June 23, 2024

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Drybar cofounder Alli Webb discusses mental health in her new memoir The Messy Truth

2 min read

When Alli Webb founded Drybar in 2010, she couldn’t have anticipated her passion for hair styling would transcend into a multi-million dollar beauty empire with over 150 storefronts nationwide. With its notable yellow and gray logo and brightly branded products, the company capitalized on an unmet consumer interest—a simple blowout, no cuts nor colors. 

“We were on such a rocket ship with Drybar, and the trajectory of the business was so fast and amazing,” Webb, who sold the $255 million blowout company in 2019, tells Fortune. But, there was a harsher reality to Webb’s story, which she reveals in her newly released memoir The Messy Truth. “I am a living, breathing example of just how high one can climb and how fast one can fall,” she writes in her book. 

Webb didn’t have a traditional business background but recalls feeling celebrated in what she describes as a time of entrepreneurial popularity for female founders. “I was kind of your unexpected, scrappier entrepreneur,” says Webb. But with her rapid rise to success came the spotlight—and then the pressure to keep her place in it. Coupled with challenges at home, she faced burnout and depression and now shares her story as a message for other founders. 

Burnout and depression as an entrepreneur

Webb always loved styling hair. After attending beauty school, getting married, and having two kids, she began offering moms a simple $40 blowout in the comfort of their homes as their newborns slept. Her services became highly sought after, particularly for working moms, she details in the book. As word of mouth propelled her at-home service business, she laid the groundwork for her next venture. When her sons were about three and five, she founded Drybar alongside her brother and then-husband to bring blow-drying services to the masses. 

But as the business took off, Webb suffered a series of emotional difficulties—a failed marriage with the husband whom she worked alongside,…

Alexa Mikhail

2023-11-18 05:10:00

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