John Paul DeJoria’s rags-to-riches biography exemplifies the American dream—he is a first- generation American turned entrepreneur, philanthropist, and pillar of the business community. Once homeless, he has struggled against the odds to achieve success, launching multiple global enterprises, while always supporting his motto, “Success Unshared is Failure.”
In 1980, John Paul and hairstylist Paul Mitchell converted a partially borrowed $700 into what is perhaps today the largest privately held salon hair care line, producing more than 100 products, with a presence in over 95 countries. DeJoria and Mitchell had a vision to start a company that would provide tools of success for hair care professionals, their salons, and the entire beauty industry. This vision holds true today—despite lucrative offers from public corporations, John Paul refuses to sell because of the vow he took to stand by the professional beauty industry.
John Paul’s love of tequila brought him to Mexico—in 1989, he co-founded Patrón, the first ultra- premium tequila, and now the world’s number one ultra-premium tequila. Patrón Spirits International produced 1,000 cases of Patrón in its first year, and has grown to approaching 3 million cases of all their products today. In addition to Patrón tequilas and liqueurs, the company’s portfolio includes Pyrat ultra-premium Caribbean rum and Ultimat vodka from Poland. The Patron Spirits Co. and its staff joined the St. Bernard Project and the Dream Foundation to support families of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
John Paul went on to co-found John Paul Pet, Aubio, ROK Mobile and Marquis Yachts—like his previous ventures; they are privately held companies with high ethical standards and reputations for integrity. John Paul Pet shampoos and conditioners don’t irritate sensitive pet skin, and the entire line is “tested on humans first” to ensure effectiveness and safety for all pets (John Paul revolutionized the professional salon industry by banning animal testing for Paul Mitchell products). His latest revolutionary venture, ROK Mobile provides consumers a no-contract, mobile carrier that provides nationwide 4G LTE coverage and unlimited voice, text, data and music for $49.99/month. Members can download an exclusive app which allows them access to over 20 million song catalogue of unlimited, on demand music streaming with personalized radio features and easy access to album details, artist info, and more.
Throughout the length of his success, John Paul has made philanthropy paramount. In 2013, he became a part of Mobile Loaves & Fishes helping create housing communities, gardens and job opportunities for the homeless in Austin, Texas.
In 2011, he signed Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s “The Giving Pledge” as a formal promise to continue giving back. The same year, he established JP’s Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation as a hub for his charitable investments, which span the core values of his companies, sustainability, social responsibility and animal-friendliness.
In 2009, JP launched Grow Appalachia—based on the concept, give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime, the organization aims to empower hunger- stricken people of Appalachia by providing skills and resources to grow organic, nutritious food and teach them how to prepare and preserve it in a healthy way. In its first year, Grow Appalachia participants grew 120,000 pounds of food, feeding more than 2,800 people; last year, the program fed over 30,000 people, growing over 1,151,000 pounds of food, while additionally creating 100 jobs in central Appalachia through gardening projects. John Paul is the major contributor to Food for Africa, an organization committed to protecting the lives of children as infants to twelve years of age whose parents lost their battle to AIDS. Additionally, John Paul built two schools in both Mali and Thailand.
John Paul’s charitable work expands worldwide through his work with global organizations, renowned world leaders, and A-list personalities. He had aligned with Nelson Mandela and 46664 to help raise awareness of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, supports Robert Kennedy, Jr. and his clean water efforts ongoing via Waterkeeper Alliance, and rainforest conservation and reforestation projects in Peru and Guatemala through a recent alliance with Reforest Action. John Paul has been profiled for his corporate and philanthropic initiatives across a multitude of media outlets including 20/20, CNN, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., Fox, Fox Business News, Bloomberg, CNBC, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and recently appeared as a mentor for budding entrepreneurs via a guest shark (good shark) appearance on Shark Tank.