Follea, the leading manufacturer of luxury, European human hair wigs and hairpieces prides itself on producing “Nature’s Most Beautiful Hair”.
With offices in Germany, the U.S., and the U.K., Follea has touched women worldwide. Their innovative products include the Gripper, Topette® Crown Extensions, integrations, fringes, falls and ponytails for women who desire full, illustrious hair. Follea products offer women a great beauty alternative and have become popular amongst women who face Alopecia Areata or have hair loss due to the side effects of chemotherapy. Follea strives to realize beauty, fashion the imagined, recreate the lost, and enhance the essential to the highest standards of their craft.READ MORE
The company was founded in 2000 by Daniel Hafid, a business savvy entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to the hair industry. Son of the renowned René of Paris, Daniel developed his love of hair through helping his father shape his empire and by working in the warehouse and eventually the executive offices. In 1999, after spending nearly a decade manufacturing hair he decided to move his work to China. There, Daniel mentored a small group of artisans and began building a 200,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art production center where today more than 600 artisans craft the world’s most beautiful wigs and hair additions.
In 2008, Daniel felt the next logical step in growing Follea was to open an office in the US. He turned to his good friend and high-tech guru, Michael Leigh to head up Follea USA in Beverly Hills, Calif. Knowing his reputation as the “turn around man” in the technology industry, Michael’s precise vision and ability to bring businesses to the next level made him the best person for the job. He has over 25 years of marketing, sales, and management experience and holds the position as president for Follea USA.
In an effort to offer women personalized care when choosing a hair loss product, Follea introduced the ICARe (Independent Client Area Representative) Representative Program in 2011. Representatives can be found throughout the U.S., Europe, UAE, Australia and Canada. Many salons are participating in the program and becoming ICARe salons, offering Follea products and women customized care, cuts, and styling for their human hair pieces and wigs.
Follea’s many unique, cutting edge products include the Gripper™ collection which offers women with thinning hair or total hair loss a lightweight, breathable option that stays in place without the use of tape or adhesives. Crown Extension Topettes™ are premiere hairpieces that are designed to mix in with client’s hair easily, help women who don’t have enough hair to support extensions, or protect hair from frequent styling. Follea’s leaders and artisans continually develop new products to offer women the newest trends in hair additions.
The vision for Follea continues to expand, helping women everywhere have access to “Nature’s Most Beautiful Hair”.
Michael Leigh is the president of Follea, Inc., known as the manufacturer of “Nature’s Most Beautiful Hair”. He is responsible for managing Follea’s worldwide operations from centers in Beverly Hills, California and Munich, Germany, encompassing a customer base on five continents.
A serial entrepreneur with a 30-year winning track record in fields as diverse as advertising and high technology, Michael has been applying his business acumen to creating a following for Follea’s trademark product, the world’s most beautiful added European hair. Michael has proven his expertise in taking companies from start-up to public, raised over $100 million in growth funding, and turned around many troubled companies that others had given up on.READ MORE
In 2008, Michael made a surprising career move because, in his own words, “I was dissatisfied with early retirement and became attracted to the hair and beauty industry by my good friend Daniel’s passion for creating the world’s best hair pieces from the world’s best hair.” This initial attraction transformed into Michael’s own passion when Follea’s customers, many with medical related hair-loss, looked in the mirror and told him that Follea had changed their life. Daniel Hafid, Follea’s Founder and CEO, who is based at its wholly-owned research, design and fabrication center in Weihai, China, asked Michael to spearhead the opening of Follea America in Beverly Hills, Calif. Daniel, the son of renowned René of Paris, admired Michael’s work and Michael was equally impressed with both Daniel and the company. Michael was very interested in the project because he had been exposed to the added-hair business as far back as the mid-‘80s when he helped his wife market her line of hairdresser education books and posters at various national hair and beauty shows. In just a few short years, Michael has helped Follea grow and expand into the premiere luxury hair brand with a global following.
Michael’s ambition and commitment to excellence was evident at a young age: born and raised in London, England, he graduated with four advanced level diplomas from the Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, a recipient of the #1 academic institution award in the United Kingdom, and then from the Watford College of Technology and the London College of Distributive Trades in the subjects of advertising and marketing management. After graduation, Michael joined the London office of Chicago-based Leo Burnett, one of the world’s top ten advertising agencies, where he was fast-tracked through their Executive Training Program. At the age of 21, Michael became the youngest account director in the agency, managing four national brand accounts. In all, he spent seven years in account management with leading advertising agencies before fulfilling his dream of moving to America in 1977 to become director of marketing for Holiday Inn Hotels, the largest hotel chain in the world, at their corporate headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. While there, Michael became excited by the potential of advanced telecommunications, successfully leveraging the lodging industry’s first global reservation and data network into a powerful marketing tool. This experience encouraged him to make the move in 1979 to high technology and to relocate to Los Angeles. After a brief association as a consultant, Michael became vice president of sales and marketing, and later the COO of Tekelec, Inc.
