Rita Hazan: Celebrity Colorist & Founder of Rita Hazan

Episode 241

Whether it’s Beyonce’s blonde or J.Lo’s caramel color – celebrity hair colorist Rita Hazan is it! Hear her story and how she this founder built the company and the brand known none other than Rita Hazan on this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow

Resources from
this episode:


Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone. It’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. And I’m thrilled to have my next guest here we have Rita Hassan, who is the founder and CEO of actually two different businesses. Not that having one is is busy enough but Rita Hazan salons, which of course you’ve heard of, but Rita Hazan products as well, which are absolutely the bomb. I mean, they are so great. And we are so privileged to have her here. We actually met through her husband, who has helped us out he is in real estate in New York City and helped us out with some things and I was like, wait a minute, you you are married to V Rita Hassan. And we got connected. So I’m so thrilled to share, have her share a little bit more about her story. And she definitely is known for, for color and hair. And she’s a disrupter and an innovator and an artist, and she is one of the most sought after hair colorist in the world, you might have seen that she has worked on the color creation for celebrities, including Beyonce, and Jay Lowe, and Madonna and so many others. So I started looking her up and definitely was just blown away at how busy you’ve been. Yeah. Awesome. Just because you know, you’re not 90. I mean, you’ve like you’ve had a lot going on over you know,

Rita Hazan 2:25
I did very young.

Kara Goldin 2:26
Yeah, I love it. I love it. So can’t wait to hear your journey and your growth and hear more about the products that you launched to. So welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. I’m excited. So let’s start at the beginning. So did you always know that you would be in the business that you’re in today? Yes.

Rita Hazan 2:44
Very simple answer. I remember being in high school and I had like college day and I was like, I’m not going to college. I know what I want to do. I can do hair. I mean, my hair was so difficult. It’s so curly. And I figured if I can do my own hair, then there’s a job for me somewhere here. And I used to color my grandmother’s hair in our house used to use at home, Botstein. And I really love doing it. And then I started to just experiment with different box size. And then, you know, we just played around, she was my grandma, let me do whatever I wanted. And she was happy to do it. And then her all her friends used to come over. And we used to do like a beauty day, and they bring their box color and I would put it on and it was so fun. So I said you know what, I’m going to beauty school and my mom was a little resistant in the beginning. At the time, like women didn’t really do hair was really like mostly male dominated industry, especially gay men were doing hair, naturally women, so she was a little resistant. But she saw that I was really, really, really interested in doing it. So she said, Okay, let’s go. So she took me to school, and I signed up because at the time I needed a guardian to sign for me. It was too young. It’s like 17 Wasn’t even 18 yet. Oh

Kara Goldin 4:12
my god.

Rita Hazan 4:13
I know when I finished beauty school, I knew exactly where I wanted to work. I wanted to work on eBay because he was where it was at at the time. And I worked for him for about 10 years, my entire career. And then that’s where I met a lot of the celebrities I worked with. He gave me a huge opportunity they really liked the work I was doing was a little bit different than everybody was doing. You know, it was natural, but also dramatic at the same time. It was like really good stage, hair color and also beautiful in person, which was very hard to create. After 10 years, I worked for him. I said to him, you know, I think I’m like naturally need to do something different. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. I’m going to open my own salon. And he was really happy for me, which really never happens in this business. Usually when you back off and go somewhere else, they’re upset. But you know, we had a really good relationship. And I spoke to him before I did anything. And he was, he was really amazing and helpful.

Kara Goldin 5:16
Before we go further into that, I want to even back up a little bit. So first of all, your grandmother, right. So you’re so she sort of was was kind of the the start of this in many ways, like, inspired you and and invited people over and helped you. Maybe you didn’t know it at the time, but was really helping you to find your passion and what you were most interested in doing. That’s awesome. Yeah. So cool. And then I also read that you grew up in a family that owned businesses. So were you got, were they in the salon business?

