Hendersonville has long been known for having an abundance of celebrities among its residents. On any given day, it is not unusual to walk into a local restaurant or supermarket and encounter legendary members of the Grand Ole Opry as well as the next generation of rising performers.

However, on Wednesday Nov. 6, local celebrity sightings soared to new heights with a visit from billionaire styling mogul John Paul DeJoria, cofounder of the Paul Mitchell line of hair care products and founder of the Patrón Spirits company. In addition, DeJoria and his business partner Winn Claybaugh are the founders of Paul Mitchell The School, a prestigious beauty institution with more than 110 locations around the world.

DeJoria and Claybaugh were in town to celebrate the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the newest Paul Mitchell school. Located in the Maple Row Shopping Center adjacent to PetSmart, Paul Mitchell The School Nashville is a beauty training facility that prepares future professional stylists for a career in cosmetology, esthetics and nail care. The state-of-the-art 13,600 sq. ft. facility has the capacity to handle up to 250 students at one time.

In a scene reminiscent of a Hollywood awards show, DeJoria, Claybaugh and local school owners Dale and Kimberlyn Jones arrived by limousine and walked a red carpet before greeting a crowd of over 200 enthusiastic students, faculty members and local dignitaries. Shortly after their arrival, the group posed for multiple photo opportunities before retiring to a packed conference room to address the attendees.

“I’m so excited to welcome Hendersonville and the Nashville area to the Paul Mitchell family,” said Claybaugh, dean of the Paul Mitchell Schools during his opening remarks. “As with all our Paul Mitchell schools, Dale and Kimberlyn Jones and their Hendersonville team share our common mission of doing so much more than merely producing beauty school graduates. We’re out to change the industry by making better human beings.”

Following Claybaugh’s presentation, DeJoria took to the stage to give a motivational talk about how to live to be 125 years old by through diet, exercise, stress relief and giving back to others.

“At Paul Mitchell Schools, we believe that education is an adventure and the learning experience needs to be fun and well-rounded,” said DiJoria. “We provide our students, or future professionals, as we call them with the technical and business skills that they need to succeed, while also emphasizing the importance of social and community responsibility.”

 DiJoria also talked about having started the Paul Mitchell enterprise in 1980 with his late cofounder Paul Mitchell. He stressed the importance of not giving up when times are tough.

“During the beginning, Paul and I started the company with only $700. Things were so tight that I lived out of my car for several weeks,” recalled DiJoria with a twinkle in his eye. “After two years, we finally realized that we were going to make it the first month after we were able to pay all of our bills on time and still have some cash left over.”

After DiJoria’s talk, local Paul Mitchell school co-owner Dale Jones addressed the crowd, expressing his gratitude for the successful opening of his Hendersonville location.

“Kimberlyn and I are truly excited to be back into the Hendersonville and Nashville market,” said Jones. “We are truly blessed to be able to work with such a talented team that is dedicated to preparing our future professionals.”

At the conclusion of Jones’ remarks, Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Kathleen Hawkins offered an official welcome to the city, before sending the crowd outside for a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

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