The Beginnings of Oribe

It requires both incredible discipline and dedication to create and continuously build a brand. 

We’re going to learn a thing or two about building your own brand from the ground up from Daniel Kaner, the President and Co-Founder of the incredibly successful luxury hair brand, Oribe

Daniel graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. It was his wife, Sonia Kashuk, a recognized name in beauty with her own makeup line sold in Target, who introduced Daniel to Aveda’s founder, Horst Rechelbacher, and drew him into the industry. Years later, after working with Aveda and moving into a leadership position with Bumble and Bumble, Daniel saw an opportunity in the prestige segment of professional haircare and seized the opening by creating a brand that offers a unique, best in class perspective. 

As a brand leader, Daniel is Involved in every aspect of the brand from product development to package design to sales and marketing. He’s a passionate brand builder who maintains close relationships with his top clients and suppliers. He acts as a mentor to his team and he is the culture keeper at the Oribe offices. Learn more about how Daniel started his own beauty brand and took luxury haircare to the next level. 

It’s All About Who You Know

Like most industries, your connections shape your success. In beauty, it’s all about who you know. And while Daniel had certainly built his own valuable network throughout his years at Aveda and Bumble and Bumble, his wife, Sonia, was always introducing him to the biggest names in the industry, including the infamous Oribe Cannales. 

Sonia and Oribe had worked on many editorial styling projects together over the years. She would do the makeup and Oribe would be in charge of styling the hair. Sonia always believed that Oribe was a brand waiting to happen. 

Oribe was a big name in fashion, he styled hair in such a way that it became just as much of a talking point as the clothing itself. His creative timeline is really quite impressive. He’s responsible for many firsts in the fashion industry. He is credited with introducing the wig to American fashion and he was the first American session artist to work on European editorial shoots. 

Daniel and his business partner, Tevya Finger, found the perfect collaborator in Oribe. Back in 2008, all beauty categories had good, better, and best categories with the exception of haircare. Daniel and Tevya wanted to fill the void by creating something luxury, quality and boutique, and who better to partner with than the top editorial stylist, Oribe Canales. 

As A Leader, How Do You Decide What to Focus On?

Daniel is so involved in every aspect of his brand and the business that each day looks very different from the next. We’re often taught that as entrepreneurs, we have to have this sort of laser focus in order to grow our businesses or develop our leadership skills, but for Daniel, it’s more important to be a part of the fun.

At Oribe, Daniel and his team have such a collaborative management style that regardless of “official” title, everyone is involved in just about everything. Daniel sits in on meetings with his product development team, his marketing team, you name it. Daniel is always trying to listen more and allow other voices on his team to grow. Sometimes he can’t help but share his own insights, of course, this simply speaks to his passion for his brand at every level of business. 

There’s a delicate balance between practicing, managing, coaching and developing and Daniel often finds himself right in the thick of it all, but honestly—that’s how he likes it. 

Always Be Thinking About How to Attract Your Dream Client

As a brand owner and ambassador, you should always keep your dream clients top of mind. Oribe is sold in salons, select pharmacies and in upscale department stores out on the beauty floor (think Neiman Marcus). Oribe is very selective about which associates they have selling their products because they want the in-store experience to speak to their brand.

Of course, Oribe’s focus is ultimately in the salon world. For Daniel and his partners, the perfect Oribe salon would be one that has a strong culture made up of the most passionate people. They’re always looking to get into salons with good leadership that really value education, growth and development in much the same way as Oribe. 

Oribe does gravitate toward high end salons with a craftsman-like cutting and coloring style. They work with some of the best salons throughout the U.S. and abroad, and Daniel could tell you a number of the salon owners names because that’s how tied to his brand he really is.

Daniel is a true visionary. With the help of his team, Daniel has grown his brand from the ground up without ever losing sight of it’s true potential. As Daniel says, you don’t have to be famous to set a standard for the people that you work with or the customers that you care for. It’s in your heart and in your head--it’s your brand. 

If you’d like to learn more about Daniel’s incredible journey in the beauty industry, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 181. Don’t forget to check out the Oribe website to see what all the hype is about!

Samantha Georgson