Rita Hazan 5:49
Oh, nobody’s in the beauty industry? No, no, no. That’s why it was so weird for them, like, what do you want to do? And I was like, Hey, I’m gonna do hair. And you know, when I told them that my passion is color. My brother’s like, you think you could open a salon and do hair color and make good money? I was like, Jeff, everybody colors, their hair. And then he started looking like her hair color. Yes. So it was like really eye opening for them because they were more in the electronic business. And I don’t think they understood it was completely the opposite of what they were doing, you know, so they didn’t really understand it until I started doing it. And getting very successful at it that they were like, oh, okay, this is real.

Kara Goldin 6:36
What did you think you learned from them? I mean, obviously, it was physical goods, right? And what do you think you learned, like, from just watching that

Rita Hazan 6:44
a lot of creative people don’t have a good business mind, or don’t have experience in business. So I think when a lot of creative people want to start a business, they don’t know where to start. So when I was in beauty school, and I was assisting, I was also Moonlighting, and working in the electronic stores. So it was working, the register was cashing out, I was doing inventory. And when I worked for eBay, too, they gave me a lot of responsibilities, too. They didn’t have a manager, a lot of the time. So I was hiring and firing, I was ordering the color and the towels, and I was doing inventory. So all of those things you need to know, to help you run a business like payroll, you know how to do payroll, that’s scary thing for people, right? You know, so those small things behind the office door, people don’t really know how to run that they get very nervous about that. How am I going to pay people? How do I pay taxes at my hire had Wi Fi? Or where do Where do I begin? So coming from a family that had businesses, I always saw the back end of it. So it was a lot easier. And then you know, my mom was a bookkeeper. And she helped me with payroll and had to manage a book because you have to know how to like, you have to know how to work in money. So I said, when I’m successful, I’m gonna have my mother come and work my books. And that’s what she does for me. Even today, she, she’s in charge of the money, which is the best person you want to be in charge of your money is your mom.

Kara Goldin 8:18
That’s awesome. I love that story. Well, and I also feel like no matter what industry you’re in understanding customers, right and understanding, like, how do you get them to come back? Right? And how do you get them to, you know, as as a, I don’t know, I always sort of struggle with the customer’s always right kind of statement. Because sometimes, you know, you might get to a point where you’re not able to really satisfy them. But you try.

Rita Hazan 8:49
There are some people that aren’t, you’re never going to satisfy, right. And the best thing I have learned in my career is that sometimes it’s better not to have that person come back and service them if they’re never happy than to have an unhappy customer. Can you make space for another person who is happy and who appreciates your work instead of somebody who’s not happy and I was like pitching a fit on the floor, you know, so it’s better for me. I like to have harmony and a peaceful environment. No matter what it takes. You have to walk into the salon and be like, Oh, this is fun. This is good energy. We play good music, it smells nice. Everybody’s friendly from when you walk into the door to you know, getting your service done getting your hair shampoo, everybody has to be friendly and happy to be there. If they’re not then they don’t belong.

Kara Goldin 9:52
Well, and I think being a manager being the CEO of your salon too, but I think that those are really important lessons that I think think working with the public as early as you can. I worked in a toy store when I was 14 years old. And I always tell people initially, I just was excited because I would get to work the cash register. So you and I would have had a great thing going you doing the hair, I was doing the cash register. But I learned so much more about buying and margins and all of those kinds of things. So

Rita Hazan 10:23
my uncle made me memorize tax on every dollar up to 500. So that I don’t make any mistakes. I love it and no cheat sheets.

Kara Goldin 10:34
I love it. Oh, wow. That’s an amazing amazing two bit so I wonder if Rubin knows how to Batu

Rita Hazan 10:42
forgotten about that. But I remember that.

Kara Goldin 10:45
So funny. So Orby you got your first job out of beauty school? How did you how did you get connected with him?

