With five successful companies to his name and over $1.2 billion in combined retail sales, serial entrepreneur Jim Markham has made an indelible mark on the hair care industry. Across six decades, he has built a legacy of innovation that has forever changed how people care for their hair.
But the path to success wasn’t foregone, obvious, or easy. In his early years, nobody would have wagered on his success. Armed only with sheer determination and an unflappable confidence that he was meant for something bigger, Jim fought to make it from the bottom to the top – more than once.
Born into poverty in the barren oil towns of New Mexico to an absent father and an abusive, alcoholic mother, divorced twice with two children by age 20, Jim started cutting hair at age 15 to make ends meet. Within a few short years, his talent and drive propelled him to become the protege of the world’s top celebrity stylist.
When the Manson murders gruesomely robbed him of his mentor and friend, superstar stylist Jay Sebring, Markham was thrust headlong into the high-flying celebrity culture of 1970s Hollywood. Taking on the mantle of the country’s highest paid celebrity stylist, he counted luminaries such as Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen, and Paul Newman not only as clients, but dear friends.
At the peak of his early success, Markham lost it all to unscrupulous business partners and a catastrophic addiction to cocaine, which nearly cost him his life. Homeless and penniless, his belief in himself and vision fueled him as he built it all back, 100 times over. Jim went on to build more successful companies and pioneer the sulfate-free movement. In 2007, his company PureOlogy sold to L’Oreal for a record $280 million.
Today, Markham continues his legacy of innovation, bringing to market groundbreaking products which are silicone-free, 100 percent vegan, certified hypoallergenic, and packaged in 100 percent recycled plastics.
Jim’s close friend and client Paul Newman once told him there are three kinds of luck in this world: big luck, little luck, and no luck. Reflecting on his meteoric rise, Newman told Markham he was “big lucky”. But there’s more to it than just luck. With Jim Markham’s 22 key ingredients to long-lasting success, self-belief, and a positive view of the world, you can be “big lucky”, too!