Building a Hair Care Business

Finding Their Niche
In the early 1900s, while her competitors focused on products that straightened African American hair, Sarah B. McWilliams, who changed her name to Madam C.J. Walker, developed products that helped women of color to grow healthy hair.

In the 1980s, Paul Mitchell and John Paul Dejoria started a company that focused on selling their product line to salons. The hairstyling industry embraced the products, but it was the company’s stance on environmental friendly ingredients and their ban against testing on animals that boosted their fame in the marketplace.

Lesson: Madam Walker, Paul Mitchell, and John Paul Dejoria uncovered important consumer issues and needs that were not being addressed by others in their industry.

John Paul Mitchell Systems was the first beauty company to go green and not test their products on animals.

Los Angeles Business Journal, October 16, 2006, v28,  I42  p27.



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