Rita Hazan 10:53
A friend of mine was working there. And he said they need another assistant. So color assistant, I you know, I told them the colorist about you, and He wants to meet you. So I went in, and I put my mom’s like fancy coat on. And I got all dressed up with heels and I knew nothing about you know, working as a color assistant. But I was very eager. And I said I’ll do anything, anything, anything that you want. So I think I had a nice conversation with the colors that was in charge of the whole department. His name is Brad John’s, we’re still actually friendly today. And he said, Okay, come in on Wednesday, we’re all black, and, you know, be ready to work hard. And I was I never called out sick day my life. I never took a day off. I did whatever he wanted, he wanted me to run errands for him, I ran errands, we ran out of color and went to the store and bought color with my own money, which I didn’t have at the time. But um, I did whatever it took. And I did it with love. I didn’t I wasn’t ever thinking like, Oh, this is part of my job, or I have to do this. Whatever they wanted me to do, I did. And I enjoyed it. I cleaned the whole color room, I organized his cards, I made sure everything was like perfect all the time. It was like I did it at a pleasure and joy. And I think that all those things that I was doing, and a lot of people don’t like to do those, like the minutia of it all. And I think that helped me learn how to run my own business doing those things without knowing. Yeah, well,

Kara Goldin 12:33
and obviously you’re gonna learn a lot to along the way. And you loved, you know, working for him. But definitely I it’s, it’s interesting. My first job when I moved to New York City, I worked at Time Magazine, and I was an executive assistant. And I tell people the story, a lot of people that have worked for me over the years that I had extra time on my hands. And so friends of my boss would come by, and sometimes they’d be in a hurry, they’d be really rushed. I said, just you know, you need a copy made you need whatever. And I would do it. Not because I felt like I was going to be rewarded in any way for it. But just because I was kind of bored. And I was just like, yeah, just give it to me. It’s all great. And I ended up getting developing relationships with those people. And what was so interesting years later, after starting hands, and we were getting into Amazon, one of the buyers for Amazon said, I remember you at time, and I remember you were always helpful, like you would always like you wouldn’t complain about things you were just like laughing and having a good time and whatever you were doing. So you never know who’s watching. Right? If it’s somebody, I don’t even remember him when he was working on the floor. But I think that’s the key thing, that it’s not necessarily your boss, or the person sitting next door. It’s people watching you and you’re a hard worker. And I bet that that is what people would say about read it today. So for sure. So what was the key thing that you learned from Oribi

Rita Hazan 14:11
and learned a lot from or they learned how to work hard. I’ve learned how to be humble. I learned how to manage I learned how to work with celebrities. I learned how to be and how not to which is like I tell everybody that’s the most important. Watch me learn from my mistakes and learn from my accomplishments, but watch me and do it from your heart. Whatever or they did he did with love. If somebody was sick, he would say with cancer come in. I’ll make a wait for you. I’ll pull your hair you know and he’d be like we got this woman has no money. Can you help me out? Course of course I could help you if he would come in with like, bags and bags and bags of hair extensions, and at six o’clock at night and say, I need all of these colored by the morning and this is the sample color all of them. So I’d be up all night working on this hair, he come pick up in the morning, sometimes the shoot got canceled. So all of this would happen. And I never once thought, oh, I should be paid for this or you know, they’ll be over time or bla bla bla, I can’t even tell you. I never even understood what a 40 hour work week was ever until, like, you know, I started my own business. But I was direct gladly and doing all of that helped me in my craft. It helped me learn how to be a better colorist. It helped me to have stamina and to be able to work long days to travel to just be strong and hustle, basically, and do it with love because I was I love what I do. So it never really felt like work.

