His philosophy is "success unshared is failure."
John Paul Mitchell Systems, manufacturers of Paul Mitchell Professional Salon Products, is a growing privately-held professional beauty company. Responsible for the swift in sales growth to over $150 million in sales is the company's CEO and Co-Founder, John Paul DeJoria. Steadfastly at the helm of his company's vast network, DeJoria typifies the American entrepreneur.
As a nine year old child, John Paul DeJoria sold Christmas cards door to door to help support his family. Although he learned the value of hard work early in life, little did he know he would one day become a multi-millionaire with an impeccable reputation in the professional beauty industry. But in his presence, you can see why success was bound to come his way. His larger-than-life charisma is completely sincere. He challenges and inspires those around him.
In 1964, when DeJoria was discharged from the U.S. Navy, he found that his first occupational goal, dental school, was financially unobtainable. So he did what he thought was the next best thing, he sold encyclopedias. With effort, he mastered the art of sales and went on to selling copy machines and insurance. Eventually, he landed a top sales managerial position at Time, Inc.
In 1971, when DeJoria met Paula Kent Meehan, president of Redken Laboratories, Inc., the leading professional salon product company in the U.S. at the time, he found his niche. In 18 short months he was appointed national manager of Redken's schools and chain salons. Hair care replaced his dreams of dental care.
In 1980, ripe for a change, DeJoria joined forces with America's most influential hair designer and his friend of eight years, Paul Mitchell. Together they introduced Hair Sculpting, a revolutionary hair setting and styling method, as an integral part of their professional hair care system. Mitchell's vision to maximize the hairdresser's time and talents with modern styling tools, coupled with DeJoria's sales, marketing and business savvy, launched a progressive company that was destined to lead the way in professional hair care.
DeJoria is deeply concerned about the environmental future of our world. He financed and drove the "Mana La," a solar-powered car, in the first international solar-powered cross-continental race in Australia in 1987. Currently, he is developing a solar car for his personal use and a more dynamic solar racing vehicle. It is this dedication to finding alternative energy sources that earned him an invitation to the Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations, as well as, numerous special events with several presidents of the United States.
A concerned philanthropist, DeJoria makes contributions to, and works on projects with, a number of organizations including: Friends of Elk River, The Sovereign Dine' Nation Weaving Collective, The AIDS Relief Fund for Beauty Professionals, Rescue Missions for the Homeless, The Earth Communications Office and The Rainforest Foundation among others. He has been a recipient of awards from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Anti-Vivisection Society for pioneering the first major line of salon products not tested on animals. DeJoria also gave PETA a grant to produce an album entitled "Tame Yourself" and backed producer Jolie Jones in the production of "Take it Back", an environmental public service campaign. DeJoria joined forces with The Big Blue Foundation and The Humane Society to produce a beautiful and moving two-minute public service announcement with a cruelty-free message, entitled "Ebudae", that ran in movie theaters nationwide. DeJoria was named special emissary to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). With UNEP, he helped arrange a peaceful meeting between the Ogoni people of Southern Nigeria and Shell Oil, in order to clean up serious oil problems in that country. During a recent trip to North Korea, DeJoria initiated a program to convert the Korean Demilitarized Zone into an ecological zone once reunification takes place.
Dedicated to the professional salon industry, DeJoria served on the Board of Directors of the American Beauty Association. He is an advisor to Global Green, the American Division of Environmental Green Cross which is headed by Mikhail Gorbachev. In March 1995, DeJoria received the USpirit of Life Award from the City of Hope National Medical Center. With $180,000 raised in his honor, the John Paul Mitchell Research Fellowship in AIDS was founded at City of Hope. In 1995, he also received the Partners Award from American Oceans Campaign, and the Shofar of Peace award. John Paul has been a favored lecturer to MBA, teaching entrepreneurial and graduate classes at the University of Southern California, Rice University in Houston, Texas and Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, where he also received an honorary doctorate degree.
Combining his "only handle a piece of paper once" philosophy with his desire to help make the world a better place to live has afforded DeJoria the time to reap and share rewards. "Nothing in life is worth doing unless you're having fun doing it," DeJoria says .
John Paul DeJoria has been extraordinarily supportive of Sea Shepherd initiatives, even to the point of responding to business associates who disagree with our philosophy. Read a letter John Paul wrote to an associate regarding our non-lethal alternative for the seal hunts. This letter will give the reader tremendous insight into John Paul's heart.
Another passion of his is nature – spending as much time as he can kayaking, wilderness camping, and scuba diving. For many years he has been actively researching and contacting various conservation groups that he could become involved with, and ended-up finding that many of these conservation organizations have very high overheads with little or no actual results. It was only after learning about Sea Shepherd and Paul Watson that he knew that this was the organization he could fully get behind. For years he has been committed to do whatever he could to keep the Sea Shepherd fleet in the water and help the organization meet the challenges in front of them.