Home' INSTYLE Magazine : INSTYLE NOV-DEC 2016 Contents I
t's not often that businemann,
philanthropist, actor and
entrepreneu r are characteristics
of the one personality but each
time you see this man you gain a
new insight. I’ve seen John Paul Dejoria
three times in recent months – more than
the total during the 12 years since the
hairdressing industry stole my heart and
each time I met him he was even more
than I expected. While his story has been
published and paraded across the world,
after a few short one-one-one moments I
gained additional insight into a man that
is more concerned about the prosperity
of the hairdressing industry and the communities in which his
business trades than his own self-gain or importance. It’s a brand
with a family sentiment, a story that has built communities and
enabled John Paul to build companies and brand strengths within
and outside of hair – we must not ignore the world’s finest tequila,
Patron, that I was privy enough to sip mid interview.
But this time around on his brisk visit to Australia, JP had to
forgo his pride and incredible sense of generosity and at least for a
few minutes act as a guest of the Hairhouse Warehouse conference
on the Gold Coast – an accomplishment that took the growing
Australian empire years to achieve. “I always thought it would be
the ultimate for us. Having a man that I truly admire and look up to
in so many ways tell his story to our network. This dream became a
reality this year,” Hairhouse Warehouse Director Emad Nayef told
From the first Paul Mitchell line of products in the 80s that he
started with a mere $700 – money scraped from every where he could
think of, it was never about excess and it’s his habits with money
and approach to giving back that have been a part of his infectious
ethos from day one.
Born into a poor immigrant household, he was cash-strapped
from the get-go, but if you ask him about the smartest thing he’s
ever done with his money, he’ll tell you about a time when he was
just six years old and donated money for the first time. It’s the values
associated with building an empire rather than just the notion of
building his empire that have been paramount to his success.
For starters, Paul Mitchell is the only company to be in an industry
that is glued to the professional hairdresser and salon for several
hundred years – there’s really no company like it.
Still owner of more than 50 per cent of the company, John Paul
put the company in a 360 year trust so if anything happens to him
or well beyond when he’s gone, nobody can take the Paul Mitchell
brand out of the professional salon industry.
“I did this in 2004 so there are still 348 years left. There have been
a lot of changes in the way the industry engages and with products.
We have to look at the industry today and
consider where it is going tomorrow. For us
at Paul Mitchell this is the only industry we
are going to stay in,” John Paul said.
It’s no denying that diversion is a
problem for leading beauty and hair brands like Paul Mitchell,
“It’s something we are constantly on top of by marking all of our
products that goes beyond the fact we only sell to salons – if we
find anyone or even one of our distributors is selling to the black
market – they lose our line forever,” John Paul said.
“We have a full time division in our company that only goes after
product – identifying where it came from and also eliminating it.
I’ve had interviews all day long today and one thing I always ask
journalists to cover is, that if your readers ever see Paul Mitchell in
a store or supermarket that isn’t a salon – don’t buy it. We only sell
to salons and we promote this wherever we can,” Dejoria said.
Paul Mitchell is currently in discussions with big online reseller
Amazon in a move that works towards not allowing purchases via
Amazon unless approved by them. In-line with this strategy is a
two-pronged approach that Paul Mitchell request the area where the
customer is coming from is represented by a salon and the salon gets
commission on the sale. It’s just another way to fight back!
Technology is another big focus for the Paul Mitchell family.
“Stylists need to know what their average ticket is, they need to
be more aware of how they can gain more form their profession –
most of the time they don’t have a clue – technology allows us to
be completely exposed and compete against ourselves. So I think
technology is a good thing,” JP said.
Obviously time in our lives is another big thing. Everyone
is constantly time-poor so anything that makes work more
efficient/quicker is great but, “Hairdressers also need to realize
they are in a very special industry, they need to use technology to
enhance the fact they will never be out of a job,” JP said.
“Remember 20-30 years ago they came out with shampoo
machines that were a big flop. People don’t want a machine –
if something goes wrong you’re screwed. Our nero dryer saves
time but it doesn’t replace the reliance on our schools and the
talent of the stylist,” he said.
There’s no denying for Paul Mitchell that the futu re is attuned to
technology and advancement but staying true to the human element
John paul DeJoria's empire bares no resemblance
to ego - this self-made billionaire sold shampoo
from his car in the street before forging a path
that inspires even the most defeated spirits,
writes Cameron Pine.
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