Kara Goldin 16:07
This episode is brought to you by NovoEd. The last thing you want to worry about when building your company is finding a solid business checking account. When I was looking 16 years ago, sadly, there wasn’t very many options. But today, I can give you a great suggestion Nobo a really great option for personalized business checking. Novo is a business banking platform built for today’s business owners. Unlike the traditional banking model, Novo has no minimum balances, no transaction limits and no hidden fees. Instead of a one size fits all approach. Novo is customized for your business to save you time, free up cash flow. And with seamless integrations to stripe, Shopify, QuickBooks Online and more. And don’t just take my word for it. Over 150,000 businesses have switched to no vote. No vote was also recently named money Magazine’s Best business checking account option for app integrations. So sign up for your free business checking account, right [email protected] o slash Kara plus, Kara Goldin show listeners get access to over $5,000 in perks and discounts. Go to novo.co/cara to sign up for free novoed.co/kara Noble platform Inc. is a FinTech not a bank. banking services provided by Middlesex Federal Savings FA Member FDIC Terms and Conditions apply. This episode is brought to you by gusto. The company I founded hint is always looking for new talent to add to our growing business. But like all executives, I want to find the perfect candidates to have the perfect fit. Did you know The average time it takes to fill a job these days is 24 days, and the average cost of hiring a new employee is close to $4,000. That is a lot of time and money and investment for sure. So here’s an alternative that can save you time and money. Gusto gusto is a modern HR platform that helps you onboard new talent. Stay organized and make sure they have the info they need to integrate nicely in your environment. WITH GUSTO is full service payroll, comprehensive benefits and built in learning and development tools. Engaging your team has never been easier, even when much of your team is still remote. And when you’ve got some tough decisions on your hands. gussto has reliable data and insights that can help you make the right decisions to finding and keeping great employees just got easier. Join the 200,000 Plus businesses using gusto today, head to gusto.com/kara and get three months free. That’s three months free of gusto free only at gusto.com/kara. Today’s episode is sponsored by such a voice. Have you ever thought about how your voice sets the stage for how you are perceived? Okay, so you may not be looking to be a voiceover actor, but maybe just maybe there are a few techniques that you wouldn’t mind learning. No matter what you do for a living your voice is the thing people are making decisions about from the moment you say something. That’s why paying attention to what I’m about to talk about is key. Such a voice. That’s our terrific sponsor of the segment. Such a voice provides professional voiceover training for anyone. The great people at such a voice will take you through professional voice technique, and even coach you through preparing, recording and producing your own voiceover demo, too. But why would you need this training? Well, that’s a very good question. Whether you are thinking of interviewing on a podcast or recording your audio book, or giving that keynote at next year’s company off site, those techniques you will learn will teach you what real world voice actors already know. And help you be your very best visit such a voice slash Kara Goldin, that’s Gol D I N and receive a complimentary copy of such voices must knows of voiceover, you will get expert tips from people who know how to have impact, check out such a voice.com/kara Goldin today to learn from the experts. So what was the turning point for you when you decided? I’m going to leave? And do you remember, like feeling scared thinking? I mean, what if I fall on my face? I mean, what I mean, this is it’s been a comfortable job for 10 years, all of these things were what was it that said, I can go do this?

Rita Hazan 21:34
You know, it was it’s actually interesting, and a little bit sad, because at the end of my working at aura Bay, they were having internal I don’t know exactly what was going on. But I knew something weird was happening. They were having internal problems between the partners. And I don’t know exactly what was the problem. I know that at the time, it was like, the early 90s. And everybody was partying and hanging out. And, you know, a lot of celebrities, and now a lot of drugs. So and that’s what made it like a lot of fun, too. But it got dark towards the end. And it wasn’t fun anymore. So I had a conversation with Orbitz. And they said, you know, it’s naturally time for me to take a step and try this out. And, you know, I found a location that I knew I could afford, because I was very busy. And I said, if I could pay the rent myself, then I could win here. And I found a location, a small little place and open the shop. And I didn’t take any people with me. I said, whoever wants to come, we’ll just call me and say I’ll come but for now, it’s just going to be me. And I did have a partner for a little while. It was a hair stylist. But that didn’t work out after a few months. We were just like, you know, we had two opposite way of doing business. I was a hustler. And she was just, you know, not interested in working so hard to build a company to you know, it was fine. We we split up and I just kept the place and she moved on. But um, was I ever scared? No, I wasn’t scared. I was in my 20s. And I don’t think that you’re scared in your 20s of anything. You don’t think anything is going to you know, you’re indestructible. So I wasn’t scared. I knew what I had to do. I was doing it. My clients just came with me. And God is always with me. Because six months after I opened my salon or based salon closed down.

