The National Business Journal recently highlighted Roxanne Chihos in their monthly feature of Extraordinary CEO’s. The full feature can be found here.
Roxanne Chihos is the CEO of Good Look Ink, the world leader in hair replication using a technique called scalp micropigmentation.
Steve: One thing that piqued my interest when I read about your background was that you took a sabbatical to visit 18 countries in 36 months.
Roxanne: It is definitely what I call a claim to fame in my world. I really loved that opportunity, and although it was scary on a finite income, my partner and I had the unique opportunity to spend quality time with people around the world. To have that experience really helped me grow and just feel part of the world and have some goals and vision versus being on that treadmill of work, college, work, masters, work.
Steve: I just read that Regency Beauty Institute, where you worked for so many years, closed their doors recently.
Roxanne: Yes. It was very unfortunate. When I started, there were six or seven campuses and when I left there were 90. It’s hard for me to see, just four years later, an entire business collapse. I think what happened was a combination of different regulations coming out, changes in for- profit education plus some attitudinal changes about the cosmetology and beauty industry, all of which negatively impacted that industry.
It was a great experience to be part of a company that was growing so quickly. I think that’s really why I’m here today at Good Look Ink. My background at Regency was to lead the expansion and generate revenue. Then I was asked by the private equity firm that partnered with me in Good Look Ink to do the same thing here. Now I get the chance to redo it my way, which is great.
Steve: Tell me about your time at Good Look Ink. The concept seems very unconventional.
Roxanne: The company started in 2009, and I joined in August of last year. The original founder had this procedure done by a competitor in 2007 and the results were marginal at best. He contracted an artist who might be able to do something similar. They spent about two years creating the process and getting it right, because the ultimate goal for Good Look Ink is to have the best results in the industry. That’s something that we put ahead of anything, because this is someone’s life. It’s permanent. We want them to look their very best.
Over time the business grew. We got featured on Good Morning America. We started attracting people from all over the world — 29 countries in fact.
We’re located in Minneapolis, and about 86 percent of our customers fly in to have the procedure done.