Entrepreneur Series #2 - Ali Ryan, The Dry House


The Dry House

Nashville, TN

Who loves the way their hair looks when it’s blown out, but who has the time to blow theirs out??

This week on She’s in the City, we got a glimpse of the heart behind the hair with Ali Ryan of The Dry House. Though her relocation to Nashville over five years ago from New Jersey was far from planned, it didn’t take long after planting roots for Ali to draw up some plans of her own. Denied for more than a dozen jobs at local salons in spite of her impressive resumé, the fearless entrepreneur took her fate in this new city seriously, so she took it into her own hands.

“I sat down with myself and knew I [was] either going to make myself a job, or I [was] going to have to leave this city,” she tells us. And since even a Jersey girl knows southerners love to look good, she set out to build what she’d seen have great success in her hometown in Nashville. A huge risk for a new Nashvillian with virtually no community or local support group, fear still didn’t have a place in Ali’s picture of what her salon could be.

“Southerners love to be put together. So I thought either this is something they don’t do, and I’m going to give it to them and it will be wildly successful, or this is something they already do, and I’m so good at it, it will be just as wildly successful.”

Her first months in Nashville, she also became discontented with an overwhelming lack and injustice in how stylists were being taught. Her passion for effective and esteemed education for young women studying hair and beauty became another motive for opening the business. “I built the salon in hopes of educating my girls through the salon.” She vowed to be more than a boss. She wanted to be a mentor for her staff. 

Why The Dry House works (besides Ali’s mad blow-drying and hair-flipping skills) is that its quick, convenient, and the now total cool place to be. It is a dry bar salon that offers the ability to come in, get your hair washed and styled before an event, vacation, anniversary, a date, anything! Think getting a polish change for your hair – no time for the full mani, but still leave looking fabulous!

Ali and her partner/investor, Cassidy Bentley.

Ali and her partner/investor, Cassidy Bentley.

It’s been five years since Ali launched The Dry House, during which she’s garnered a shiny list of A-list, celebrity clients, opened a second location in Virginia Beach and one to come in Brentwood, and launched her own scrunchie line. Even in a great half-decade of success, she’s stayed humble and cherishes her staff, clients, and community. “I always try to treat my celebrity clients like regular people and my regular clients like celebrities.” We love this about her. 

Listen this week to hear more about Ali’s God-orchestrated opening of the business, the importance of a trustworthy voice and partner to supplement your weaknesses, and her struggle to maintain self-care and be present in a run-and-gun season of life.

“I’ve always done things out of the box. It’s like, ‘oh no, Ali’s coming – she’s barreling through.’ And once I’ve barreled through I have to go back and figure out a way to put it back together my way.”

Where do I find her?

@thedryhouse (salon)
@thedryhouseali (personal)