Kara Goldin 23:53
Wow. And so a lot of people

Rita Hazan 23:57
I know people will call on me from the beginning, say I really want to come when the time is right. Well, you have me and I was a place with small so I couldn’t just have everybody come I wanted the best of the best. And I wanted people who had the same energy as I had, who wanted to work. We had fun who I had long term relationships with and I trusted. So you know, I had a lot of my friends and they still work for me now. If they’re in the business, those people that came with me from the beginning, we’re still a team. Plus we have more people on the team, but those initial people still with me.

Kara Goldin 24:33
That’s amazing. So who was the first celebrity? Right? Oh, wow. That’s amazing. Yeah, that’s amazing. Were you nervous? To know?

Rita Hazan 24:45
I wasn’t nervous, but

Kara Goldin 24:46
you don’t seem like you get nervous very often.

Rita Hazan 24:49
I don’t get nervous. I wasn’t I was nervous. And in another way you right because I’m my worst critic. And I’m very hard on myself. And I didn’t I go Welcome listening to Mariah and I love Mariah. I wasn’t really nervous about her celebrity, I just wanted to make sure that I did a good job. Right? So for me, it’s never about the person like Beyonce or JLo. It’s not about them. It’s about me doing a good job. So I’m never really nervous about the person, I just want to make sure that I am happy with my work. Yeah. Not always, like brutally honest, if they want to do something that I don’t think is a good idea. I won’t do it. I won’t do it. I don’t care who it is. I said, this is not a good idea. I remember one celebrity said, I want to bleach my hair out. And I said, Bad idea. And I had colored her sister’s hair, I bleached it out. And her sister has different texture. And it’s, you know, completely different personality. So it worked for her that but he did it for my sister, I said, for you. It’s not a good idea. And I’ve worked with my clients for many, many years. So somebody on her team said, I know somebody who’s willing to do this, do you want to do it, she tried it. The next day, I got my phone call saying I don’t know why I didn’t listen to you. But now you have to come fix it, my hair’s falling out. So I said, it’s not that I don’t know how to do it, I just don’t think it’s a good idea. And I’m not going down that road, where I do something for you. I know, in my heart is not the right thing. And you’re going to be upset. So I’d rather somebody else, do that make that mistake? Because I know that is not going to work. So I do say no to a lot of things because I just don’t believe in. And I think that’s what keeps my clients coming back to me long term because I’m honest.

Kara Goldin 26:43
Yeah. And they trust your judgment, too. So that’s, that’s a that’s such a key thing that you’re not just gonna follow trends or what they want to do your

Rita Hazan 26:55
trends aren’t great for everybody, you know, trends are, you know, you can take part of a trend and, and, you know, use it for you. But you can’t follow a trend because it’s different for everybody. Not everybody could follow that trend doesn’t work for everybody’s hair and the hair texture.

Kara Goldin 27:14
So you just do color, right? You don’t do cuts. And how did you make that decision,

Rita Hazan 27:20
I never really liked cutting hair, I liked color. And when I started at obey, they, they had departments, it was a cutting and color. So I got to do exactly what I wanted to do. And I feel like it’s an art. And you can be great at one part of it and not like cutting.

Kara Goldin 27:42
And I asked that too, because I think that no matter what industry you’re in, really understanding what you’re good at and what you enjoy.

Rita Hazan 27:50
I also assisted for a very long time, I wanted to know that I could competently do my job on my own. So a lot of kids now want to assess like six months, or they don’t want assist at all or for a year and what am I going to get promoted? The truth is the first three years, I was just learning color. I was learning the fundamentals. And then once I knew that, I was learning, I was watching and learning the tips and tricks that you don’t really see when you don’t know fundamentals. Yeah, makes sense. So I trained for about five or six years I was a for five years, I think. And I even said to Brad, I don’t want to be promoted. I’m not ready yet. I know you have a bunch of people here that are fighting to to be promoted and to be colorist I’m not one take me out of that game. I’m here to learn. I want to learn everything that I can teach me teach me teach me. And he did. And it was it. It was like a slow and steady wins the race because a lot of those people don’t even exist anymore. They didn’t really learn their craft. And you make a lot of mistakes. And color is no joke. It’s a chemical. And you can screw up a lot if you don’t know what you’re doing. And I knew that I took it seriously.

