BIG CEO - No Pun Intended
Derrick Porter, CEO, was first introduced to Beauty Industry Group (BIG) in 2006 when meeting its founder, Logan Woolley. Logan was a customer of Porter Brown Distribution, a 3rd party logistics company that Derrick had started with his father several years earlier. Derrick quickly realized that for him, the beauty space promised a new and exciting frontier where business was more easily scalable and he could focus on building a brand rather than running a service business. And so the decision was made to leave the world of warehousing and embark into the unknown. Porter and Woolley would spend the next ten years together growing BIG into an impressive company, housing many successful beauty brands, and employing hundreds of people.
In the early years and while seeking to grow BIG, the two tried everything from selling used cars, to importing dog bowls, electric scooters, and fine art, to starting businesses in the jewelry and construction work-gear space. Ultimately however, beauty won out and the two businessmen began to focus solely on professional beauty products.
“As a kid, I never dreamed I’d end up in the beauty industry,” admits Derrick, as he reflects on his journey with BIG. “Beauty products such as human hair, eyelashes, nail products...these were products I had never thought twice about until I saw Logan’s business. Thankfully he made room for me and now I can’t imagine life without it.”
Over the last ten years, Porter has spent countless hours growing the company, sourcing products, developing overseas partnerships, and building out the BIG team across the country. The journey has resulted in more than 1,000 nights being spent in more than thirty countries around the globe and today, more than 100,000 people using BIG products every year.
Only someone who devoted more than a decade running what started as a small, niche company could appreciate the growth as much as Derrick. He recalls fondly the early days when hours would go by without the phone ringing, spending nights in the dingiest of hotels (even once in the back of a truck just south of Las Vegas), being robbed in Italy, negotiating deals in South America using Google Translate as the intermediary, and even witnessing first-handed an arms deal in El Salvador.
When asked what has brought the most satisfaction he quickly responded “Our team”. He further elaborated: “Business demands that processes improve. But, if administered properly, it also allows people to improve, to grow, to become better, not only in their professional life but also in their personal life. Some of the greatest satisfaction I have felt is watching our team members do just that”.
Today, BIG owns multiple brands in the professional hair extension space, as well as companies in the cosmetic and e-commerce world. Tomorrow? Derrick’s intention is to be exactly that, only bigger and stronger. “The first ten years were spent building the infrastructure, the foundation...the next ten years I hope to spend going vertical, growing via acquisition, investing in our people and businesses, and continuing to create a premier place to work and be a part of in the professional beauty industry” says Porter.