Entrepreneur Video Series
An American Dreamer

The Microsoft of beauty: Farouk Shami's hair-raising empire builds a college cosmetology school

The Microsoft of beauty: Farouk Shami's hair-raising empire builds a college cosmetology school

Steve Head, Farouk Shami, Basim Shami, Richard Carpenter,Chi School Cosmetology, November 2012, ground breaking, officials
From left, Steve Head, president of Lone Star College-North Harris; Farouk Shami, founder and executive chairman of Farouk Systems; Basim Shami, CEO of Farouk Systems; Dr. Richard Carpenter, Lone Star College System chancellor, at the groundbreaking.
 
Photo courtesy of Lone Star College-North Harris
Farouk Shami, Chi School Cosmetology, November 2012, ground breaking, Artist Rendering
The CHI Lone Star College-North Harris School of Cosmetology is set to open in the spring of 2013. Courtesy rendering
Farouk Shami, Chi School Cosmetology, November 2012, ground breaking, group
U.S. Representatives Sheila Jackson and Gene Greee joined in the groundbreaking, Photo courtesy of Lone Star College-North Harris
Farouk Shami, Chi School Cosmetology, November 2012, ground breaking, artist rendering
A rendering of the new building. Courtesy rendering
Steve Head, Farouk Shami, Basim Shami, Richard Carpenter,Chi School Cosmetology, November 2012, ground breaking, officials
Farouk Shami, Chi School Cosmetology, November 2012, ground breaking, Artist Rendering
Farouk Shami, Chi School Cosmetology, November 2012, ground breaking, group
Farouk Shami, Chi School Cosmetology, November 2012, ground breaking, artist rendering

Farouk Shami is a man who loves style, business and prides himself with having great vision. Many know him as the “CHI Man,” but he is known in the beauty industry and the business world as much more.

Congressman Gene Green calls Shami “an American hero who has taken America to heart.” Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee praises Shami’s “corporate social responsibility.” All this on the day Farouk Systems broke ground for a new school of cosmetology.

 “Education is the best ammunition we can give to our future generation. We will share how to run a business; how to run a salon; how to retail (products); and how to communicate with clients.” 

Shami, founder and chairman of Farouk Systems, revealed plans to expand the company’s partnership with Lone Star College-North Harris and create the first CHI Lone Star College-North Harris School of Cosmetology. The school is set to open in the spring of 2013.

“Education is the foundation for success and innovation,” says Shami, the presenting sponsor of the Miss USA Pageant. “The practical work is what will distinguish this cosmetology school from others. Teaching (students) not just as artist but business people. ”

LCS-North Harris first partnered with Farouk Systems in 2010 and provided professional development for instructors, CHI products for students and expanded career opportunities for its graduates. It’s a relationship that benefits both parties.

“Our initial agreement with Farouk Systems was the first of its kind and place us on the leading edge of community college partnerships,” says Steve Head, president of LSC-North Harris.

Under the new agreement, both entities will combine to provide $140,000 in scholarships for cosmetology students.

Room to grow

Head says they expect about 35 students in the first class, but they have the capacity for 100 students in the program each year. They also plan to offer training in related fields like nails, lashes and massage therapy. It’s all about building a business in a growing industry.

Shami told the crowd he has been a proud hairdresser for 48 years. He calls it an honorable profession that lends itself to business independence and good profit margins. When he talks about the hair and beauty industry he goes beyond the surface and that’s what he expects this new school to do.

 He went on to say, “Farouk Systems is like the Microsoft or Apple of the beauty industry.” 

“Here (they) will be working with our scientist,” Shami says. “Education is the best ammunition we can give to our future generation. We will share how to run a business; how to run a salon; how to retail (products); and how to communicate with clients.”

“Student success, innovation and partnerships are fundamental to the vision for Lone Star College System,” says Dr. Richard Carpenter, LSCS chancellor. “Our work with Farouk Systems has proven to advance our goals in each of those areas, and I expect this new initiative to continue that trend.”

Shami says environment, education and ethics are important parts of the business. He talked about the 7000 trees the company planted in Uvalde to provide product for one of his lines.  He went on to say “Farouk Systems is like the Microsoft or Apple of the beauty industry.”

In the midst of the celebration, Shami took a moment to acknowledge the loss of life and property along the east coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. In response he says, “We are immediately sending $1 million worth of product to the northeast.

“One of the responsibilities for anyone reaching the American dream is the responsibility for family, our immediate community, city, county, state and country. We are honored to be an American company that is living and experiencing the American dream.”

Shami’s dream led him to build Farouk Systems, a Houston based company that manufactures professional hair care products. It is owned by a team of hairdressers, includes more than 2,000 educators and sells its products in more than 100 countries.

Kim Davis is a journalist with more than two decades of experience covering sports, news and politics in television, radio and print. Kim does weekly "Chalk Talk" segments on Fox 26 Morning News. Follow her on Twitter @kimydavis.