Global beauty seems to be endlessly intriguing for consumers. Shiva Tavakoli, co-founder of Joon Haircare, turned to Persian ingredients and practices to inform her brand’s sensibility and product formulations.
It’s a framework that helps her stay connected to her personal history and that simultaneously lets Tavakoli add to the industry’s diversity and create images of beauty, culture, and entrepreneurship that look like her.
Here, the beauty entrepreneur shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Shiva Tavakoli, Co-Founder
Indie Beauty Company: Joon Haircare
Launched: September 2017
Headquarters: Houston, Texas
Cash flow: Joon Haircare is at least 51% founder owned.
My brother and I own the business together, Tavakoli tells Cosmetics Design. (Shiva Tavakoli personally owns 51% of the company.) Prior to starting Joon, we worked for years in the family business, which was a haircare laboratory and salon professional distributorship. We also had a chain of salons. My father is our investor.
Indie how? An indie beauty brand is a brand which is mostly self-funded and also one which stays true to its core mission or values. I see founders who get investment easily become swayed by too many outside voices and they lose the vision they initially had for their company.
Team work: I am full-time, and my brother is part-time. He still works with my dad in the family business. We also have graphic designer and a person who helps us with shipping, and those are part-time. Any small or temporary projects we have, we hire on a per contract basis.
Distribution: I first wanted to focus on direct-to-consumer selling through our website (www.joonhaircare.com) and also selling in salons. We are stocked in many salons in the Houston, Texas, area and throughout the US. We also recently began selling in a salon in London. In a few months, we will turn our attention to retailers.
Years in beauty: 5
Years at Joon Haircare: 1
Entrepreneurial experience: This is my first entrepreneurial foray, but I grew up with entrepreneurs all around me. Both my grandparents and father are entrepreneurs.
The business: Joon Haircare pairs ancient Persian secrets with modern chemistry. We were inspired by summers spent with our Persian grandparents. Our grandpa ran a spice and herb exporting company, and our grandma used these same Persian ingredients in her cooking and beauty rituals.
Every product in the Joon Haircare line will use Persian ingredients. Our first product in the line, the Saffron Hair Elixir, contains saffron, rose, and pistachio oils.
The wow-factor: We are the first Persian-inspired beauty brand. We incorporate many of the unique ingredients and rituals from hundreds of years ago into our beauty products. You will be also be seeing more innovations in our upcoming products.
We also seek to highlight diverse women who have still been underserved in the beauty space. I grew up not seeing anyone who looked like me in pop culture or the beauty industry, so I hope to change that.
The customer: Our target consumer is all ages. Our e-commerce demographic tends to skew younger. Our salon consumer varies based on location. Our target consumer has a curiosity about the world and loves discovering new and interesting products.
Milestone moment: We were only a month or two old, and we got one of our first pieces of press in Allure on their list of “Best Hair Oils.” That was a great feeling, and after that, a lot more press came.
Advice for fellow beauty entrepreneurs: I would examine what the immediate short-term goal is and work backward from that. This makes it easier to say no to things that don’t serve that goal. I know this may seem obvious, but I think in this business there are so many avenues to go down and especially in the beginning when there is direct-to-consumer, Amazon, retail, and all the other things in between, it can be difficult to figure out what to focus on first.
Just one: Asked about her go-to product, Tavakoli says definitively: Moisturizer!
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.