John Paul DeJoria, John Paul Mitchell Systems

John Paul DeJoria

Helping Change
the World

Editors’ Note

John Paul DeJoria was in the United States Navy serving on the USS Hornet, after which he held a series of jobs ranging from a encylopedia salesman to an insurance salesman. DeJoria entered the world of hair care as an employee of a hair care company. In 1980, he formed John Paul Mitchell Systems with hairdresser Paul Mitchell. He co-founded the Patrón Spirits Company in 1989 and is a founding partner of the House of Blues nightclub chain, and has interests in various other companies including Rok Mobile and the new plant-based skincare company, Aubio Life Sciences (aubio.com).

Company Briefs

John Paul Mitchell Systems (paulmitchell.com), a top manufacturer of salon-only professional hair care products, has been serving the professional beauty industry for more than 35 years. The company currently produces over 100 products, including the brands Paul Mitchell, MITCH, MarulaOil, Awapuhi Wild Ginger, Tea Tree, Paul Mitchell Pro Tools, PM SHINES, and Paul Mitchell the color. John Paul Mitchell Systems products are sold through distributors within North America to professional beauty salons. Internationally, John Paul Mitchell Systems works with distributors in 95 countries that supply thousands of hair salons. The company does not test its products on animals, nor has it ever tested its products on animals. John Paul Mitchell Systems has a strong commitment to giving back, supporting a wide range of philanthropic causes both domestically and internationally.

Patrón is the brainchild of two entrepreneurs, John Paul DeJoria and Martin Crowley, whose love for tequila and desire to create the best tequila in the world led them to the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. There they found tequila industry veteran Francisco Alcaraz and asked him to produce the most extraordinary, highest-quality, 100 percent agave tequila possible. From that fortuitous meeting, Patrón Tequila was born. Aside from tequila, the Patrón Spirits portfolio also includes Pyrat and Ultimat vodka. Patrón Tequilas and liqueurs, Pyrat, and Ultimat vodka are now available in more than 100 countries and islands across the world, and sold in global duty-free outlets.

New Aubio Lip Balm

What are your key areas of focus?

Today, some of my main concerns are the two major brands I’ve invested in and launched: Aubio and Rok Mobile.

Aubio (aubio.com) is a cold-sore treatment made entirely from plants, all grown in the U.S. If someone feels the tingle when the cold sore is coming on, when they put this on, the chances are that it won’t come out.

If it’s missed and it does come out, within two days for many people, the cold sore is generally gone. It has worked on everyone I've given it to.

How did this idea come to you?

I was in Park City, Utah talking to someone I had met who owns a restaurant. Another fellow came along and he told me that a mutual acquaintance named Jim was working with these plants and ran into a stumbling block with his financial support, and in terms of marketing.

I got a hold of Jim, and he sent me samples of the product. It sat in my drawer for a few months, but then someone in my office tried it and it worked. We then handed it out to everyone we knew. Their cold sores not only went away within a day or two but, in some cases, they did not even come out. Additionally, instead of a recurrence every two months, some of those who tried it said it was extended to six months. So we knew we had something.

Aubio Lip Gel

I made a decision to fund research on it, as well as fund the merchandising and marketing of it.

Would you touch on Rok Mobile service as well?

Rok Mobile (RokMobile.com) is accessible with any smartphone and there is no contract. It costs $49.95 per month. For a user, that amount includes all telephone calls, texting, data, and music – over 20 million songs downloaded and captioned on the phone – in the U.S.

We just launched it last year and anyone that is on it now and anyone new coming on in the next two months will receive an additional $100,000 worth of accidental life insurance, all for $49.95. Users can also choose their carrier.

You have a lot on your plate, but you are still always looking for the next big opportunity.

Yes. Between Paul Mitchell and Patrón, I have two big brands. So why would I go do this? It’s in my spirit. Now I look at what I can do with a brand that makes a difference for people.

I’m still working on inexpensive systems to create clean water, which is a big deal because it helps so many people around the world.

Between Paul Mitchell and Patrón, I have two big brands. So why would I go do this? It’s in my spirit. Now I look at what I can do with a brand that
makes a difference for people.

What’s the secret to staying relevant as a brand?

Paul Mitchell is 36 years old, and Patrón is 26 years old, and in their category of quality, they are the best undisputed. Some people will try something else but they come right back.

It’s all about the quality, which has remained consistent throughout the years. When companies get bigger, they use bigger vats and larger volumes of material to make their products. If the quality goes down, it takes away from the brand.

With regard to our hair care line, people don’t need to take a break from our products because they have stopped working, which happens with some other products.

You seem to enjoy the marketing side and understand the customers quite well.

That’s correct. I have to give the customer something so good he or she will want to use repeatedly.

I didn’t go into business to sell something; I went into business to get a reorder. I have to make sure it’s so good the customer will want to purchase it again. If it’s a one-time item, then it has to be so good that people want to tell their friends about it, and that’s where the reorders come in.

Also, for our global family that uses our products, we have to give back big time. We want to make the world a better place to live in.

Does the success you’ve experienced change a person?

Success unshared is failure. I get letters from people praising my product, and this for me means I can sleep at night. I can also do things now that I could never afford to do when I was younger, like helping the homeless or disadvantaged children. What I’m doing is not just business – what comes out of it is helping change the world and make it a better place for mankind.•