Kara Goldin 29:06
What’s the biggest secret about color that people don’t necessarily know

Rita Hazan 29:10
that it is a chemical, and you have to respect the chemical and hair texture and ethnicities

Kara Goldin 29:18
and it’ll react differently to

Rita Hazan 29:21
react differently to everybody and you have to have experience you have to know what you’re doing. You can’t just say Oh, I saw this on Tik Tok. You know, I learned this on YouTube like this girl came in the other day and she said her hair was like all broken off and said, well I bleached my hair out. I did on YouTube. I found a YouTube video. What are you thinking like this is serious. You can have chemical burn on your scalp. It’s dangerous. It’s not like I color my hair at home this pool a lot of bad things can happen. So you have to respect the chemical.

Kara Goldin 29:55
So you created was it the first root concealer for consumers?

Rita Hazan 29:59
You Created invented it. So everybody can say to me, Rita started a product line, we didn’t start a product line. I said, I’m not starting, who the world doesn’t need another shampoo conditioner, you know? Like, what’s, what’s my product going to be any different from anybody else’s. And I said, Until I think of one product that is not on the market that people need. I’m not spending my money on another shampoo. So I was traveling all around the world at the time. And I got the same question from every person I’ve ever spoken to. What can we do at home and between hair color, eye color, my gray every two weeks migraine comes in so fast that I just one day woke up and said, Oh my God, how is this not a solution? Like, how’s this done a product? So it took me about four years after that initial thought, like, how can I create this product that doesn’t exist? Like what form is it gonna be? Is it gonna be a crayon, it’s gonna be a sprays, like, I would go to the Home Depot and look at different like, products and, and different delivery systems and packaging. And one day just thought, Oh, my God, spraying it has to be so easy to spray. And then it took me a long time to find a chemist to do it. And I found the chemist. And one of the biggest mistakes I made is that I trusted the chemist. And I did not sign he kept putting me off. But the paperwork, didn’t want to sign it didn’t want to sign the paperwork. And then when we were close to it, he never actually signed the paperwork. And he decided that he wasn’t going to work with me anymore. And I had to find another chemist to do to finish the project. And I guess, because they had worked with me, creating, I created it, I went to them saying this is the product that I want to do. Can you help me and they really didn’t understand what I wanted until like, we finally got into it. And then they I guess they had the idea. And they wanted they said this is pretty brilliant. You know, we can take it and use it and sell it to somebody say never signed the paperwork, which was my mistake, but I was also very green. And then you know, I believe them. So I found another chemist and I still work with those. With that chemist today. And the difference between my product and everybody else’s product is one that the colors. For me it was so important. I’m a colorist first. So I had to create a color system that works for everybody’s hair color. No matter who colors your hair, it has to be so natural, like neutral so that it can play with everybody’s hair. So yes, everybody. L’Oreal copied and they have a lot of money. And they could do commercials and have Eva Longoria like be their spokesperson. But their color is not the same as my color. They could have, like learned what the formula is, I guess it’s pretty simple. But my root concealer, I did so much r&d on that on the root concealer, I would spray my mom, her sisters, my cousins, go take a spin class, if it comes off, we’re not done yet. So I did a lot of research and make sure it goes swimming. If it comes off. Were used use a white pillow case it becomes off, we’re not ready. So we did all of that. And I could tell you with full confidence that my real concealer is not transferred. And it’s water resistant, and it’s not going anywhere until you shampoo it out. So the other ones copied, but they didn’t really do the r&d that I did for it. And I guess it’s like, you know, flattering, but at the same time, I tried to get a patent on it. But the patent didn’t you know, they wouldn’t give me a patent on it. I don’t know why they kept denying my time, because I think it is a different product. And it was a new invention. But they didn’t see it that way. So I wasn’t able to protect myself that way.

