Intending to be a helping hand in making the world a better place by helping children in need, Mary Ahrens founded Hair4Good, a philanthropic hair care company that offers innovative and beautiful Hairbrushes, Accessories, and Styling Tools.
Mary had a storied journey from beginning her career in 1986 as a secretary at her former company, dedicating 27 years working up the corporate ladder taking her east coast to the west coast and back again.
Today, as the Founder of Hair4Good, Mary hopes that using the products that her company produces adds beauty to the lives of her patrons, and the lives of children in need, through their support of children’s charities.
Hurdles Along the Way
Mary overcame several challenges in her journey including being diagnosed with dyslexia in fifth grade, which came with its own set of challenges; however, these challenges instilled in her incredible work ethic and perseverance.
Mary shares, “When I entered sales in the early ’90s, I had absolutely no training or management guidance, which surprisingly worked to my advantage. Each day brought a new experience and the promise of another opportunity to grow.”
“The world seemed much kinder, and interestingly, it was my customers who took the time and effort to mentor me. My favorite buyer and retailer were Mr. Gervis Proctor at Thrifty Drug in Los Angeles. Gervis treated me like family and educated me, a newbie, on all aspects of the beauty business. This kind man gave me the encouragement and incentive to pursue my professional passion.”
Making Dreams Come True
Hair4Good’s mission is to market products that bring out your inner beauty and, at the same time, make the world a little better for many children by donating 50% of its profits to support children’s charities.
Their assortment consists of exclusive designs, cuttingedge, and on-trend fashion. Many of its hairbrushes have proprietary, patented and patent-pending technology. Mary adds, “We receive thank you notes from our customers constantly saying that our brushes are the best they have ever used. This type of consumer reaction is very fulfilling.”
Hair4Good’s marketing focuses on innovative new materials and patent-pending processes never used in hair care products. Mary has been in the hair care business all of her adult life. She expresses that there was a lack of technology and innovation in the industry, where she saw an opportunity to incorporate cutting-edge sustainable materials that create various product benefits. A few significant corporations that traditionally have not understood the customer’s needs control the hair care category. One of the many benefits of being a small business is keeping the consumer in mind and not worrying about corporate politics or egos.
Mary expresses, “We are a small operation consisting of like-minded people who make huge contributions daily. Our focus internally is family, work-life balance, making the best, kindest product in the market, and continually increasing our giving stream. Our philanthropy is essential to us, and it is the primary reason I started marketing the brand Hair4Good. Our most recently added charity is Circle of Care, located in Wilton, Connecticut.”
Leading A Helping Culture
Hair4Good’s culture is driven by family, kindness, benevolence, work-life balance, giving back to the community, and making beautiful, solution-based, and environmentally kinder products. Its team shares its mission, and everyone has a seat at the table.
Hair4Good uses innovative natural materials and unique coatings to enhance product performance greatly. They also use sustainable materials, using recycled paper for their product packaging.
Hair4Good incorporates philanthropy and innovation to the industry that traditionally is more interested in corporate profits and aggressive distribution. Mary notes, “We recognize that we need to expand our reach, but we are steadfast in our mission to make quality, innovative, longer-lasting, and more sustainable products while contributing to the betterment of the world.”
The Next Chapter
Hair4Good’s product philosophy is to make superior quality merchandise with longer useful life and less harmful environmental impact than products currently on the market. Mary intends to expand Hair4Good’s reach to include brick-and-mortar retailers and enhance its product assortment with innovative patented technology in new product categories.
Mary adds, “We foresee doubling our charitable contributions annually and adding more team members to our family to concentrate more on the philanthropic area of our business. Eventually, we would like to produce most if not all of our merchandise in the USA.”
The Guiding Light
Mary advises aspiring entrepreneurs to have an in-depth knowledge of the business they are entering. She says, “A well thought out business, and the financial plan includes the initial investment and ongoing financial support. Be realistic about your resources and ability to survive the roller coaster ride financially and emotionally.”
“Make as many social and business contacts as you can to share thoughts, opportunities, and experiences. Don’t fear making mistakes; every new business has a learning curve. Be prepared for unimaginable hours of intense work and education. Always be understanding and open-minded, no matter the challenges, and never give up, no one wins without losing,” Mary concludes.