The Most Influential Women in Leadership to Watch, 2021
(Link to Article) (Digital Magazine) Mary D. Ahrens, Founder and CEO of Hair4Good, defines success as love and happiness. Happiness in all facets of life – professional, personal and spiritual. She considers herself extremely fortunate in life that so many people, personally and professionally, have supported her and shared their knowledge, goodwill, respect and kindness. She agrees that it is only fitting to pay it forward and do the same for others. To this end, she started a philanthropic haircare online boutique.
The Haircare Market Mary’s inspiration to get into the haircare market came from 27 years of experience. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in an industry that she absolutely loves. Over the years, she has built many friendships in this industry. These connections aid her in running her business. She has been recognized as one of the 10 Leading businesswomen for 2020 by Exeleon magazine. She has been included in Marquis Who’s Who and recognized for Leadership in Philanthropy.
Concentrate On The Positive Mary acknowledges that she has faced several roadblocks, setbacks and obstacles in her professional journey. Notwithstanding, she prefers to ignore the negative, refusing to dwell on it. Rather, she chooses to look on the positive side and make the most of it. She confesses that she has made many mistakes along the way rather than of focusing on the mistakes, she focus on lessons learned. She recognizes that challenges make us who we are today. They are just one aspect of our personal journey. Challenges open up a world of knowledge and new experiences. Through all her experiences, she decidedly maintains a positive attitude. She considers herself as a Happ-a-mistic person, that is, happy and optimistic.
A Hair Company With A Heart Hair4Good is a female-owned, philanthropic, entrepreneurial hair accessory company based in Wilton, CT. They provide the highest quality stylish haircare accessories. They supply a wide choice of brushes, combs, scrunchies, bows, jaw clips, pins, clips and many other accessories – their selection is extensive. These innovative and beautiful hair accessories and styling tools, featuring many unique items. Hair4Good donates 50% of their profits to children’s charities and reinvest the remaining profit is reinvested back into the company to build the business. Their goal is to help make life a little easier for children in need. Their corporate charities include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Autism Speaks, Lifting Up Westchester, Circle of Care and Make a Wish Foundation. Through Hair4Good, Mary hopes that their products will add beauty to our lives and the lives of children in need.
A Sales Career Mary started her sales career at the age of 20. She was not even old enough to rent a car. She vividly remembers her first sales call. making a call on America’s largest retailer. Her heart was pounding and to say that she was scared out of her mind would be an understatement, but to her surprise, after meeting with one if the kindest gentleman she ever called, she wrote her first million-dollar order. This was an exhilarating experience that proved the power of positive thinking. She considers herself fortunate because throughout her tenure she got to call many incredible people. This experience with her first sales call was the springboard that launched her career in sales. It kindled a love for sales, and she will forever be grateful for this opportunity.
Work hard, play hard, family first Hair4Good’s focus is on honesty, transparency, fairness, collaboration, work ethic and kindness. They ensure a culture of integrity and innovation in the company by reminding and encouraging everyone to express opinions and share ideas. This is fundamental to their philosophy. They are a very lean machine, and everyone has a share in the company’s success. The core values of Hair4Good are philanthropy, product quality and innovation and professional integrity. They foster an environment where everyone plays a role in their success. Every member is passionate about their mission to help children in need. They work hard and invest long hours. Even so, maintaining a work-life balance is a priority for them. They continually remind each other of this priority. They are a ‘work hard, play hard, family first’ company. Mary owes her success to the love and support of her lifelong soulmate Frank and their incredible son Daniel. She considers Frank and Daniel as her pillars of support and the best gift in life she could ever ask for. She testifies that they make things possible and are the source of inspiration for Hair4Good.
All work and no Play Mary’s life before Hair4Good was a devotion to work with extensive travel. For more than 20 years, she in corporate sales. She was the youngest corporate officer at her previous company and also one of the first few corporate female officers. In the sales industry, she managed every aspect including profit and loss management, budgets, long-term sales strategy, advertising, face-to-face customer sales call and top to top meetings. She had an intense work schedule that kept her away from her family for extended periods of time. The biggest lesson learned from her career path is the importance of spending quality time with family and friends. Because her personal time was in such short supply, she learned to appreciate the simple joys of life. She finds herself extremely fortunate to have a loving and supportive family.
Entrepreneurial Efforts As the CEO of Hair4Good, Mary is responsible for all facets of the business. Her typical workday consists of everything from product development, sourcing, legal, sales, logistics and advertising. Mary’s plans for Hair4Good are to increase sales and generate an ongoing giving stream to their charities. They will continue to develop innovative and fashion-forward product assortment categories. They will concentrate on growing sales and profits. Her message to women in leadership is – “Embrace your mistakes and think of failure as a stepping-stone to your future success, and; always be kind.”