Denis Simioni of Ojon
The Canadian businessman and entrepreneur Denis Simioni started his company Ojon in an atypical way. It all began with the mysterious contents of a baby food jar.
This jar of a brown and gold colored oil, which resembled peanut butter, was left behind by his wife Silvana’s Honduran grandmother and had been placed on a bathroom shelf. The grandmother, who bought the oil from her native Honduras, had claimed that the contents of the jar could repair damaged hair and skin.
Although the man who used to own and run an ad agency, that specialized in beauty products, in Oakville, Ontario, would look at the jar in passing, it sat untouched on the bathroom shelf for two years. Finally, he decided to test the theory of the oil.
Silvana’s hair had been dry and brittle from the sun and from swimming in chlorine. She decided to use the oil on her hair, and after she did, she was amazed at the immediate way the oil healed and strengthened her hair. Denis was amazed as well, particularly since he had worked in the beauty industry for 15 years.
After extensive research, Denis Simioni discovered that the intriguing oil comes from the nut of the Ojon tree. The Ojon tree is found in the Central American rainforest. It’s oil that has been used by the indigenous people of the region, the Tawira Miskito, for centuries. In fact, Tawira translates to “people of beautiful hair.”
Not only did Denis Simioni read up on the oil, instead of vacationing to Disney World, he decided to travel to the region to investigate truly why the oil is so effective.
He took a five-hour ride in a run-down single propeller plane. After landing in the middle-of-nowhere, he hiked for two hours before meeting members of MOPAWI, a local not-for-profit organization that works in the area to help protect the rainforest and the people who live there.
From there, was a five-hour canoe ride into the rainforest where he met the Tawira for the first time. What intrigued him most about the indigenous people is that they all had beautiful hair.
He noticed that the people of the rainforest wore hats to protect their hair from the sun. However, although the Tawira spend their lives out in the sun, the oil is so protective that they don’t need to wear hats.
With the help of the non-for-profit organization MOPAWI and local producers, Restorative Hair Treatment became Denis’ first product. From there, other products were created that also featured Ojon oil.
Denis worked hard to obtain intellectual-property protection for the Ojon derived products and worked with a small Italian skin-care manufacturing group to manufacture the products. As a result, the oil is exclusive to the Ojon line. No other company features the unique ingredient that has made Denis’ line so successful.
Due to Denis’ knowledge of marketing as a former advertising executive, he knew TV would be a good medium to launch the product. As a result, the Ojon products were first launched in 2003 on the popular QVC TV network. Immediately after the first airing, the product was sold out, and a wait list was started. Later, the products continued in popularity and revenue from the products grew into the millions.
It’s not only ordinary people who have fallen in love with the Ojon line. Celebrities such as Demi Moore and Scarlett Johansson have put their faith in the products.
Instead of relying on modern technology to harvest the nuts, the indigenous people are employed. The products are produced with a focus on sustainable harvesting where the processing of the Ojon oil is done entirely by hand as shown to Denis by the Tawira.
“We buy it direct from them, so we know the proceeds are going directly to them,” says Denis. The production has created thousands of jobs for the people of the region in villages located in Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua.
In addition, education, scholarships, and safety equipment has been provided. With this background, it helps to fight the notion that Denis Simioni and is Ojon line is taking advantage of the Tawira people.
For example, many Tawira children would deep-sea dive for lobsters in order to support the families. This activity was done as opposed to going to school. However, the production of the Ojon oil earns the children more money than diving and allows them to return to schooling. In addition, Denis has worked to provide better educational centers, and teachers as well as hospitals and other opportunities to improve the lives of the people.
Since the production of the products, in 2007, the line was acquired by the famous Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. for a reported 45 million. Combined with the Denis Simioni story along with the tale of his rainforest adventure and the power of Ojon oil, the product is one of the most unique that QVC has to offer. Typically, Simoni appears on the infomercials, helping to sell the product.
Estee Lauder’s focus for the product is a slightly different approach than QVC. Although the tale of how the product came to be is intriguing, the company also feels the public should be reminded of the scientific proof that the formula works. For example, hair can improve as much as 64 percent from the use of the Restorative Hair Treatment.
The quality hair repair product invented by Denis Simioni now includes an extensive line of hair care products for women of all races and hair types. There are shampoos, conditioners, treatments, prepping products, styling products and finishing products, all designed to give women the best hair that they can have as naturally as possible.
The Ojon brand, as with all Estee Lauder products, are considered high-end, and, therefore, are set apart from the typical shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products found in stores. The line can be found at the official Ojon website or at stores that carry the products.