Home' INSTYLE Magazine : INSTYLE NOV-DEC 2016 Contents of the brand network is a key focus. With 121 Paul Mitchell schools in
America (the brand embarking on an international expansion) one is
opening in both Slovenia and China, and you never know - we may
have another official Paul Mitchell school in Australia one day soon.
They teach more than 16,500 hairdressers a year and what we are
seeing is that they are creating some pretty exceptional hairdressers.
2017 will also see them involved with the Apple university - it
will enable some of the online tools that are app based to be even
better – creating unique codes and spreadsheets but without
retreating from the fundamentals of hairdressing.
“You can teach somebody something but if they haven’t got the
ability to integrate that into their daily life or a relationship of
some kind it doesn’t stick,” said John Paul.
“We see kids and millennials texting each other and sometimes
it’s from across the room. We need to drop that and talk to each
other. That’s part of our education – how to talk to people,” he said.
The culture of the John Paul Mitchell company is centred around
the relationship with salons. “I mean, salons are technically family
and we practice it. Whether
it’s our The Gathering in Las
Vegas or shows that we do,
we incorporate that into the
entirety of the company values
whether it’s standing for
hours taking pictures with them, having lunches with them or just
interacting with them – that’s how we get out there, by physically
doing it together.”
Paul Mitchell is not just a company that’s about coming together,
its culture lies within the individual talents and characters they
partner with – like the one and only Robert Cromeans, who can hold
a hairdressing stage like no other as the brand’s Creative Director and
facilitator of all things and theories dear to hairdressing.
As John Pizzey says, despite being a brand advocate and
distributor, “The Paul Mitchell culture is more approachable, and
the artists – yes they’re on a pedestal as industry greats but they’ve
got that human touch and there’s no barrier”. The educators
welcome people to a class by shaking their hand whereas some
companies pitch the guys as rockstars and immediately there’s
a difference in the result.
“Paul Mitchell is about imparting that knowledge,” John said.
When it comes to the future, after spending some time
with John Paul it feels as though Paul Mitchell has some kind
of insurance policy that’s rare in hairdressing. Just like if JP
wasn’t around the brand has a protection against mass-market
retail taking away from its hair heart, the brand has lasting
relationships that don’t just dissolve. When people leave brands,
salons or companies, relationships often just dissolve and all of
a sudden you’re back starting from scratch or trying to prove
yourself to someone who isn’t part of the
“Because of the culture we have,
everybody grows into the brand and stays
there. For example, my daughter Michaelene
DeJoria Herydari is Vice Chairman of the
company at 32 and we have a lot of young
ones up and coming,” JP said.
vacation for six months nothing would
change.” JP said.
No perfect team environment comes
without trial and error, JP worked for
several companies in the hair and beauty
industry as a consultant prior to launching his own products. It
swayed from people that couldn’t afford him, to brands he grew
exponentially and relationships that simply didn’t work. “You
have to be a people person to lead a company,” JP said.
It helped that JP also learnt to cut hair – but not very well as
he says, “My good partner was teaching me everything he could
imagine. Some people are artistic and some aren’t – he told me
to stick to my day job, you’re not an artist – stay a businessman’."
Perhaps it’s for this reason the brand has flourished. The
understanding to employ experts and give them something to wear
proudly. JP has an ability to touch everyone he meets.
Even high above the ground in the Aria skysuite at the annual
Paul Mitchell The Gathering in Las Vegas, JP made a difference to
me – not just because he handed me a bottle of tequila, but with
a smile and genuine sincerity pushed by a pleased disposition to
meet a fellow trade industry advocate.
For a company that now employs over 300 people full time and
up to 800 part-time in America – and that’s without the salon
partnerships in 95 countries,
it’s hard to imagine there
was a time they couldn't pay
There’s a Hawaii connection
too. When John Paul started
the company with Paul Mitchell, Paul lived in Hawaii for about
five years – that’s also where they discovered Awapuhi, and they
now own a farm that sustainably and ethically harvests Awapuhi.
Another reason that the brand is a lifestyle brand and not just
beauty in a bottle.
I asked John Paul whether there was anyone he looked up to when
he was younger and wanting to achieve greatness in the industry.
He said, “No I wish there was, but at the time there wasn’t.”
The most commonly asked question for John Paul is often along
the lines of ‘what is your suggestion to someone to be successful?’
And the answer is always the same.
“I always tell them the same thing – be prepared for a lot of
rejection. If you’re prepared it’s not going to stop you or hurt you
when you get it. A lot of people say if it doesn’t happen, forget it,
it’s not right and to give up – but don’t.”
“The second thing is to make sure your product or service is the
best you can possibly make it because you don’t want to be in the
order business, you want to be in the reorder business.”
I walked away from this interview with JP a little lighter thanks
to two shots of the finest tequila, but also further enlightened by a
quote he left me with. “Pay attention to the vital in few and ignore
the trivial in all.”
At 70 years old – his recipe is etched in my brain and not just
whenever the going gets tough. Get on board.
“For us at Paul Mitchell this is the
only industry we are going to stay in”
JOHN PAUL DEJORIA
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