Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with MariLynne Cosmillo, Founder of hOURS haircare, located in Voorhees, NJ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

hOURS is a professional haircare line that knows the time we spend on our hair should be a moment of reflection and connection and not just a routine. We pair professional performance with premium ingredients to turn your styling routine into an experience. We make safe, effective, and luxurious hair care. Our customers are those who relate to the value of time and how precious it is, whether it be the modern professional or consumer who is looking for products their hairstylist trusts and recommends.

Tell us about yourself

I'm a busy mom of 2, a hairstylist, and the founder of hOURS. I've been shampooing hair since I was 14 years old, and since then, I've held many positions during my 20-year career. I spent many years in NYC styling loyal and elite clients, in product development, stylist education, and salon operations. I was always a witness to the deep relationship we have with our hair and how a quality experience can make people feel like the best possible version of themselves. When friends, family, and clients would ask for a product recommendation that I couldn't confidently provide - one that would meet their expectations of safe, effective, luxurious, and attainable - I knew there was a need that could serve both stylists and modern consumers.

I've been lucky enough to have a few women in my life who have inspired me to reach different career milestones, and one of my biggest takeaways is to keep evolving and learning, to be open to new opportunities, and I've found a lot of fulfillment in accomplishing something I haven't done before.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Seeing my brand and products in salons, the foundation of my career has been incredibly rewarding. Having my peers enjoy, trust, and recommend these products to their clients creates a full-circle moment for me.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Learning everything for the first time. I've had so much experience in hair that even when there was something new, it felt familiar. Starting a business is a humbling experience over and over again - you're never the expert if you're growing.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Have a support person or group. I couldn't have gotten through all of the hurdles I faced without someone cheering me on and encouraging me to keep going.
  2. Be resourceful. Search for and reach out to people who are experts in their field and just have conversations with them about your business; you never know how it can help you.
  3. When the long road ahead feels overwhelming, remember to look back at how far you've come. It's motivating to remember how much of what you thought was impossible you have already accomplished.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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