John Paul Mitchell Systems

by JPMS on February 23rd, 2011 Category: News 1 comments

John Paul Mitchell Systems


Thirty years ago, two friends had a vision—to found a company for hairdressers—one that would provide tools of success for hair care professionals and educators, their salons and the entire beauty industry.  It all began in 1980, when John Paul DeJoria and Paul Mitchell first decided to launch their professional hair care system around a revolutionary new styling method—hair sculpting—and a revolutionary new styling product—Hair Sculpting Lotion™.  They established a partnership with just $700.00 which eventually became known as John Paul Mitchell Systems®.  The two partners began marketing their products under the brand name Paul
Mitchell, as Mr. Mitchell was the hairdresser of the two.

Initially, John Paul Mitchell Systems faced many challenges.  According to Mr. DeJoria, “We should have gone bankrupt perhaps 50 times during the first year.” Resources were so limited that the Paul Mitchell brand’s now-famous black and white packaging was a result of not being able to afford color ink.  At one point, the company consisted of a post office box and an answering machine with a female friend (with an English accent) producing the message recording to convey that there was, indeed, an "office."

However, the partners had a unique and winning strategy—a company-building plan that stemmed from their convictions.  DeJoria and Mitchell traveled extensively to conduct no-cost product demonstrations for salon owners.  They guaranteed salon owners would sell all products purchased; if they didn’t, they could return any unsold products for a full refund.  Such practices represented a first for the hair care industry, and eventually led to John Paul Mitchell Systems becoming one of the fastest growing privately-held companies in the United States.  Tragically, Paul Mitchell died of pancreatic cancer in 1989.  Under DeJoria’s leadership, however, the company continued to grow to one of the largest in history.

The two partners’ dream has flourished.  Today, John Paul Mitchell Systems has annual salon retail sales approaching $900 million.  The company currently produces over 100 products (including the brands Paul Mitchell, Modern Elixirs, Tea Tree, and Paul Mitchell Professional Hair Color).  All John Paul Mitchell Systems hair and skin care products are manufactured within the United States.  John Paul Mitchell Systems products are sold through 25 distributors within the United States to approximately 100,000 hair salons and schools.  Internationally, John Paul Mitchell Systems works with distributors in 81 countries that supply thousands of hair salons.

John Paul steers the company according to its original vision. Despite hugely lucrative offers from public corporations to purchase John Paul Mitchell Systems, John Paul refuses to sell the company because of the initial vow he took to stand by the professional beauty industry.Since no public corporation can guarantee it will market John Paul Mitchell Products exclusively through salons, for John Paul—selling is simply not an option.


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