I honestly can't even count how many times I've been to the Drybar. I've pretty much done the world tour of their locations from LA, to Texas, Florida and NYC- and back again! So naturally I was THRILLED when Alli Webb, Co-Founder of the Drybar accepted my invitation to feature her on our blog after sliding her a DM through instagram (because thats how connections happen these days) Let's hear how she went from being a PR assistant without any formal education to owning an empire....
LA: What is one interesting thing that people may not know about your career?
A: I don’t have a college degree, and I talk about that a lot. But really I started from the bottom, I was an assistant in a lot of different areas – a salon assistant learning the hair world, an assistant at a PR firm for the guy who ran music at Rogers & Cowan, and I was also an assistant for John Sahag, a really famous hair stylist. I used to walk his two greyhounds down Madison Avenue, which is basically like walking two horses! I stress the importance a lot of doing every job when you’re the boss, because it’s important you understand what it’s like from a humility stand point mostly.
There is no job beneath you. And you don’t build that kind of character unless you’ve done those jobs. It’s an important part of my career path to have worked my way up the ladder from the very bottom.
LA: During your professional journey, what is one mistake you made that you learned the most from?
A: Early in my career, I was interviewing with Cynthia Rowley to be a personal assistant for her. I really wanted to work in fashion at that point in my career, and I totally blew that interview by saying I didn’t want to be subservient. I felt I was a little burnt out at that time on doing hair. Yet here I was applying to be a personal assistant, which is a very humbling job. I really blew that interview. I said all the wrong things. It was a personal learning for me that I wasn’t being authentic to where I was at in my life. I didn’t really want to really be a personal assistant then. I wanted to do something else, but I was trying to figure it out.
For whatever reason, I think it was a very serendipitous thing to blow that interview because it led me on a very different path. And who knows where it would have led me if I didn’t mess up that interview. I think the learning here is to trust your path. If you blow something that feels like it was super important, it may not be your path. It was important that I did mess it up for what ultimately became Drybar, who I am, going to beauty school, and all that.
LA: What are you most proud of at this moment?
A: I’m so proud of a lot of things, but I think I’m most proud of my children and the amazing little men they’re turning into. I’m also super proud of the woman I’ve become, especially after going through my divorce and founding Drybar.
LA: One thing you wish people would stop doing in business?
A: We’re seeing that there are different ways to do things, but we’re still seeing this linear approach – like you have to go to college. I didn’t do that, and I think a lot of successful people didn’t follow that path. There are many different paths. I think it’s most important for parents as they’re helping their kids figure out what they want to do. They don’t have to go the traditional way. I want my kids to go explore, and do what they want to figure out and make their own paths. I think we should be empowering other generations to go on their own paths.
In business, you can also get stuck in that “you think you know everything about everything,” but it’s important to be open to the fact that you don’t know everything. There are so many aspects, and bringing in people to help you is very important.
LA: Your go-to beverage after a long week (specifics please!)
A: I’m not a drinker! I’m a coffee girl. I’m also very religious about my Dr. Nancy shakes! I’m on a health kick, these protein shakes really fill me up daily. I really enjoy them.
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