30 November 2021

Estetica Exclusive! The Farouk Shami Interview: Entrepreneur Made-in-USA

Having celebrated 30 years since the founding of his hair care products empire, Farouk Shami is showing no signs of stopping.

After starting out on a shoestring budget, today Farouk Systems employs about 2000 people and exports its hair care products under the BioSilk, SunGlitz, and CHI brands to over 144 countries worldwide. Today, Farouk Shami continues to embody the American dream, founded on ideals and ethical standards in relation to people, his business, and the environment.

As a longtime activist intent on bringing forth changes and developing new lines that improve not only the integrity of the hair but are also good for the environment, Farouk Shami promises to uphold these standards and continue to add to his list of endeavors with the reorganization of the company’s executive branch.

How does it feel to be at the steering wheel again now that the company is celebrating 30 years old?
It is my life’s work. I was destined to make a difference in hopes to improve the lives and well-being of my fellow hairdressers around the world. We are passionate and creative people that love what we do. I love this industry and I love hairdressers. This makes steering the wheel very easy and each day, I thank God that I was given this opportunity.

Did a certain perspective change your approach when returning to the company as Founder & Chairman back in April?
I never really left. It was my choice to devote more time to researching and creating the best products and tools. Now, that I have put together an exceptional Executive Team, I can return as their guide so the future of Farouk Systems is secured.

What are some projects that are changing on the horizon as result of the shift within the company?
Our main focus will be education and shows. This is where it all began. When I first met my business partner John McCall, he told me we needed to offer education. He was right then and is right now. Our plan will be increasing the amount of educational programs we do around the US and Internationally. The hairdresser needs and thirsts for knowledge and we will be right there to provide it.”

You celebrated a very special anniversary in Cancun last year, did that have anything to do with your vision of the future for Farouk?
“Yes, it did. It gave me time to sit back and reflect on all we have done for the hairdresser and how we will continue to serve them. This is so important  to our future as we can never stop and allow things to be status quo.”

I remember this is the first year of a collaboration with Zendaya. Are you expecting more partnerships of the sort? Have you had a chance to see a positive effect on a company like Farouk?
We are working on numerous partnerships. At our recent International Distributor Meeting we announced our partnership with LG, a 165-billion-dollar company. This will be huge for not only Farouk Systems, but for our industry. It is both a first and a historic event for a beauty manufacturing company to join forces with a technology company. I see us creating and launching some amazing products.

Are there any novelties coming up that you would like to share with our readers?
We just launched the CHI Onyx Euroshine Dryer and Styler. Both were inspired by European design. The CHI Onyx Euroshine Styler provides twice the ions for a smoother and shiner finish.

A change in leadership is often something that requires many adjustments, which are the main changes involving key people in the company?
I am proud to say that my son Rami is our CEO, Lisa Marie Garcia is the President of Innovation, Scott Emery is President of International Sales and Stuart Feldshon is President of North American Sales. They are part of my Executive Team who have been with Farouk Systems since the beginning and know our history and mission better than anyone. Farouk Systems is very fortunate to have them as they are talented, loyal and knowledgeable.

Farouk has always been a leader in innovation. What are you working on now?
We have many new launches scheduled for the remainder of the year with the CHI Color lluminate, The Dura CHI Handshot Dryer, CHI Rose Hip Color Nurture (Color Protecting Line), Deep Brilliance Olive & Monoi Optimum Moisture Treatment Line and BioSilk Titanium Tools.

So I see you are a man of intention, where do you see the company in the next 10 years?
My goal is to stay on top of the needs of my fellow hairdressers. That is my one and only goal and we will devote our time and energy to innovation creating and manufacturing products and tools that will make their lives and the lives of their customers safer and better.

Can we have more details on the international expansion of Farouk-Biosilk-CHI? Which will be the newest markets added to your distribution network?
Farouk Systems is in the planning stages for building a plant and warehouse in Egypt. This location will help distribution in Africa and the Middle East. Once this is up and running, we will do the same in Germany to cover Europe and then move on to Asia. The goal is cover the globe and provide the world with CHI and BioSilk products.

The Farouk Systems International Conference in Cancun, Mexico is always an event that salon professionals look forward to. Will the format  be changed or expanded on in the near future?
Right now we are holding sessions with our Executive Team and staff to begin the planning stages. We hope to create an even more exciting conference geared to meet the needs of our attendees. I can promise you that in 2017 everyone will leave Cancun with inspiration and the latest innovations.

Artistically speaking, Farouk is often associated with glamorous looks and the Miss USA pageant. Will the Farouk Systems artistic team be making any new acquisitions or diversifying their signature looks?
Our educators always stay on top of the trends. Many of them are also salon owners working behind the chair. They know first-hand what a woman wants and needs to look beautiful. They take this salon experience and bring it to each pageant, getting to know each contestant’s hair type, face shape, and wardrobe to provide each young lady that picture perfect look.


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