No dry career path for the CMO of DryBar

Meet Sarah Hoffmann,
Former Director

Alix alumna Sarah Hoffmann’s road to the c-suite has been a unique one, built on following her passions for retail and consumer brands.
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Sarah Hoffmann’s road to the c-suite has been a unique one, built on following her passions for retail and consumer brands. Along the way to her current role as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of DryBar, a fast-growing chain of experiential hair salons that exclusively offer blow-dry styles known as “blowouts” and a line of premium hair products, Sarah actively sought a diverse range of experiences and skills across a wide range of companies including Converse, Cole Haan, J. Crew, McKesson, Deloitte and AlixPartners. Although she acknowledges that her career has been a bit unconventional, she would not change any of the stops along her journey that helped shape the leader she is today.

Sarah, who is a Certified Public Accountant, began her career in finance. Her financial and analytical skills helped her to make the move into the retail sector at Converse during a critical moment in the company’s history as the business worked to overcome financial troubles and was acquired by Nike.

Over the course of her nearly nine-year tenure at Converse and various other Nike brands, Sarah realized her deep passion for marketing and brand strategy. “I loved leading different parts of the business, helping to craft the strategy, and build or transform brands for growth,” Sarah said.

Sarah moved into consulting in order to leverage her expertise and help a larger breadth of companies. On her choice to join AlixPartners, Sarah reflected, “I connected with the firm and the team immediately…the projects had the DNA of transformation on every level.”

As a Director in the Retail Enterprise Improvement community based in New York City, Sarah’s time at AlixPartners focused on helping companies to transform into digital-first organizations using a customer focus and data-driven approach to marketing. She feels the experiences she had and the people she met at the firm helped her to marry her analytical background with softer skills such as networking, leadership, and people development.

After four years at the firm, Sarah decided that while she enjoyed AlixPartners’ fast-paced client work, she was ready to immerse herself back into a brand. After a brief, but meaningful, tenure at the retailer J. Crew, Sarah joined DryBar, which has 140 locations across North America, as the Chief Marketing Officer in 2018.

Drybar CMO Sarah Hoffmann speaking at the 2019 NRF NXT Retail Conference

“DryBar had been on my radar for a long time,” Sarah said. “I really believed in the brand’s mission of driving empowerment and confidence for women everywhere.”

At DryBar, Sarah manages every aspect of marketing including brand, creative, digital, retail, e-commerce, partnerships, and customer analytics amongst other duties. “My role as Chief Marketing Officer allows me to build upon all of the experiences that I had at AlixPartners and before that,” Sarah said. “DryBar has been the chance to really bring all of those things together and expand our marketing to become a revenue driver for the company, including new marketing strategies such as our entertainment partnerships business.”

She is especially grateful to AlixPartners for helping her develop the critical skill sets she needs to be a leader of a rapidly growing organization. “At AlixPartners, I learned to assess situations quickly, come up with recommendations, put those recommendations to work, and be able to present them in an influential way,” Sarah said.

Beyond work, Sarah enjoys her new Southern California lifestyle and when she isn’t at the beach, she is pursuing her personal passions including cooking, gardening, traveling and biking in nearby Crystal Cove State Park. She also continues an annual summer trip to the Hamptons with a group of AlixPartners employees and alumni who she considers lifelong friends.

alixpartners sarah hoffmann alixalumni drybar mean girls 2020
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Sarah at a DryBar and Mean Girls on Broadway event with actress Tina Fey, attending the Rose Bowl game in 2020 with family, and in Park City, Utah in 2019

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