Women network, give back at Empower

Drybar founder Alli Webb spoke at the joint JUF Professionals Network and Young Women's City Council event.

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From left: Lindsey Paige Markus, Event Chair; Amy Beth Green, Event Chair; Revi Pearl, Event Chair; Amy Siegel, YWC Chair-Elect; Alli Webb, featured speaker; Jennifer Stoller, YWC Chair; Aleeza Lubin, YWC Campaign Chair and Advisor; and Jennifer Leemis, Event Chair. Photo credit: Cheri Eisenberg.

Gone are the days of weekly visits to bubbe's beauty parlor. Now, across the nation, women in the know flock to Drybar for regular blowouts to manage their manes and indulge in affordable modern luxury.

Alli Webb, the founder of Drybar, the nation's premier blowout franchise, recently shared the story of her booming hair care business with a room full of Jewish women leaders. 

Empower, a new networking event sponsored by the JUF Professionals Network and JUF's Young Women's City Council, brought together 70 women to listen, connect, and be inspired at The Dalcy in Chicago's West Loop in March.

Amy Beth Green, Jen Leemis, Lindsey Paige Markus, and Revi Pearl co-chaired the event. Leemis welcomed everyone to the event. "Tonight is about celebrating the common goal-women connecting and showing strength through empowering each other," she said.

Aleeza Lubin, Young Women's City Council Campaign Chair and Advisor, spoke to the strengths and diversity of Chicago Jewish women and the difference they make through JUF. 

"We are unique, multi-faceted individuals with wide-ranging interests, friends, and talents," Lubin said. "When we join forces, make no mistake, we are a powerful community of women, strong and vibrant and critical to the strength and success of everything JUF seeks to achieve."

Then Webb-joined by Markus, who did a Q and A with the speaker-chronicled her journey from a stay-at-home mom with a side hustle to a leading business woman disrupting the hair industry. 

In 2008, after taking a break from working in a full-service hair salon to care for her two young sons, Webb felt the itch to return to work. She recognized the confidence and happiness born from a good hair day and sought to bring that experience to other women with a mobile blowout service. Eventually, she turned the idea into a multimillion-dollar platform with the creation of Drybar in 2010. 

Webb explained that maintaining her strong vision for the company from the outset helped Drybar create and fill a niche in the hair care industry. 

The first Drybar, which opened in Los Angeles, was an overnight sensation. Drybar has since expanded to more than 100 locations nationwide, including three in the Chicago area. Webb remains active in the business as the Chief Creative Officer, overseeing the hiring and training of more than 3,000 stylists across the country and leading the development of Drybar's line of styling products and tools. 

Webb acknowledged the importance of having a strong support network. As the daughter of entrepreneurs, she cited her parents as role models who taught her "by osmosis" to have the confidence to start her own business. 

Now, Webb and her team hope to continue their successful formula as they expand their business with a new massage chain called Squeeze. 

Without a doubt, Webb innately understands her customers and works diligently to give them what they want. Through her story of determination and innovation, she inspired the next generation of Jewish leading women at Empower to continue working hard and trust
their instincts.

Webb said, "I credit sticking to my resolve and having this very strong vision for my business, and it worked."  

Leslie Hill Hirschfeld is a freelance writer living in the northern suburbs of Chicago.  

 



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