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In Memory of : Arnold M. Miller- A Legend in Aesthetics

In Memory of : Arnold M. Miller- A Legend in Aesthetics

Mar/Apr 1993
President and Co-Founder of Matrix Essentials, Inc. Visionary, Entrepreneur and Hairdresser

Arnold M. Miller, 60, the dynamic industry leader who co-founded Matrix Essentials, Inc., in 1980 with his wife, passed away on December 26, 1992, in Boston, Massachusetts, after a year-long battle with cancer.

Non one did as much as Arnold Miller to help people look and feel beautiful. For four decades, he was a leader and visionary in the professional salon industry as a hair dresser, salon owner and entrepreneur. In just 12 years, Arnold and his wife, Sydell, as president and executive vice president, respectively, built Matrix Essentials, Inc., into the professional salon industry giant that it is today. In fact, Matrix Essentials, Inc., is the largest and one of the fastest growing companies that manufactures and markets hair care, skin care and color cosmetics products to beauty salons around the world.

According to Audits and Surveys, a New York-based market research film, Matrix is the largest professional hair care firm in total sales in the Unites States and Canada, with annual sales exceeding $150 million. But to beauty professionals around the world, "Arnie" was best recognized as a fellow hairdresser who always looked after other hairdressers, fought for them and put their needs first. Whether developing a new product line, promoting industry professionalism, designing new education programs or fighting diversion, Matrix Essentials, has always put the best interests of hairdressers first.

Now, with Sydell and a dedicated management team running the company, Matrix will continue to carry Arnie's versions, values and philosophies as it leads the industry into the twenty first century. "We will strive to continue Arnold's mission and to reach all the goals he so proudly envisioned," says Sydell, who is now president of Matrix.

Arnie began to improve the salon industry in 1952, when he began his career as a hair stylist with his brother, Martin. In 1955, Arnie opened his first salon in South Euclid, Ohio, where his business sense, drive and creative flair earned him a reputation as one of America's top stylists. That salon still exists as "Arnold and David's" and is owned and run by Arnie's nephew, David Porris, who has followed his uncle's footsteps as a successful hairdresser.

Always an entrepreneur, Arnie looked beyond his salon for new opportunities to contribute to his industry and profession. The Millers launched into the manufacturing end of the business in 1971 when they formed Ardell, Inc., (named for Arnie and Sydell) to market individually applied eyelashes, translucent hair color and conditioner and other hair care products. Ardell was sold in 1984 so that Arnie could devote full attention to Matrix.

During the '70s, Arnie wanted to create a full-service company that could offer salons a full spectrum of quality hair and cosmetics products and provide salon professionals with the education needed to survive in a competitive business environment. When Matrix realized that dream, but never lost sight of his vision or his desire to improve upon it and better the industry.

Matrix's product development philosophy is based on anticipating fashion needs and responding with innovative products and services to fill those needs. With this philosophy, Miller and Matrix have turned the salon into the most innovative beauty product source of the '90s, enabling today's busy woman to purchase any type of beauty product - hair care, skin care, and color cosmetics - when she visit's the salon. it's a one-stop shopping concept that really works. In 1985, Arnie, who always considered education a primary need in the industry, founded the Matrix Institute of Professional Development. More than 7,000 professionals have taken courses by top salon educators, including salon psychology, salon management and hands-on-learning.

During his career, Arnie was actively involved in numerous professional associations, including the National Cosmetology Association, Intercoiffure America, the American Beauty Association and the Cosmetology Arts and Sciences Institution Accreditation Committee Advisory Board. He also served as president of the National Beauty and Barber Association and was a board member of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association.

He was also an ardent supporter of community development. One of his most visible contributions centered on uniting hair salons with the anti-drug movement through the creation in 1990 of the charity S.T.A.N.D. - Salons Tell America No Drugs. The Millers also established a foundation through which their employees' children can receive college scholarships. This has major impact, when one considers that Matrix employs more than 850 full-time employees and continues to expand its Solon, Ohio, operations, which include extensive research and development, manufacturing, educational and office facilities. In addition, Matrix is a strong supporter of the United Way and achieved the largest corporate increase for Cleveland-area company donations last year.

The Millers have been honored for their contributions to the industry. In 1990, they were named "Man and Woman of the Year" by the American Beauty Association for their contributions towards shaping the destiny of the beauty industry. The California-based City of Hope Medical Facility named them "Spirit of Life" honorees, and Arnie was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" for Northeast Ohio by Ernst & Young, Inc. magazine and Merrill Lynch. In 1991, he accepted the Dively Entrepreneurship Award from the Harvard Business School Club of Cleveland. Most recently, Arnie and Sydell were elected to the National Cosmetology Hall of Fame, the first husband and wife team to be inducted.

The professional beauty industry and Matrix Essentials have suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Arne Miller. However, he left a tremendous mark on all. through his visions, theories and practices. Arnie worked with executives at Matrix to design an executive structure and team which will ensure that Matrix will continue to operate under his vision and that the industry never loses sight of the impact Arnie made during his life. He is survived by his wife, Sydell, a sister, Mrs. Eve Porris of Cleveland Heights; and daughters Lauren Spilman and Stacie Halpern, both of Cleveland and both Matrix executives who hold the positions of director of corporate travel and cosmetics product manager, respectively. Contributions may be sent to Sydell L. Miller Scholarship Foundation, c/o Matrix Essentials, Inc., 30601 Carter Street, Salon, OH 44139.