Amy Errett wasn’t the likely candidate to reinvent women’s haircare. For one thing, she doesn’t color her hair. For another, she’d never built a company shipping physical goods before.
And this wasn’t lost on her high-powered Silicon Valley network, who couldn’t quite understand why someone so “smart” was wasting her time on such a frivolous category. One they (Usually men whose wives could easily afford $400 salon treatments) just didn’t “get.”
Instead of listening to the Valley elite, Errett listened to her nine-year-old daughter who’d heard her ask countless family friends about their hair routine, whether they colored it, what they used, if they were concerned about the toxins in those treatments, the ammonia that could burn a hole in a tiled floor. She was aghast at how the traditional consumer packaged goods industry had convinced women that searing chemicals was how you knew a hair treatment was “working.”
One day her daughter– Madison– asked her, “So are you going to do it? Are you going to save women’s lives?” Errett not only took her daughter’s advice, she named the company after her.
Madison, and the company Madison Reed, have both grown up a lot since then. While early on, Errett insisted they’d be online-only, the company has just opened its first Drybar-like, pop-up “root touch up” shop in New York, is selling its product in Sephora, on QVC, and soon Ulta.
In her typical no-holds-barred style, Errett tells the story of her unlikely journey from VC to hair color pioneer, how motherhood made her better at building a company this time around, and why she may build a company that can go public, but she’ll never be a public company CEO...