From $52 to $3Billion

From $52 to $3Billion

Farouk Shami arrived in the United States in 1965 with only $51 in his pocket (this has obviously increased exponentially). In the same year, he went to Maryland to receive training as an English teacher.  One thing that stood out for the young Palestinian was the fact that there were not as many cowboys as he had been led to believe by the many Western movies he’d watched.

For young Farouk, the culture shock was quite evident. He was quite amazed by the huge number of vehicles he saw in Maryland. This Palestinian immigrant wrongly assumed that every shopping center must have been a car factory for there to have been so many cars in Maryland. Eventually, he matriculated at the University of Arkansas.  However, after a while he dropped out citing his passion for hair styling as the main reason for this brave step. Unsurprisingly, none of his family members endorsed this and Farouk had a hard time convincing them otherwise.

Shami has worked for decades in the field of hair-care product development, and attended cosmetology school in Arkansas. He invented the first ammonia-free hair color, after developing an allergy to the chemical that initially led doctors to encourage him to leave his profession. His company, the Houston-based Farouk Systems, currently employs 2,000 people, and exports its line of hair and skin care products under the BioSilk, SunGlitz and Cationic Hydration Interlink (CHI) brands to over 106 countries worldwide. On July 27, 2009 Farouk Systems announced they will be opening a new plant in Houston that will employ approximately 5,000 people

Added on: November 26th, 2012


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