y Mascolo shares his views about the ever-expanding TIGI universe, his ongoing role with the company and much more!
Before we cover the acquisition and future of TIGI, I would like to lightly delve into your history. You and your family managed to grow a mighty beauty empire during good times and bad. What do you attribute to your amazing success?
I think that my brothers and I were very lucky in the respect that we each had our own talents. And while we had—and still have—very different personalities, we’ve always shared common visions.
I also believe that we were destined to become entrepreneurs. Our father was a risk-taker who brought his wife and young family to England with little money and no knowledge of the English language. And yet, he always believed that he would succeed as an independent businessman and barber. His entrepreneurial attitude inspired all of us. Too, our family has always had a strong work ethic. For many years, we worked long hours, and on Sundays when we weren’t working, we’d share a big Italian meal—and talk about business.
Why did you choose a beauty career?
From a very early age, I helped out in our family-owned salon. By the time I left school, [Bruno [brother] was already a master hairdresser, so he naturally hired me as his assistant. After awhile, though, he realized that I was going to better than him! It was at hat point that he decided to step back from hairdressing and focus on expanding our business in the United States. Aside from once being a topnotch hairdresser, Bruno has always been a very sharp businessman!
Still, getting to where we are today wasn’t a walk in the park. We had our bad moments and failures—including terrible recessions in the ’70s and’90s—but we learned from them. Instead of giving up when the bottom fell out of the market, for instance, we pursued, learned and mastered the art of PR and advertising.
We also suffered personal losses early on. My mother died when I was four, around the time Toni and Guy [brothers] opened their first salon. Then my father died when I was 19. Instead of tearing our family apart, though, bad times have always strengthened our family ties.
It’s been over a year since TIGI was officially acquired by Unilever. From a growth perspective, what prompted the sale? How has it improved TIGI’s overall performance in terms of education, product development and market share?
TIGI was already a fantastic company with great energy and a first-rate creative team that provided brilliant education. However, in order to take the company to the next level, we needed support in specific areas—namely marketing, research and product development, global infrastructure and investment. Unilever has the power to drive TIGI forward in all these areas. However, our mission statement, “Designed by hairdressers, for hairdressers” remains in place. TIGI is a “stand alone” company within Unilever’s portfolio. Of course, some things are different within the company, and change is always a challenge. But, it’s also an exciting time for all of us, with many opportunities that we would have never had as a family-owned business.
What is your current role at TIGI? How is it different?
I have always focused on the artistic side of the business, and I remain the TIGI international creative director. My team and I are still working on global imagery, and creating exciting shows and great short films. The biggest difference after the sale is that we’re now working with a global marketing team. But while we have to be aware of the team’s goals at all times and work under their direction, my influence is very much in place!
What do you hope to accomplish, now that Unilever is behind TIGI?
With the re-organization and new personnel, Unilever has placed TIGI in a stronger position. This should enable us to grow our global salon base and offer more support, fantastic new products and even greater creativity.
In two years time, I hope to see TIGI Colour become a leading brand, competing with the top two professional color companies that now lead the professional market. I also think that with intense development in our wash-and-care area, we’ll be able to strengthen our brand overall and gain greater recognition.
What is new at TIGI in terms of products, global expansion and affiliations?
In the last year, we’ve relaunched the Catwalk by TIGI range and created a closer link with fashion by forming a relationship with up-and-coming British fashion designer, Christopher Kane. We’ve also launched our products in India, which is a country undergoing incredibly fast business growth, with more countries to come! And, we’ve recently introduced Urban Antidotes, a range that’s specially formulated to improve the condition of three different levels of damaged hair. Moving to the immediate future, we’re currently re-evaluating our S-factor by TIGI range, with plans to improve the formulas and fragrances.
trong>Do you have any parting words for our readers?
I would like to emphasize that our TIGI culture is the same as it has always been, and will be in the future. We are still a friendly, accessible company that is driven to support and nurture beauty professionals. And, even though we are now part of a huge and powerful corporation, we remain hairdressers at heart.
– Jeryl E. Spear