“At the ripe old age of, like, 21, maybe, I was basically managing two retail operations, Nicole Miller licensees that we bought,” she recalled, “and realized I was deeply unhappy with it. My brother and I were fighting a lot. That’s when I decided to go to beauty school.”
Eventually, Alli was once again in Manhattan, but this time as a full-fledged hairstylist honing her skills under renowned celebrity hairstylist John Sahag. “I loved doing that until I didn’t,” she said. While it was a “great honor” to work for Sahag, “Just after a couple years,” she said, “I was like, ‘Ah, I think I want to do something else.”
That ‘something else’ became developing her writing skills as a legal department assistant at a public relations firm. “I worked in a cubicle and I loved it,” she said with a laugh. “I really got that experience that I had not gotten because I didn’t go to traditional college.”
Being in New York City was also a personal catalyst as she met her now-ex-husband, Cameron Webb, who she called the “creative mastermind” of Drybar. Together, they moved to California, where they welcomed two sons and, after about five years of raising them at home, a mobile blowout business proved to be the perfect fit for Alli’s next stepping stone.
“Obviously, that is what ultimately turned into Drybar,” she recalled, “realizing there was this pretty massive hole in the marketplace, and there was nobody doing affordable blowouts in a cool space. It didn’t exist back then.”