Alli Webb & Michael Landau The Dry Bar

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Savvy. Simple. Great Pair.

The Dry Bar was founded by brother-sister pair Alli Webb and Michael Landau.  Alli, worked at Toni and Guy and under John Sahag in New York and has also done P.R. for Faith Hill, Paul McCartney, and Keith Urban. After moving to Los Angeles with her husband and spending time focusing on her two sons, she started a mobile blowout business called Straight at Home. Clients loved it, word of mouth spread, and when Webb approached Landau to partner on a new concept—a blowout-only salon—he immediately realized it was a savvy business idea.

Landau now CEO of Drybar, brought a savvy background as well, he does has tons of experience building and growing world class brands. Michael spent almost 10 years at Yahoo! in numerous management roles, including Vice President of Brand Marketing. He is also the co-founder of Ground Break Marketing, a full-service sales and marketing firm which has helped companies such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Las Vegas Sands Corp, and The Plaza Hotel develop and market mixed-use real estate projects around the world.

It’s a simple concept done well. No cuts. No color. Just blowouts for only $35. Located in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, they realized there was a hole in the market. The concept, was to build a beautiful environment. A place where people would want to hang out and meet their friends, and if we can charge discount rates, we can bring affordable luxury to the market.

This is not a everyday salon experience, where champagne is complimentary, iPod docks ensure that the music is always pumping, Sex and the City plays on flat screens, and the menu of blowouts features the Cosmo (big, loose curls), the Manhattan (straight and sleek), the Southern Comfort (lots of volume), and the Mai Tai (messy, beachy ringlets). They specialize in timeless, classic blowout styles that will never go away. Other services are home visits for only $75.

The pair wants to spread the Drybar word. By opening Franchises they hope to see a Drybar in every city around the globe.  The brother-sister duo realize a great brand is not built alone, also on their Brand team is Sarah Hutnick, Drybar’s “Spirit Director”. As a professional sommelier she’s in charge of making sure we serve only the finest “spirits” to our adult clients. But more importantly, she’s responsible for planning all of Drybar’s parties and events. Cameron Webb, is the creative mind behind Drybar’s branding and identity, Jenni Kenne, director of Franchise Development, Shannon Silber, Brentwood manager, Roxanne Anderson, assistant manger, and brooklyn is currently in charge of recruiting and developing new talent for Drybar.

Beautiful Buttercup, the Drybar mascot, formally known as the upside down yellow blow dryer, plays a pivotal role with Drybar, not just a part of their logo, but a part of the team. So whenever you see the beautiful buttercup dryer hanging around think of Drybar a unique concept and great Brand.

When thinking of great Brands in the 21st century, remember simplicity.  The Drybar concept is just that, a simple idea presented well. From their fun website, to the bar concept, the interior design, and Buttercup mascot, their Brand is consistently represented. They just simply get it.  Alli and Michael responded well to their natural talents and professional training, combining the two, giving the world a much needed concept.  Other blow drying salons may come and go, but a well Branded salon will have the impact for a lifetime. The Drybar experience is one clients won’t forget easily.  Read the comments and you will understand why.

Simply stated, they just get it!….Life Branded  You too can build a Brand….L+B

Photos: The DrybarVanity Fair

Now let's take a look on how a Life Brand can grow!

What happens when you take a sister’s creative idea for a hair salon and pair it with a bald brother’s financial backing?

You get a $20 million business called Drybar.

In three short years, Drybar has revolutionized the world of hair salons. By taking the “wash and blow dry” service offered at salons and building a stand-alone business based on this service, Alli Webb has created a market niche for herself.

In her 26 salons in six states, Drybar is blowing out the hair of over 50,000 women a month. Now, a 37-year-old mother of two, has made a $20 million (sales) business out of nothing but hot air. Four years ago she was peddling her services from a 2001 Nissan Xterra, driving around L.A. “Between gas and babysitters, I doubt I ever broke even,” she recalls. Today, Drybar is styling the hair of more than 50,000 women every month. At 35-40 bucks a pop–for just a blowout; no scissors, no dyes–it adds up. Drybar has the usual expenses of labor, real estate and utility bills. But each store nets 15% to 35%, says Michael Landau, who is CEO and Webb’s brother. Hair salons usually clear 11% or so.

Using your experience, what tips can you pass on to other women about launching and running their own businesses?

1. Don't listen to people who tell you it's a bad idea. Listen to your heart. If everyone shared your passion, someone would have already done it!

2. Make it happen. I know it's cliche, but talk is cheap. Stop talking about, just go do it.

3. Surround yourself with people who are good at what you are not. My brother and business partner Michael have a lot more business experience than me and so together, with my hair experience, we make a great team. Knowing what you are not good at and where you need help is so important to your overall success.

4. Even though it will feel impossible sometimes, try to balance your life. If you have kids, you will feel guilty ALL. THE. TIME. When you're working 24/7 you'll feel like a horrible mother. And when you take time away from the business to be with your kids, you'll feel like you're neglecting your business. It's a vicious cycle, but do everything you can be cognizant of not losing your life.

Now that's news to inspire... Let's create your story together! Your Life Brand is like each breath you take, it's natural function and you proceed without thinking...

-Life Branded® riginally Published on 9/1/2010

rticle additions credit: Maria Shiver, Forbes