LaunchPad - July 2012 - (Page 68)
Farouk Shami believes in the American Dream—and fosters others to as well. His story is legendary in this industry: In 1965, Farouk Shami left Palestine with a mere $71 in his pocket to pursue a career in education, like his father before him. To make ends meet, the Farouk Systems founder and chairman dabbled in hairdressing and, much to the chagrin of his parents, was instantly hooked. Shami and his family thought he was turning his back on education by returning to the States in 1972 to become a salon owner. But little did anyone know then how much education would play a role in his future career. Shami preferred hair coloring to cutting. But after several years of applying color to thousands of heads, he could no longer ignore his body’s warning signs that things weren’t OK. Shami recalls that when he was diagnosed as being allergic to ammonia, he truly believed it was the end of life as he knew it. “It was horrible,” Shami says simply. “The doctors said I couldn’t be a hairdresser anymore. What was I supposed to do?” Not one to stand idly by, Shami set out to do what no one else had done before: create an ammoniafree haircolor. Thus, in 1986, SunGlitz was born. “I realized my dream,” Shami reveals with pride, adding that this success was the touchstone for all future achievements. Education, environment and ethics became more than buzzwords for Shami; they became beliefs that continue to guide his business philosophy to date. A shining example of his ideology is evidenced in Shami’s headline-making decision to relocate his manufacturing plant from China to Houston. Although partly prompted as an attempt to stamp out counterfeiting (“CHI was losing
millions of dollars from counterfeiting,” Shami notes, “as well as affecting stylists’ reputations”), the decision to bring manufacturing stateside was also to provide for tomorrow. In fact, while Farouk Systems teamed up with Houston’s
Shami poses with Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes, Miss Teen USA 2011 Danielle Doty and Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella at the 2012 Miss USA pageant, which is sponsored by Farouk Systems.
Houston, we have no hair problems: On space shuttle Atlantis’ ﬁnal mission, Farouk products were onboard to study the efﬁciency of three microencapsulated antioxidants.
Images: courtesy of Farouk Systems; shuttle: Nasa/Getty Images; group: Michael Stewart/Getty Images
Lone Star Community College to create the CHI School of Cosmetology, Shami is also helping the college attract more engineering students to operate the manufacturing plant. “Making products in the U.S. ensures quality control,” Shami explains. “Consumers want that more and more.” In the end, Shami truly believes that investing in the future is paramount. While his bid as the democratic nominee for Texas governor fell short, his dedication to improving the lives of those around him continues to ﬂourish. Summarizes Shami: “It’s all about giving back, about providing for a safer and better tomorrow.” —Amy Dodds
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of LaunchPad - July 2012
LaunchPad - July 2012
Salon of the Month
Curls of Wisdom
Look of the Month
LaunchPad - July 2012