Kara Goldin 34:24
But you have a trademark though, right? Yes. Yeah. And so that’s, that’s good. Well, and I think like that’s something that no matter what industry you’re in, I think everybody learns the hard way. The you know, first few people that you’re working with, especially when you’ve got an idea. You’re very trusting everybody seems interested. So onward and upward, but that’s an important lesson for people that are starting businesses even sign your paperwork. Yeah, no, that’s really really smart. And I’m sure that will never happen to you again.

Rita Hazan 34:57
Ever, you know, I was very lucky Because Sephora I know a lot of people from the industry and Sephora was like, You know what, this is genius, we want to have this exclusively. So, you know, I was able to sell first I was like, this is a product for mass, I want everybody to be able to use a broken CLR. But then support came and it was so excited. And it was such a great partner. I said, Okay, let’s do it this way, which I’m happy, we did do it that way. And they were a great partner for many years.

Kara Goldin 35:28
That’s amazing. So it and today you’re available with your amazing product. And Rita and I were talking about my hair is is read if you’re not watching this on YouTube, it’s red. And it’s very, very tough. And the the read that you have is like, it looks amazing. So it was really, really great. And mine multiple shades of red. So it took a

Rita Hazan 35:53
long time to do the read. And the longest was the light brown took me one whole year to do the formula for the light

Kara Goldin 36:01
brown. That’s amazing. So we have you know, it’s interesting, you think light brown would be one of the easiest ones, right?

Rita Hazan 36:07
For I guess the average person? Yes. But for me, I’m a colorist, and I’m very specific and tone. I think that’s really where I stand out with other people is my tone. With hair color and tone, skin tone, hair color, like the balance of tones. That’s really the difference between why I’m different than everybody else.

Kara Goldin 36:31
Yeah, well, and you’ve got an eye for this stuff. And

Rita Hazan 36:34
naturally, you either have it or you don’t. And I think over the years, I learned that you can feel your passion

Kara Goldin 36:39
and your interest, and your curiosity and all all those things of, you know, amazing entrepreneur and business person for sure. So what’s been the biggest challenge, besides the formulation that you didn’t expect in launching hair products.

Rita Hazan 36:56
You know, Sephora was a great partner for a long time. And then we were doing great numbers with them and said, You know, it’s time to expand as you would naturally. And we went to Ulta. And Sephora wasn’t very happy about that. And beloved, kind of fizzled. And then I realized that, you know, I have to, you know, take my business and like look at it from my perspective, and not so much as from the retail perspective. And the great thing is, when we went quarantine, I realized how important the root concealer was because people weren’t able to go to the salon. So we our numbers were like magnificent. I don’t know if our website could have even handled the business that we were doing, thank God. And we also did like at home color kids in the swamp or our salon clients. So we really were smart about it. And then I got a very interesting call from Walmart. And they were very interested in carrying the root concealer and the glosses. And I think they realized how important it was for their customer as well. And I thought, Oh, wow, this is a whole different ballgame now, like this is mass and my is this something that we want to do. And when we saw the numbers and how many locations they have, and the volume that we could do, and the people that we could get the products in their hands, I probably don’t even know about the room concealer. I mean, the only other companies, I think are L’Oreal, which is a big one, where all I think now has a touch up. So I just thought, you know what my whole idea what the root concealer from day one was to help women men everywhere, not just luxury everywhere, everybody should have the opportunity to use good products. It’s not very that it should be only for people who could shop at Sephora. It shouldn’t be like, you know, you get cheap products at Mass places. That’s not fair. Because you can make good products and sell them in mass stores. It’s possible to do on a budget, it is possible. I know everybody thinks that, you know, products at the drugstore, have to be cheap. They don’t have to be cheap. Those companies just make them cheap. You can make good products and just sell them, you know, because he’s selling in bulk. So you make your money up that way. So I said you know what, let’s do this is what I wanted to do from the from the beginning. Let’s do it. Let’s go for it. And we partnered with Walmart and thank God we’re doing well with them. But again, Sephora wasn’t happy about it. And they said if you’re going to sell at Walmart, we can have you here and that was fine for me because I just thought you know what? You guys are so funny because here you are partnering Kohl’s and what’s the difference? In the customer? There’s no difference. Kohl’s customers a WalMart customer. So, you know, I just found it funny that they were snobbish about it. But really, they have to make their numbers as well, you know. So it just found that to be very interesting.

