Giovanni was the first full-range, salon-inspired hair care brand in natural product stores, and today is the #1 selling hair care line in the United States Natural Products Industry according to SPINS®. But before there was a brand, there was a pioneer. Arthur Guidotti had a vision and a love for all things hair. He began developing his passion as a hairstylist in Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
Giovanni Rose Up From Humble Roots
Arthur worked for a time with hairstylist icon Gene Shacove and was a close associate with “the father of hair color,” Al Lapin. By the 1960s, Arthur was maturing his talents and decided to open his first salon, On Sunset. The salon was a bustling site on the famous Sunset Strip, and it was often frequented by many Hollywood celebrities, including Lucille Ball.
With time, Arthur’s hands started to react from the products used in the salons, and he tried product after product in search of a hair care line that would not cause a reaction on his skin. He began to explore the possibility of creating his own line of professional hair care products.
By 1979, Arthur and his business partner, Peter Stathis, had founded Giovanni. His son, G. James Guidotti, was only eight years old at the time but would become the visionary to take Giovanni to new heights. With only three employees and twelve products, the company was off on a wild ride that became the Giovanni brand.
G. James Guidotti Takes the Company to a New Level
Growing up in salons and the beauty industry affected the way James saw and felt about hair care. Before Giovanni, natural hair care was generic and uninspiring. James injected style into the natural products industry. He wanted to be the “Valentino” of natural hair care. Growing up, Sebastian International, founded by John and Geri Sebastian, was one of his favorite hair care brands because they were cutting-edge and fashion-forward. He knew this was what was missing in the natural world. His vision was to create his own fashion-forward company to meet the needs of the natural consumer. Innovation was the key to his success. James took the company from a handful of employees to dozens and increased the product lines to a portfolio of more than 120 products.
Today Giovanni is recognized as a natural products industry leader, but success was not won overnight. The early years were filled with risk and sleepless nights, as Giovanni wondered if the return would come through to pay off the huge charges made to credit cards to fund various daily operations and marketing activities. Giovanni was pushing the envelope in the natural world. They used edgy models at trade shows that oftentimes generated a mail room full of complaints and criticism. We were setting up photo shoots when the rest of the industry was relying on stock photography. And they were the only natural hair care company willing to take the risk of developing complex, innovative, and patented packaging molds.
Giovanni’s Success Is All About the Products
What truly garnered the attention of the natural products industry was Giovanni’s ability to grow the hair care category. To Giovanni, innovation was not only creating a chic alternative but offering the consumer a world of sophistication never before seen in the natural channel. Giovanni erased the lines between natural and professional hair care and offered the consumer complete hair care solutions. No longer were the natural retail shelves lined only with blasé shampoos and conditioners. Giovanni brought new life to the category by introducing natural styling aids, hair treatments, hair reconstructors, setting lotions, and more. Consumers could now choose from a plethora of gels, mousses, hair sprays, leave-in conditioners, vitamin hair treatments, and hair reconstructors to achieve their unique look and style without settling for unnatural alternatives.
In the end, Giovanni came out on top. James had successfully infused chic into natural. Giovanni had gained a reputation as innovators within the industry, and consumers embraced the idea that Beauty from the Elements is Chic on the Street®. Giovanni became to the natural products industry what Sebastian was to the salon industry, and it would take more than a decade for the industry to catch up.
Giovanni is committed to creating only the highest-performance formulations, wrapped in aesthetically beautiful, eco-friendly packaging and marketed with extraordinary visuals and graphics.
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