Max Eli Thompson loves creating color. He loves innovation in hair styling. And he loves pushing the envelope with new technology and experimentation.
And now he has the freedom to pursue his passion.
Already internationally known for his work creating the J Beverly Hills hair color line for stylist Juan Juan, the Lovell native recently started his own company – Max Eli LLP — and is spreading his line of products around the world under the Eli Colour brand.
“My passion is developing hair color. I’ve done it for many years,” he said during a Thanksgiving visit to his parents, Calvin and Parthena Thompson. “My passion is what’s available, technology I can tap into, because it’s ever changing.
“Color is color. Red is always red. What makes it unique is the cream base it’s formulated in and the chemicals that make it perform.”
Thompson left J Beverly Hills in December of 2015. It wasn’t that he didn’t like his job, but he wanted to spread his
“I always had a dream to one day have my own color line, my own company, where you’re in charge,” he said. “My former company had no incentive to revamp their own color line, but I knew the technology was available as I traveled the world and talked to chemists, who said, ‘Try this.’
“Skin care has changed so much in the last 10 years, so I wondered why hasn’t hair color stepped out of the approach it’s held? A lot of the brands (and formulas) have been out there since the 1930s. As I traveled I started seeing things in different parts of the world. I started looking at
different key ingredients and taking a pharmaceutical approach to hair color, working with chemists.”
Launching the company
In June of 2015 Thompson met with key factory representatives and chemists in Milan, Italy, brainstorming a new way to approach hair color.
“I gave my ideas on raw materials to see what I could achieve in hair color, and by December I knew we could succeed in developing the color.”
Thompson said he has
two business partners and the company has a Canadian corporate office in Calgary and another as Max Eli LLP of Scottsdale, Ariz. A European brand, Eli Colour is made in Italy with warehouses in Holland to reach European customers and in Seattle for American distribution.
He launched the line in Holland in July and secured distribution in Sweden, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. The product was then launched in North America on October 15 as Max Eli opened distribution in Southern California, Northern California, Indiana, Canada and Guadalajara, Mexico.
The next brand release is scheduled for January of 2017 in Amsterdam for distribution to Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Russia, Estonia, Romania, the Czech Republic and Germany.
Future distribution in the U.S. will take place in Idaho, Utah, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona during the first quarter of next year, and there are plans in the works for Asia and Australia.
Eli Colour is distributed exclusively through salons.
“I’m known for my hair color, but I love hairdressing,” he said. “I’m now in the process of creating a wet line – shampoo, gels, conditioner, mousse – exclusively for salons. We’ll also develop a retail line by the third quarter of 2017 – blow dryers, combs, brushes, scissors and flat irons.
“Every salon that purchases a line must attend a seminar and be certified to use the brand.”
Max Eli’s slogan is “Educate. Lead. Inspire.”
“It’s on everything,” Thompson said.
What sets Max Eli products apart? According to Thompson and a product brochure it’s key ingredients “that are unique in that they’re extremely versatile,” FlexPower mixing technology, MaxBond technology and pH Regulating Activator, among various components.
“I created a unique developer to regulate pH,” he said. “A hair artist has the ability to create the pH. The color is the same, but
you regulate how it works. FlexPower mixing technology provides the ability to mix in different ratios from translucent to matte results.
“The best part of being the owner is that I can promise you that in four years the key ingredients will change because I can change it. The key factor is to have the best performing hair color in the world.”
He said the Max Eli name comes from his father’s uncle, Max Lowe, and from his great-grandfather Eli Mayes.
By David Peck