A middle-aged man with a stubbly black crew-cut might not be the first person one turns to for hair care advice, but overlooking Denis Simioni in the quest for great hair treatments would be a serious mistake. This impeccably turned-out marketer and producer has spent nearly twenty years perfecting and promoting the Ojon brand, and the result is a highly visible, highly valuable fixture on the cosmetic industry landscape.
From Marketer To Manufacturer
Before the start of the twenty-first century, Denis Simioni ran an advertising agency in Toronto that catered to makers of beauty products. His experience in the cosmetics industry was extensive, but initially started from the perspective of an outsider looking in. That all changed when he stumbled across an amazingly effective hair treatment from the depths of Central America. Simioni shifted into the production end of the cosmetics business, and today his company Ojon makes a line of exclusive, effective products for fixing damaged hair with the power of rare botanical ingredients.
A Mysterious Jar Of Goo
In the late 1990s, a visiting relative from Honduras left Simioni’s wife with a baby jar filled with a pasty brown goo that was supposed to be great for treating dry, brittle hair. The jar collected dust on the Simionis’ bathroom shelf for years, until Denis Simioni was one day inspired to offer it to a house guest suffering from extremely damaged hair. The results were remarkably effective, and this sent Simioni on a quest to find out if the home-made remedy could be the basis for a practical hair care product. This mission would take years of hard work and require Simioni to criss-cross the Western hemisphere, but the results have been remarkable.
The Ojon Story: Honduras
The entire Simioni family – Denis, his wife Silvana, and their children – took a trip to Honduras to uncover the source of the mysteriously effective hair oil. In the end, Denis Simioni alone entered the jungles of the Mosquito Coast and made contact with the Tawira people. This indigenous tribe lived in the area for millennia, and they had used Batana oil derived from the berries of the Ojon palm to treat their hair since before the arrival of Europeans. Simioni noticed that remarkably beautiful hair was a common feature of the tribe’s members, and became convinced that he was onto something.
Denis Simioni founded the Ojon company in 2000 to meld the traditional resources of the Tawira tribe with the efficacy of modern hair care products. Concentrating exclusively on delivering the full benefits of the remarkable oil harvested by the Tawira, Simioni has kept the Ojon product line small. Only the most effective, useful products are offered to customers. Independent laboratory testing has confirmed the efficacy of Ojon hair products and shown that they deliver dramatic and measurable results.
Simioni is as concerned with sustainability and free trade as he is with offering a great product. All of the oil used in Ojon products is collected by the Tawira people in a fair and sustainable manner. Denis Simioni has worked with the nonprofit organization MOPAWI to ensure that the oil-harvesting process is equitable to the Tawira. The company’s work in Honduras is endorsed by the Rainforest Alliance and the Forest Stewardship Council.
Ojon’s Product Line
Today Simioni and Ojon offer a wide range of hair-care products, all of them using Ojon oil as an integral ingredient. Ojon products typically feature a wide blend of botanical ingredients in order to deliver maximum effectiveness. Shampoos, conditioners, oils, and styling and finishing products are all part of the extensive Ojon line. Many of Simioni’s products come in bundles designed to work together to restore damaged hair and improve its overall appearance and healthiness.
An Unfortunate Split
In 2007, Denis Simioni and his wife separated from each other. Although the split was fairly amicable, lingering disputes over the financial assets created by Ojon took years to resolve. Silvana felt she deserved more of the credit – and the rewards – for developing her family’s home elixir into a popular and profitable hair care brand. Final adjustments to the pair’s separation agreement would drag on for two more years before Denis was left in undisputed control of Ojon.
Working With Estee Lauder
The value of the Ojon brand could get no stronger recognition than the acquisition of the company by cosmetics giant Estee Lauder in 2007. Simoni and his fellow owners earned 45 million dollars in the deal. With Estee Lauder’s backing, Denis Simioni was able to significantly expand the range and availability of Ojon products without surrendering control of the country. Similar to other sub-brands such as Aveda and Bumble and Bumble, Ojon is free to pursue its own production and marketing goals, an arrangement which suits Simioni well. Estee Lauder has remained committed to the brand’s success, investing nearly ten million dollars in a comprehensive overhaul in 2010.
Direct Marketing Via QVC
Prior to founding Ojon, Simioni worked extensively with television shopping giant QVC. He made the channel an integral part of the development of the Ojon brand, and Simioni actually consulted with them prior to making any formal production arrangements in Honduras. From the outset Ojon products have had a home on QVC, and Simioni still markets the brand through QVC shows with the assistance of spokesperson Gwynne Mims. This arrangement suits the brand well, and the transition into Estee Lauder’s sphere of influence has not altered Ojon’s visibility on QVC.
Denis Simioni’s Continuing Search For Great Beauty Products
Simioni works hard to promote the Ojon line and expand its utility and availability even today. He splits his time between doing in-person promotional work and jetting across the globe to research new botanical ingredients. This is why Ojon products contain more than just the amazing oil that comes from Honduras; more than a half a dozen additional botanical ingredients have been incorporated into the line. New products are added to the line cautiously, (as with the introduction of Ojon mascara in 2012) only when Simioni is convinced they will enhance the brand’s overall reputation. Simioni is clearly driven by an appreciation of excellence, and the products his company sells reflect that drive.