Simplicity Hair Extensions was purchased last year by On Rite, a company with a long history in the field of hair replacement. On Rite‘s CEO Andy Wright has moved Simplicity to Fort Lauderdale where On Rite maintains its manufacturing and distribution center. Wright hired his long-time colleague Okyo Sthair to head the Simplicity division. Like Wright, she is a veteran of the hair enhancement industry and just happens to be the inventor and patent holder on Simplicity’s unique application method.
MODERN SALON recently talked with Wright and Sthair to learn what the On Rite acquisition means for the Simplicity brand.
MODERN SALON: TELL US ABOUT THE ON RITE PURCHASE OF SIMPLICITY
ANDY WRIGHT: On Rite was founded in 1975 as a company devoted to solutions to men’s hair loss issues. I began my career as a wig designer and hairdresser before learning the manufacturing side of hair replacement products. Women with thinning hair had no place to go in the industry and often sought men’s hair loss products out of desperation. On Rite entered the women’s market to serve women who wanted wigs for fashion or variety, but also those women in need of hair loss solutions who had no options. Women with thinning hair want to look fashionable, but often they just want to look “normal” and feel good about their appearance.
We are excited to have purchased Simplicity Hair Extensions and our expertise in manufacturing means we have introduced improvements to the design and construction of the extensions. We are also revamping and increasing our educational programs to help more professionals become Simplicity certified. We are fortunate to have Okyo Sthair, a respected leader in the hair enhancement industry, on board to direct and manage the Simplicity division and to spearhead the educational programs. On Rite has a three-goal mission, which is to provide strict quality control, dedicated customer service and education that ensures salon and distributor success. That is now Simplicity’s mission as well.
MS: HOW ARE YOU EXPANDING SIMPLICITY’S REACH?
OKYO STHAIR:I love working with hair extensions and for me, it isn’t really work. We are bringing stylists information on why this is a unique extension system. Simplicity’s patented medical grade adhesive application method is perfect for salon professionals and clients because it is fast, easy and requires no glues, tools or weaving that can weaken the clients own hair. A full head of extensions can be applied in less than an hour and they are safe and comfortable for the client, as well as being easy to remove and reusable. The extensions are applied higher on the head and require less hair to hide the point of application. For clients who want volume and fullness at the crown, Simplicity Grafts can be used to camouflage thinning hair or to add a fringe. We are adding different widths, lengths and colors to the range of extensions so stylists and clients will have more styling options.
Education is a crucial component of On Rite’s business and I will be building Simplicity’s education programs. We offer both hands-on training and online certification. We have an academy in Fort Lauderdale where we host training classes. A new direction for Simplicity education is the Encore Tour program we have just launched. This will enable my team and me to travel to cities around the country and present training sessions. Hairdressers already have 90 percent of the required knowledge to work with hair extensions. We teach them how to consult with the client, how to position the extensions and mastery of the application process as well as styling and blending the extensions. Stylists can receive a certification tool kit online but they must present proof of their professional license. They complete the course on a mannequin and submit the mannequin for evaluation to receive their authorized Simplicity certification.
MODERN SALON: WHAT IS YOUR DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY?
AW: The On Rite model has always been to sell directly to salons, but we are actively seeking distributor partnerships to bring Simplicity Hair Extensions to salons and stylists. We are making extensions easy for distributors to carry with our streamlined inventory. With On Rite’s experience in manufacturing, we are making minor adjustments to the extensions with narrower and re-designed widths for more versatile styling and, again, offering a more manageable product to warehouse. We are committed to reaching salons through a strong distributor network. We also offer educational support for distributors, helping them set up hands-on education in convenient locations in their territories. Distributors can also sell the certification kits to stylists who are not able to attend classes.
We welcome inquiries from full service distributors and invite interested distributors to contact Okyo Sthair at [email protected].