It’s always great to see local entrepreneurs flourish in the Orange County area. Take, for example, Alli Webb of Drybar.

Alli created Drybar in 2010, a hair salon that specializes in quick and relatively cheap “blowouts” for men and women with longer hair. As the chain of blowout bars started to increase, and cosmetics companies started to reach out to Alli to develop specialized hair and beauty product lines, Alli had to move beyond the angel financing she first secured. With a strong pitch, Alli not only secured $16 million from Castanea Partners, but a firm female advocate in Janet Gurwitch, a very high-ranking partner at Castanea.

Gurwitch helped act as a mentor to Alli, but what is most notable about their relationship is the first real argument between them. Alli’s grit shines through from her refusal to just agree with Gurwitch’s desired scent in the beauty product testing collection – Sparkling Ginger – and her ability to lay down the reasons why she didn’t think the scent should be added. To her own credit, Gurwitch acquiesced, acknowledging that her role as an investor came with limits and a need to trust Alli to make her own final decisions.

As a young entrepreneur, it’s always important to be able to articulate and fight for something that you believe in, while still being respectful and observant of your mentors. Alli’s nuanced ability to both accept other opinions but formulate her own mark a talented entrepreneur!