Saphira Greenberg, Founder & CEO: Building A Brand from the Dead Sea
How Saphira Took Positive Psychology & 26 Minerals To Build A Haircare Brand
Over a late night dinner aboard a ship in The Bahamas, we sat down with Saphira Greenberg, the Founder and CEO of Saphira Hair. After spending a weekend with her family, team and educators on a celebratory trip at sea—we felt the energy the brand radiates from the inside out. Flash back only 48 hours earlier, we had set sail for an intimate weekend of learning more about the brand’s core values, their community and the study of mineralogy in their products.
This brought us to an impactful conversation—and story—that is sure to inspire future female entrepreneurs in the beauty industry. From studying positive psychology to starting a company that takes the healing minerals of the Dead Sea to care for the hair and scalp, Saphira shared her journey from the very beginning to where the brand is today.
How & why ‘positive psychology’ sets Saphira apart.
Before she landed in the professional beauty industry, Saphira studied positive psychology while working with an organization called Strong Women Strong Girls, an empowerment programming organization that’s rooted in female mentorship. Positive psychology was originally founded by Martin Seligman, who spoke about changing the interior dialogue in your mind when you face a negative situation from pessimistic to optimistic in his book “Learned Optimism”—aka turning negatives into positives.
“[The idea is] focusing on people’s strengths, or things that you might already have in life, like you have access to buy a journal. Even taking a nap, believe it or not, helps you have a more positive life—things that are accessible, so it’s not difficult to get there,” says Saphira. “It’s [about] taking these little things that [you] just don’t appreciate, that you can turn your life into something much more meaningful with very easy tools.”
So, how does positive psychology translate to haircare? There was a significant opportunity that came knocking that would change Saphira’s future forever.
How attending a hair show inspired Saphira to create a female-led haircare brand.
With an intrinsic motivation to empower, bring the study of positive psychology to others and give back, Saphira saw an opportunity in front of her. This happened while attending a global hair show in Italy with her husband Aviad—the now Co-Founder and COO of Saphira—who came from a professional beauty background in distribution.
“I went to all the meetings, and all the booths were just men. And they’re all talking about manufacturing, hair products, hair color, everything. But there were no women, and this was [about] 15 years ago. I was shocked and taken aback,” said Saphira. “Eventually, when we decided to get married, one of the things we said we would do was that: [We] would start a new company that would have a female voice behind a haircare product [line].” So, they did exactly that. After they were married, they took their wedding money, went to a lawyer and opened a company.
How 26 minerals from the Dead Sea changed everything.
Saphira products are infused with 26 minerals from the Dead Sea in Israel, the lowest place on Earth. While minerals were being used in skincare products at the time, Saphira saw a gap in the haircare industry. As a young couple with a clear vision, Saphira hired a chemist to see what the powers of these minerals could do for the hair and the scalp.
The Saphira philosophy believes that each person has their own unique “minerals” or beautiful qualities. “Just as the minerals revitalize, moisturize and heal, Saphira encourages each person to find the ‘minerals’ from within and to make positive contributions to our families, community and to the world,” their mission states.
Saphira and Aviad walked around the streets of New York City with a suitcase of products and sold them to salons that way. They knocked on doors and showcased their products in person—and this is where the marketing magic happened. Everyone knew what the Dead Sea was, but hadn’t seen something like this before in haircare, and just like that… salons’ doors opened to Saphira.
Then one day, they knocked on the door of Ricky’s NYC—who took on Saphira, which led to the brand’s next steps in growth. While Saphira was pregnant with her first child, she and Aviad stored all of the products in their basement and sent out the orders themselves. By the power of word of mouth and the quality of the products in stylists’ hands, Saphira has now grown to a haircare line of approximately 50 products, located in over 50 different countries.
Watch the Mineral Story of Saphira in the video below.
How stylists can actually use ‘positive psychology’ to empower themselves behind the chair.
Saphira found that many tools she learned in her studies could benefit stylists and improve their client experience, retention and overall business. While she observed hairstylists, she noticed the parallels to her studies in psychology and therapy work—like active listening that plays a huge role behind the chair; listening to clients, and making people feel beautiful. “There was a good synergy, everything aligned,” says Saphira.
That’s why the Saphira team focuses on empowering their stylists through community and being a ‘cheerleader’ for their businesses. “My father is a social worker, my mom is a family and marriage therapist, I come from positive psychology and Aviad [comes from the beauty industry],” Saphira told BTC.
How the values of family remain at the brand’s core.
From the beginning, Saphira’s parents Aviva and Joel Tessler raised her with deep, core values of respect and patience for one another. When the brand was born, they asked to join the company and have played an integral role ever since. Saphira says that the values of “family over business,” respect and patience keep the business a strong, supportive space to create and innovate within the industry.
Why every stylists should try ‘Mineral Mud.’
Mineral Mud was one of the first core products Saphira created, originally under the name ‘Hair Mask.’ “It was a risk,” says Saphira, from a marketing perspective to change the name to Mineral Mud. “But that’s what’s changing people’s lives.” She began receiving calls from women dealing with severe hair/scalp issues, sharing how this product gave them confidence again. “The Mud is our number one. It’s just a game changer,” says Saphira.
When to reach for Mineral Mud:
- For shine and a silky smooth finish
- To prevent and control frizz and mend split ends
- Reduce itchiness, dry scalp, inflammation and dandruff after only one use
Saphira educator @thehairwaytoheaven shares her favorite Saphira products.
Try the NEW Mineral+ Mud yourself—click here!
“Minerals play a crucial role in our daily bodily functioning and in our scalp and hair,” Saphira’s mission states. “A deficiency of essential minerals makes us vulnerable for premature hair loss and unnecessary breakage and damage of hair follicle development.”
After spending a weekend with Saphira, we felt the impact the brand carries from stylists to clients. “The most important thing in life is to go through [it] with a good name and to leave the world with a good name,” says Saphira. “Because you did everything in this world with your full heart and good intention to do what’s good.”
To learn more about Saphira products, the brand and how they’re giving back, click here.
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