Arthur Schopenhauer, a 19th-century philosopher, once wrote, “Talent hits the target that others cannot hit; genius hits the target that others cannot see.” This statement not only remains timely, but also describes Scott Mitchell, CEO of Organic Salon Systems, to a T.
Mitchell, who’s tall, handsome and walks with the grace of an athlete, defies every stereotypical description of the nerdy genius whose wimpy bad looks and horn-rimmed glasses defi ne his intelligence. He went straight to college after completing eighth grade, earned his bachelor’s degree at age 18 and three master’s degrees by age 21.
He was also an early dot-commer who launched Tunes.com (now the wildly popular Apple iTunes) in 1998, Home Shopping Network (HSN) in 2001, Kowabunga—still the world’s leading online marketing company—in 2002, and Affluence.org—the Facebook for millionaires—in 2008.
With his fortune assured, Mitchell did the unexpected in 2010, by acquiring Organic Salon Systems. Beginning with Organic Color Systems, he has rapidly expanded the scope of his offerings to include several other green beauty brands: Moroccan Organics; Organic Care Systems; Keragreen Keratin and Protein System; Organic Control Systems; and the extensive O’Right brand.
Why did this successful dotcommer become so focused on the beauty industry, a dyed-in-the-wool brick-and-mortar business model?
Mitchell’s father died when he was 11 years old, leaving his mother to raise three sons on her own. “My mother was a hairdresser,” Mitchell relates. “From the day that we lost our father, she took care of three hungry, fastgrowing boys by working behind the chair.
“I’ve always been amazed at what she was able to accomplish by plying her craft. Later, after seriously researching the pro-beauty industry for a possible business venture, I also became dismayed that, while providing a living for her family, she was constantly being exposed to unhealthy chemicals and business-breaking diversion tactics by unscrupulous companies.”
Not only addressing a niche in the pro-beauty market that hasn’t being adequately fi lled, but also egregious practices that need to be corrected, Mitchell now uses most of his waking hours to work on his greatest business passion: revolutionizing the salon industry.
In this regard, he’s no idle threat. Driven by a genuine aspiration to empower the hairdresser and reform salons, Mitchell possesses an impressive arsenal of refined and sophisticated tools that are driving the changes needed to transform salons into centers for beauty, health and well-being, and providing a comprehensive array of nondiverted retail brands, which enhance, rather than take away, profi tability. (OrganicSalonSystems.com)
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Scott Mitchell—a fascinating businessman to say the least—and ask him more about the direction of his company and his professional passions.
Coming from a dynamic, corporate background, what are your impressions of the pro-beauty business?
Until entering this industry, I had never encountered such a large group of passionate, creative, and authentic professionals, even during my earliest dot-com days. It’s incredibly inspiring to partner with stylists and owners that work so hard, are dedicated to their art and have such a profound impact on people’s self-image.
Please tell our readers why Organic Salon Systems is different from other distributors.
Organic Salon Systems is a bona fide eco-conscious company that’s dedicated to creating a healthful salon environment. We’re also the only distributor that exclusively deals in a wide selection of green, highperformance beauty products. We spend a substantial percentage of our resources on researching new raw ingredients, seeking out new products, verifying animal testing claims, and performing due diligence on products before we endorse them.
Speaking of diversion, I’ve never seen Organic Salon Systems’ products on any retail shelf. How do you ensure that your products aren’t diverted?
It’s really quite simple. We have a “single-source provider” strategy, which completely eliminates any threat of diversion. We sell directly to all of our clients at the same price and never sell to other distributors, wholesalers, retailers, or liquidators. If our products are found on retail shelves, there’s only one person to blame—me.
How does using your products improve a salon’s business?
The concept of living a more organic lifestyle is one that’s growing in popularity. Just as so many people have started to eat organic foods—as evidenced by the rapid growth of grocery stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s—more people are also realizing the importance of using organic beauty products. This has resulted in the organic salon product segment undergoing a similarly rapid growth. What’s even better is that clients are willing to pay a premium price for cleaner, safer, more organic products, thus providing larger profit margins for salons. We’ve also found that clients who embrace an organic lifestyle are typically environmentally friendly, against animal cruelty and far more likely to be loyal, long-term followers who refer more of their friends and relatives to their chosen salons.
Ethos: Organic Salon Systems:
● Empower the stylist;
● Nurture the beauty, dignity, respect, health, and well-being of all;
● Pursue uncompromised integrity;
● Deliver excellence in all that we do;
● Only distribute the highest performing, healthiest, most natural, and gentlest products available;
● Continually recognize that the best way to grow our business is by helping our clients grow theirs;
● Fully disclose all product ingredients and act with transparency, honesty and integrity;
● Never divert our product lines or allow them to be sold to non-professionals;
● Maintain an ethical environmental policy;
● Do not tolerate any products ever tested on animals;
● Train, educate, and provide information which will enable the industry and our clients to become healthier, while improving their service quality;
● Provide world-class service to our clients and always strive to become the best at what we do in every regard.