As a beauty enthusiast myself, I had the chance to meet Chaz Dean! This encounter happened at the Simply New York conference this past month at Root Studios. We attended last year and decided to return, which was unplanned but totally worth it. Why? Because not only did we meet more amazing and beautiful individuals who blog, style or run a business, we met the man behind Wen, Chaz Dean! There’s totally a backstory to my excitement of meeting him but for now, we’ll focus on learning more about the beauty enthusiast and entrepreneur and his journey to “Many Blessings”. Read on for the tea…
Who shaped and created the direction of Wen?
I’m proud to say WEN was my complete creation. Having always had a great passion for all over beauty, I am a photographer and have always enjoyed creating the “full picture” of beauty I envisioned. This lead me to my career as a hair stylist where I would bring my vision to life. After working at the salon for many years my clients dealing with the extreme damage caused by using traditional shampoos, bleach and styling tools. That’s when I began experimenting with my own formula and created my Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner. Cutting out the lather in my life and my clients’ lives made all the difference in the world; their hair was becoming healthier, more manageable, and shinier. The greatest change I saw in my clients was their confidence blossom, most had never LOVED their hair and with WEN they gained so much more than beautiful hair. That’s when I knew WEN was more than a haircare brand, I had created an entirely different category and lifestyle. My mission was to remove the harmful ingredients often found in hair care, and the WEN line now spans over 550 products including hair, skin and body care, offering everyone a safe and healthy alternative to cleansing.
How long was it before your brand Wen took off?
In 1995, I formulated my first all-natural line, testing the product for five years and debuted WEN Hair & Body Care with my first product. Though removing the lather seemed like a radical concept at the time, the Cleansing Conditioner quickly took off when my clients began to see the healthy, shiny hair they’ve always dreamed of having.
In 1997, I moved Chaz Dean Studio to Hollywood. It became a place where my clients could retreat and receive the best in pampering and hair services.
In 2004, the press went wild when Desperate Housewives star Terry Hatcher invited me to her birthday party and claimed all her cast mates from the show were using WEN and became huge fans. This really kicked off my celebrity clientele, which led me to QVC, where we have sold over 40 million cleansing conditioners, making WEN one of the largest beauty brands on the channel. WEN has been growing and growing ever since!
How do branding and creativity currently inspire your business?
Our unique WEN branding is representative of something different from collection to collection. Each scent carries a strong meaning/message of my past which I convey through each formula.
Who currently inspires you?
It isn’t particularly one person who inspires me, I am often inspired by nature and beauty altogether. I am constantly in awe of our California sunsets and love the fall and winter seasons in Pennsylvania and New York where my team and I spend much of our time while we are at QVC. Most recently the force that keeps me going day after day are the inspiring stories of young men and women around the world who are standing up for what they believe in and taking action. With much turmoil happening around us we have to make decisions and choices that are positive and create better opportunities for those in need. This strength gives me hope for the younger generation who are the future. I had big dreams and crossed paths with many people who didn’t believe in my passion, I kept forging forward and fought hard until my dreams became a reality.
What organization do you see Wen collaborating with in the near future?
We are always working with different philanthropies and helping create awareness for foundations particularly important to me. A few we have worked with in the past are Make A Wish, Love Is Louder, HollyRod, Keep A Child Alive, Best Friend Animal Society, Global Green and Autism Awareness, among many more.
What made you come up with Love Eau de Parfum and its lovely notes?
The Love Eau de Parfum was created based on my ‘Many Blessings’ prayer I live my life by. All of my business cards and note cards have it printed and even my three labs are very familiar with the prayer, as I recite it to them before every meal. The prayer reads ‘May you be blessed with light, love, hope, strength, faith, joy, truth, honesty, understanding, wisdom, harmony, prosperity, success, health and happiness in all the years to come.’ Most of my fragrances have the prayer displayed in the back of the bottle. My goal is to depict each characteristic into my definition of the prayer, creating my ‘Many Blessings’ collection. The light EDP was a great success and fan favorite. Now, introducing Love, people have absolutely been obsessed with it and the meaning behind it sends a special message, especially for gift giving. The Love Eau de Parfum is created with top notes of Acai, White Currant and White Grapefruit beautifully blended with efflorescent Plumeria and Rose Blooms in a fresh new scent.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share that would help other brands and bloggers create a meaningful experience when partnering or collaborating?
Always attach yourself to projects that you are passionate about, motivate you and inspire you. It is important to trust your instinct, follow your heart and work with people that you feel lift you up and help you move to the next step in your life and career.
…follow your heart and work with people that you feel lift you up and help you move to the next step in your life and career.
Chaz is such an inspiring entrepreneur and could possibly be our new spirit animal, who goes after what he wants with true passion and drive. For those looking to join the influencer realm, isn’t that just great advice? We often follow what drives us…money, but then we find ourselves missing the mark and not following our hearts. Chaz Dean did just that and has and continues to have “Many Blessings”! One of them is my new favorite scent, Love Eau de Parfum. It’s just so airy and perfect for spring!
If you want to learn more about the Wen creator’s products and work, make sure you head over to ChazDean.com. We’re sure that you’ll see something that will catch your eye!