E2 P1 : John Paul DeJoria and Michaeline DeJoria

Episode Information

This week we welcome the co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and the company’s new CEO, John Paul DeJoria and Michaeline DeJoria.  John Paul Mitchell Systems® was founded in 1980 by John Paul DeJoria and Paul Mitchell, and it has grown to become a thoughtful and socially conscious billion-dollar business empire. John Paul Mitchell Systems® was the first professional haircare company to take a stand against animal testing and continues its commitment to giving back, supporting a wide range of philanthropic causes both domestically and internationally. In part one, Michaeline talks about what she’s learned so far in her role as CEO and the most important priorities she is tackling. JP shares his thoughts on the legacy of his co-founder, Paul Mitchell, and why he doesn’t use email.

About John Paul:  John Paul DeJoria’s inspirational rags-to-riches success story exemplifies the American Dream. He has risen against the odds not only to achieve success, but to share his success with others.

After high school and service with honors in the U.S. Navy, John Paul did whatever it took to make ends meet—from selling encyclopedias and working as a janitor to pumping gasoline. He was even homeless at one time. Eventually, John Paul took his talents to several hair care and cosmetic companies before becoming an independent consultant. That’s when he teamed up with his friend Paul Mitchell to launch John Paul Mitchell Systems®.

In 1980, with just $700 in their pockets, the two friends created a company for hairdressers, salons and the beauty industry as a whole. Instead of selling to a public corporation, John Paul vowed to keep the company family-owned and privately held, ensuring that Paul Mitchell® products are only sold in the professional beauty industry.

As a businessman, environmentalist and philanthropist, John Paul has donated his time, money and expertise to helping others, always on behalf of hairdressers and the professional beauty industry. John Paul, along with Brad Pitt, Richard Branson and the late Nelson Mandela, was a patron of Mineseeker, a nonprofit organization dedicated to seeking solutions to the worldwide problem of landmines. John Paul was honored with the Sustainability Award at Fashion Group International’s 25th Annual Night of Stars event, and was also inducted as a lifetime member into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. In 2010, he founded Grow Appalachia, a non-profit initiative that teaches families in need how to grow, prepare and preserve organic fruits and vegetables in a region with little access to fresh, nutritious food. John Paul was a featured panel member on ABC’s hit television show Shark Tank, where he served as a mentor and potential investor for aspiring entrepreneurs.

About Michaeline:  Michaeline DeJoria, daughter of John Paul Mitchell Systems® co-founder John Paul DeJoria, has fond memories of growing up in Los Angeles and visiting her dad’s office as a young child. Now she’s the CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems®, where she directs the company’s future development for all brands. Michaeline started out working in various departments before arriving at her current position; it was important to her that she immersed herself in all aspects of the business before taking on a leadership role. This experience informs her managerial style to this day—making processes and departments streamlined and organized, with an emphasis on finding new opportunities for improvement.

Michaeline studied Product Development at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, as well as Organizational Communications and Industrial Psychology at Pepperdine University. She is an avid traveler, enjoying an appreciation and understanding of many cultures throughout the world. Philanthropy also plays a big part in her life—she makes substantial contributions to children’s causes, Los Angeles schools, and numerous health and research causes.