Alli Webb, founder of Drybar and president of Canopy, discusses the rewards and challenges that came with the explosive growth of her business.
On filling the white space for professional hairstyling: “Before Drybar, there was a lot of variable pricing where if you walked into a hair salon 12 years ago, they would look at your hair and be, like, ‘Well, for you, it's going to be $60. And for you, it'll be $85.’ And I just was, like, what is this? And I hated that as a consumer. And having worked in hair salons, cutting hair and for years, there were so many things about what the industry was doing that I didn't like as a consumer. And so, I really wanted to change that.”
On expanding from a service-based to a product-based business: “I really felt like we needed to create product that was very branded to us. Created for the perfect blowout … Because Drybar had gotten all this popularity as the place to get blowouts, if you didn't have a Drybar near you, you could go and buy the Drybar product to get the same experience at home … We were like the blowout authority. And now you can get the products that our stylists are using … And it just quickly took off because people wanted to buy a piece of Drybar … The product became this other business within the business that added a whole crazy level of complexity.”
On the importance of branding: “I think branding is another huge piece of our success. Another thing that often gets overlooked … I don't just mean like a logo and the way things look. But I consider branding -- it's like when you walk into your space, how does it feel? How is the music? How is the temperature? How clean is it? What does the bathroom look like, and how are your people greeting people? … If you're not paying attention to those details of every little touch point at your place, it can quickly unravel. And it just doesn't create that brand loyalty. If you're really buttoned up and everything looks good, feels good, smells good, every sensory is where it should be, I think that makes people really fall in love with your business.”
On the key to success: “I think, in my experience, it just takes so much blood, sweat, and tears to make a business work. And you just have to put your whole heart and soul into it … I know Drybar looks like a success story. And everything was really easy. Like, it wasn't. It's never going to be easy. And the problems are never going to stop coming. It's more how you deal with them. And you've just got to love what you do, I think, to be successful.”
This episode was recorded on July 19, 2022