Reporting directly to the Chairman, he led the company from start-up stage to public between 1982 and 1987. During his tenure, revenues grew over 2000%, through 22 consecutive profitable quarters, and the company became the market leader in communications simulation and test tools for the development of what became known as “the Internet”. Tekelec sold over $300 million of the “Chameleon 32” product line that Michael conceived and introduced in 1986 and the product continued to sell for over ten years after his departure.
Following his success with Tekelec, Michael was inspired to start his own strategic technology-marketing practice. In 1987, Michael founded the firm that became Technology MarketForce Inc. (TMF.com) and held the title of CEO. TMF is an accelerator, incubator and matchmaker of early and middle-stage technology-oriented companies. Business quickly grew and TMF represented and advised many companies including: US West, Access360 (sold to IBM) and Legent (sold to Computer Associates), just to name a few. Michael has a success story for each of his past clients and is considered a high technology marketing guru. In addition, Michael co-founded Lynx Photonic Networks, Inc., a company that designed patented optical switches for the next stage of the Internet revolution. After 9/11 the company subsequently relocated to Israel to focus on security applications. TMF continued to be the pre-eminent Management and Strategic Alliance “Technology MatchMaker ?” for emerging technology companies.
Michael’s success comes not only from his experience in managing people, finances, operations, personnel, research and development, sales and marketing, but from finding unconventional individual stars and putting them together to create a superstar team. A valuable lesson he’s learned along the way is that there’s a very fine line between success and failure and never to rely on what has worked in the past as an indication of what will work in the future.
A well-respected expert in his field, Michael has been a guest speaker and panelist at dozens of research analyst, investment banker and telecommunications industry events, as well as having many articles and quotes published, most recently, about hair and beauty for women with little or no hair of their own. He has been a guest lecturer at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and participated in two of Tom Peters’ famous “In Search of Excellence” so-called Skunk Camps.
Michael lives with his wife in the beach community of Santa Monica, California and in Provence, France. His hobbies include chess, soccer, motor sports, and hiking. He has both a U.S. and U.K. (CE) passport, speaks fluent French, and enjoys the contrasts of a multi-national heritage.
“Learn from the Past, Live for Today, Think for Tomorrow”
- Michael Leigh, President of Follea, Inc.
Vicka Khanis is head stylist for Follea, Inc., the leading designer and manufacturer of natural European wigs and hairpieces.
She is responsible for creating custom colors for Follea, styling and cutting wigs, and providing advice to clients and stylists who need help caring for their Follea hair.
With over 20 years of hairstyling experience, having a thriving career and a thorough education proved important to Vicka from a young age. Born in Odessa, Russia, where cosmetology was a very lucrative career, Vicka was determined to be successful and decided to attend beauty school right after she graduated high school. Upon completion of her courses she continued to master her craft by studying barbering in Russia at a high-rated cosmetology school. There she studied color, geometry, art, chemistry and learned the esteemed Vidal Sassoon hair cutting technique that revolutionized haircutting and gave women access to manageable modern hairstyles.READ MORE
Vicka’s beauty schooling provided her with skill, confidence and a sense of accomplishment. In 1989, feeling secure in her abilities and curious about the United States, she decided to visit Beverly Hills, California. Once she arrived she knew she could call this home. Enamored by the lifestyle and beautiful scenery, she opted to stay in California and searched for work. She began working at Arthur Johns Salon in West Hollywood and soon after became an esthetician at Santa Monica College. Studying chemistry in her early years at beauty school allowed her to understand hair more deeply and helped her realize she could apply that knowledge in fields outside of cosmetology. As a result, she became a pharmacy technician and procured a job preparing drugs for chemotherapy patients. Although, she enjoyed her work as a pharmacy technician, she knew her heart was in hair and she committed to continue learning as much as possible about hair.
With hard work and dedication, more opportunities came Vicka’s way. She began assisting founder of “Top Secret Haircessory” and hair extension expert, Denise Rossouw, and was trained to apply color and weaves for clients. People started recognizing her talent and she was asked to do make-up and hair for photo shoots and had her big break when she worked on the movie Liar, Liar, applying extensions for an actress in the movie. Since then, she has worked for Henri salon in Westwood, learning to style wigs for clients; trained at Carlton Hair; studied color perfection at Goldwell Academy; and became certified in the Yuko Hair Straightening System. She later trained with Tec Italy, renowned for its dynamic and innovative hair products, and she was honored to work on a show preparing color and hair for the company.
In 2008, Vicka brought her expertise and passion for hairstyling to Follea, Inc. At the U.S. Follea headquarters in Beverly Hills, California, she created the 4C curriculum and teaches the 4C classes (customize, color, cut and care) that she developed with the help of a scientist friend. She loves the work she is doing and knows she is making a difference in her clients’ lives.
“I love to make people happy. I’m a perfectionist. I like when a woman looks good from head to toe and constantly upgrades her look to stay in style,” says Vicka. “Follea hair can improve a woman’s self-esteem, making life seem much better to her. When clients are distraught over losing their hair, I like that I can help them and give them a solution that will change their life.”