The Success Story Of The Farm Boy Who Formed A Cosmetics Empire

Success stories such as these remind us that it is possible to achieve our dreams no matter the obstacles on the way. This is the success story of a farm boy who grew up to become a teacher and a hairdresser. But that was way before he formed four successful cosmetic companies that are still an operational success over 60 years later.
While working as  a chemistry teacher, Jheri Redding worked as  a hair stylist – just to be able to pay the bills. He however grew frustrated with each passing day in his career as a hair stylist simply because the products he was using were not effective.
Rather than rant and rave, Jheri simply started experimenting with various ingredients in his kitchen. He tried mixing the hair products with vinegar, mayonnaise and many other food stuffs. The positive results and the positive feedback he got encouraged him further, and where he didn’t get it right, he tried something else.
His willingness to experiment with different products soon saw him develop a number of treatments, gels and styling creams. Since they were so successfully received, he decided to build his brand – he eventually settled on Jheri Redding Products.
Due to the success of his products, he decided to form a company. He formed his first in 1956, then another in 1960, the next in 1968 and the fourth in 1979. Through sheer will and determination, this man who spent his time styling people’s hair ended up forming an extremely successful cosmetics empire… and all these companies are still in operation to date.
His secret to success? Seth Godin, in The Bootstrappers Bible writes:
“Redding created lasting businesses through the combination of a gift for spotting long-term opportunity and his relentless drive to create significant competitive advantages in product features and distribution clout. The Illinois farm boy became a cosmetologist during the Great Depression because he saw hairdressers prospering and farmers failing. … was the first to add vitamins and minerals to shampoos, the first to balance the acidity of the formulas, and the first to urge hairdressers to supplement their haircutting income by selling his products on the slow days …There arenΚΌt many like Jheri Redding, who also founded Redken (1960), Jhirmack (1976), and Nexxus Products (1979).”

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