How She Built This: Carolyn Aronson, Founder of It’s a 10 Haircare

Getting a break in the hair biz is not easy, but after speaking with Carolyn Aronson, the Founder, CEO  & Owner of It’s a 10 Haircare, I can say with certainty that hard work pays off. Here’s how Carolyn built her empire before every influencer was doing it, how she broke into the industry, what she had to do to get where she is now – even when all the cards were stacked against her – and her plans to keep on growing. Consider her candid responses a template if your dream is to have your own haircare brand.

Carolyn Aronson It’s a 10 Haircare

(Image courtesy of It’s a 10)

MA: How did you get your start in haircare?

Carolyn Aronson: I’ve been in the hair industry most of my life. I stood behind the chair for 20 years and was a salon owner. From that point, my partner had an interest in starting a haircare brand. He was in haircare sales. It felt like a natural transition after all my years behind the chair, wishing products would do what they said they did.

Carolyn Aronson It’s a 10 Haircare Carolyn Aronson It’s a 10 Haircare

(Image courtesy of It’s a 10)

MA: What attracted you to the beauty industry and the hair world, specifically?

CA: I was eight years old when I declared I wanted to be a hairdresser. I felt the passion for the beauty, fashion and interior design world at a very young age. The creativity behind these fields actually still makes my soul sing.

Carolyn Aronson It’s a 10 Haircare

Carolyn Aronson It’s a 10 Haircare

(Image courtesy of It’s a 10)

MA: Is there anything you wished you would have known when starting out?

CA: Oh, yes! Some of your best deals are the ones you do not make. Don’t rush to do anything and trust your gut! When a deal or opportunity falls through, it usually ends up being for the best. Try to move past the disappointment and just keep your eye on the end goal. A vision and goal in the future are your greatest assets in the present.

Carolyn Aronson It’s a 10 Haircare

(Image courtesy of It’s a 10)

MA: What has been the most challenging part of running and starting your own business?

CA: Finding the balance of priorities, including the balance between finances, growth, and time management.

 

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MA: What was your strategy for growing It’s a 10 Haircare and what are your goals for the future?

CA: Our strategy for growing at one time was to get product mostly into the hairdresser’s hands. I knew the product was great and it really just snowballed from there. Today, It’s a 10 Haircare is about to go worldwide and launch in 13 countries within the next year. We’re also are planning to expand into makeup, hair extensions and tools. We’re aiming to create head to toe “It’s A 10 Experience.”

MA: How important is it for brands to be involved in philanthropy and how do you decide what charities to support? 

CA: I think business with the purpose is crucial for any business – I think it’s important to make a difference in the world, leaving it better in some way then when you entered it. How I choose my charities are quite personal – I choose to support environmental issues, children’s issues, and health issues that affect our society.

MA: What is your advice for anyone who would like to start their own business or brand?

CA: Be willing to go where no one else in your category goes. Don’t accept anything as “just the way it is” – be relentless and be willing to be the first. Succeeding as an entrepreneur is not something you do, it’s something you are, every single day. The challenges and the ups and downs never go away and, truthfully, the more successful you become, the more challenges you face. You have to climb that mountain every single day.

MA: If you could change the industry in one way, what would you do?

CA: Recently, I have heard within the industry of plans to deregulate our industry. I would go the opposite way, and require that not only do you need a beauty school license but you would need an apprenticeship experience as part of your training before you can be full time on the salon floor.

 

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MA: Anything else you’d like to share?

CA: The beauty industry is one of the most rewarding and creative industries. We are able to stand behind a chair and literally transform people in a way that makes them feel better about themselves and lifts their spirits up. I still do it to this day, I just traded in my scissors for a bottle of product.

 

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