Kara Goldin 40:18
Well, it’s interesting. It’s the lifecycle of a brand, too, right? I think that that’s the other thing is that I have a story that we went into Starbucks nationwide with our product. And it’s a story I share in my book undaunted about, you know, when we were removed from the case, and we were doing great, but they wanted to put food that was a higher margin business. And I could argue, you know, well, you shouldn’t do this, but they weren’t going to do it. And unfortunately, I was really dependent on that account. That was like my big account, it was almost 40% of our overall business. And when they were discontinuing our product, it hurt, right, I was really, I was running around, I had inventory, I was trying to figure out exactly what I was going to do. And that’s when we ended up going into Amazon, which I know you’re in as well. And we ended up starting our own direct to consumer business. And then we went into Walmart, and we went into Target and a bunch of others. And so we started to spread out so that the consumer could actually access the product. And there were definitely people who said, Well, if you’re in this store, or you’re in this store, then we’re not going to work with you. But I felt like it. People had tried it at Starbucks initially. And they were looking for it. And and like I still to this day would love him to be in Starbucks. But we had to make that decision, because we had to service the consumer. And that’s how we thought about it. And you know, and I think it’s the same way for from what I’m hearing from you. I mean, Sephora was a great place for trial. And now it’s available in a lot more places. And so it’s all as I always say, it’s all good, right? Like am I do

Rita Hazan 42:09
I did all this by myself have no investors, it’s all me,

Kara Goldin 42:12
that is absolutely incredible inventory, cash

Rita Hazan 42:15
flow, inventory, cash flow, it’s always about a very fun bounce, you know, so when you don’t have like, investor just pumping money into it, you have to really be smart about your cash flow in inventory. So that’s something that I’ve learned, and I’m learning now more with Walmart, because they’re big box. So they need a lot of product. So that’s, you know, something that I’m learning now, which I kind of love, I’d love to do it because people like you’ve been doing this so long, you don’t get bored, I can’t get bored, because I’m always doing something different. And I have to learn so my brain is always in motion, always in motion. So for me, like, you know, the salon is changing all the time, clientele is changing, and the environment is changing, the products are growing, they’re changing. So it’s always something that keeps me learning and growing and changing and you do have to change with the times you can’t just sit still and think like your old ways are going to work, it doesn’t work like that. Especially after the pandemic. The whole world is different things you know, you have to have supply chains demands, you know that that are it takes us longer to make the root concealer. So there’s a lot of things that now we have to tap along that we never had to do before. And I think I love that like is that weird to say it’s like fun to figure it out? You know, I don’t stress I don’t get nervous because I think at the end of the day, you know, God got me this far. brewery reason, you know, so I have faith that everything usually everything always works out. I tell that to my team all the time. Like it’s fine. It always works out one way or the other. It’s gonna work out you know, just chill, sit tight. Yeah, everything’s gonna work out and it always does.

Kara Goldin 44:14
It’s an amazing attitude to have and you are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing all of this with us. So we’re so people can find the products at Walmart, they can come to New York and get their hair done by you and your team and and you’re available on Amazon as well and also also on your own site or you just amazing and you have an incredible Instagram account as well. So everybody follow Rita there as to and thank you again for sharing all of your wisdom and lessons and and as I said, You’re so inspirational and I know a lot of people took away so much so Thank you. And thanks, everybody for listening. We’re here every Monday, Wednesday and soon Friday, we’re adding another day. We have amazing guests on that are entrepreneurs and founders and people who are real disruptors. And innovators like Rita. So thanks, everyone, definitely download the podcast. So that you are not going to miss out on all these great, great people that we have on and give Rita five stars for her podcast, because that really makes a difference in the algorithm. So please, please, please do that. And find me on all social platforms at Kara Goldin. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of my book or ordered on Audible. It’s called undaunted, and it talks all about my journey. And thank you, everyone for listening. Have an excellent week, and we’ll talk soon. Bye bye. Bye. Bye. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book.com and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening