Alli Webb, Drybar
Drybar in Los Angeles, Calif., was started in February 2010 as a “blow dry bar” specifically focused on one thing: no cuts, no color, just blowouts for $35.
‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching the business: Even though I’m a licensed hair stylist, I was never able to blow my hair out exactly how I wanted it myself. I got fed up overpaying at the salon that cut my hair, and really didn’t love going to a discount chain. The “ah ha moment” for me was when I realized that if I created a fun, beautiful atmosphere but was able to charge a discounted price, it would be the best of both worlds and women would come running. And that’s exactly what happened.
Ideal customer: It’s funny, when we first opened we focused a lot on figuring out our target demographic. But after several months in business we quickly realized our true demographic is “women with hair.” We get women of all ages who fall in love with the concept and the results – from teenagers who feel more comfortable with the approachable price-point and decor to uber-wealthy women who can certainly afford a much more expensive blowout (Marie Shriver is a regular customer) but really prefer the Drybar experience.
Landing first customer: My best friend Paige was my first non-paying client – she was ALWAYS asking me to straighten her super curly hair. It was that weekly blowout for her that prompted me to start a mobile blow out business. I posted an ad to a local mommy group and instantly got inundated with blow out requests. I started heading all over town blowing out everyone’s hair! It was really exciting how fast my little business took off. Because of the success I had with my mobile business, I felt like an actual physical location would be a huge hit.
Measuring Success: Drybar has literally been a dream come true – a dream that perhaps I didn’t realize was even possible until we opened our doors almost a year ago. I always personally loved getting my hair blown out and hoped this would be something all women would also enjoy. I worried that I was starting a business that was slightly vain, but I have found I was so very wrong. The positive feedback I hear every single day about how great our clients feel after 30-40 min at Drybar has been so incredibly rewarding for me. The success we have had in such a short time and the outpouring of support from woman in LA has been truly incredible. I feel extremely humbled, lucky and fortunate.