  Between Cam, Michael, Sarah and Josh (our crazy talented architect), everyone contributes in such different, but important, ways.  I truly feel like Drybar would not be what it is without every single one of us.


AP:  What’s your favorite item on the menu?  Favorite blowout style?


AW:  I am sucker for the Mai Tai!  I love messy, undone, “I didn’t try that hard” hair! 🙂



I love everything about this place.  Open your tab by booking an appointment today.