How Angus Mitchell Carries On His Father Paul’s Legacy


Angus Mitchell is the co-owner of John Paul Mitchell Systems (JPMS), a hair and skincare products company founded by his father Paul Mitchell in 1980. The company’s line of professional beauty industry tools includes hair care products, styling tools, and hair color, and encompasses not just the Paul Mitchell brand, but also MITCH, Awapuhi Wild Ginger, Tea Tree, Paul Mitchell Pro Tools, Neuro, MVRCK, The Demi, and Color XG.

Sustainability always has been a priority for JPMS, which was the first professional hair care company to take a stand against animal testing and make a strong commitment to giving back, supporting a wide range of philanthropic causes both domestically and internationally. Now, they are working to make operations climate-neutral.

Angus Mitchell has a deep and intense love for Hawaii. It began when he was a child and his dad Paul Mitchell would take him there, teaching him about the culture, nature, and animals of the islands. Later, the family established residency in Hawaii. Angus Mitchell has been active with the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, and has donated land back to the islands for nature preserves. He also supports local Hawaiian organizations such as Child and Family Service, Palama Settlement, and the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation. He credits a grandma, or “tutu” as they are known in Hawaiian, with telling him a story about awapuhi, Hawaiian ginger, that inspired the JMPS Awapuhi line.

Deciding to commit to the family business and follow in his father’s footsteps was not an obvious choice for Angus Mitchell. “It was probably one of the more difficult paths I could have chosen for myself,” he said in an exclusive Forbes interview. “I always knew I wanted to honor my father and better understand the industry and family business. But having the last name Mitchell made things harder for me. In beauty school, my work was scrutinized and my confidence shaken. Respect and opportunity are earned; they are not an entitlement, regardless of birthright. I was always aware I was under a microscope and I wanted the approval of my peers. I just kept my head up and stayed committed to completing what I had started.”

His hard work and commitment paid off. These days, Angus Mitchell says he wake ups every day knowing he is walking his most authentic path. “I am happy and present and find value in myself, my craft, and my ability, while sharing my heart with people,” he says. “Through artistic inspiration and education, I help to inspire and motivate others to join and/or reignite the passion they have for our company and the professional beauty industry. This career path has shown me that I am without a doubt exactly where I am meant to be.”

Mitchell encourages people eager to tap into their life’s purpose to write a letter to themselves. “Write down what your goal is and what you will do to meet that goal in the next 10 years. Surround yourself with mentors so that you can learn from those who are already there. Ask questions seeking new growth opportunities. Each opportunity stacks upon itself and helps shape your narrative and perspective. Most importantly, give yourself grace. Be kind to yourself and others… you will find your way.”

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