From Bullied Child to Beauty Industry Pioneer: Marrico Simpson’s Inspirational Journey

For Marrico Simpson, the path to entrepreneurial success was paved with adversity from an early age. Growing up with a severe stutter in his hometown of State Line, Mississippi, Simpson was routinely bullied by his peers. The taunting and social isolation took a heavy toll.

“It was extremely difficult and affected my self-esteem and confidence. I was embarrassed to speak up and became withdrawn,” Simpson recalls. “But my faith in God gave me strength during those tough times.”  

Simpson also found solace from bullying and his speech impediment challenges in cutting hair at the age of 11. He developed a strong interest in barbering and even began practicing on family members, friends, and on himself. 

With prayer, perseverance, and courage, Simpson gradually overcame his stutter throughout his youth. Though the impediment limited his verbal communication early on, it forced him to develop resilience and stronger listening skills. Simpson shares, “I learned the value of patience, empathy, and determination. I had to work harder than most kids to express myself. But it taught me to embrace challenges and use obstacles as opportunities for growth.” This formative experience laid the foundation for Simpson’s mental toughness and resilience which served him well later in his military and entrepreneurial career.

After high school, Simpson enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving for a decade before being medically retired. During his service, Simpson suffered kidney damage that resulted in a chronic kidney disease diagnosis. However, hope was not lost, while serving his country, Simpson had decided to pursue his childhood interest in barbering. He became a licensed barber while obtaining his cosmetologist licenses, followed by his barber and cosmetologist instructor licenses. Shortly after, Simpson decided to open his own barber shop named “Cut N’ Shears” and started his own Barber and Cosmetology School titled “4MAS Barber Academy”, both based in Suffolk, Virginia.

Rather than being deterred by adversity, Simpson viewed his health condition as a motivating factor. “The kidney disease was difficult to process after the speech issues I overcame as a kid,” Simpson admits. “But those early challenges taught me to have a resiliency mindset. I saw this as an opportunity to create solutions for others struggling with similar circumstances.”

One such solution was the genesis of Simpson’s wildly successful business idea that came to him while teaching one of his students at his Barber Academy. Simpson described, “I was teaching my student how to groom his hair when he was having trouble understanding the direction to cut his hair. I taught him the principle – you cut your hair the same way you brush it.” This is what birthed the idea of a clipper and brush combined into one – The CutBrush.

Drawing upon his design skills and entrepreneurial spirit, Simpson pioneered an entirely new concept – the CutBrush, the world’s first combination clipper and brush tool. With its innovative bristles, the CutBrush allows barbers to efficiently cut and brush hair simultaneously without needing separate tools. 

 However, Simpson’s journey wasn’t without its share of initial failures and lessons learned. The first CutBrush production run experienced quality control issues, with some comb attachments not staying in place causing uneven haircuts. Negative reviews poured in from dismayed customers.

But failure wasn’t something new for the former bullied child turned tenacious entrepreneur. Simpson remarks, “Dealing with that childhood bullying and speech therapy taught me resilience early on. With the CutBrush issues, I had to embrace that same grit and persevere.”

Using customer feedback, Simpson and his team at the Black-owned 4MAS Grooming Inc. worked tirelessly to improve the CutBrush design and reinforce quality control processes. The revamped version exceeded expectations with raving reviews and sales rapidly multiplied.

In just a couple of years, 4MAS grew over 7000% and landed on the Inc 5000 list as one of America’s fastest-growing companies in 2022. Today, the brand offers a full line of clippers, trimmers, and accessories aimed at simplifying grooming for people of color. 

For Simpson, this remarkable success symbolizes the life lessons that began with his childhood stutter. “Having that speech impediment shaped me in ways I couldn’t appreciate at the time,” he reflects. “It forced me to embrace adversity, build resilience, and see obstacles as opportunities – keys to any entrepreneurial journey.”

The 4MAS founder hopes to inspire others by proving challenges can be transformed into achievements. Part of all profits go towards kidney disease research and youth speech therapy initiatives. Simpson’s wife, co-founder, and VP, Shash Ann Simpson along with Simpson’s mother, Pamela Causey played crucial roles in excelling business operations for 4MAS. Corey Ellis, the co-founder, VP of Operations, and head of the 4MAS Team also contributed tremendously to 4MAS’s exponential success.

© Provided by Marrico Simpson

Looking ahead, Marrico Simpson plans to rapidly expand 4MAS’ innovative grooming solutions while increasing philanthropic giving. His unique ability to persevere despite setbacks is and always will be a guiding force.

“True success means lifting others up with you and never losing faith, even when things look bleak,” Simpson states firmly. “My early struggles taught me that embracing adversity opens doors that could never be opened otherwise. I’m walking through those doors with a fresh perspective on turning obstacles into opportunities.”

No matter what new challenges arise, Marrico Simpson’s incredible rise proves he’ll face them head-on with resilience. This leader’s journey from a bullied child to a barrier-breaking entrepreneur shows that with courage and resolve, anyone can pioneer solutions – even to problems that once seemed insurmountable.

Check out Marrico Simpson and the innovative 4MAS Grooming brand:

IG: @4mas_grooming

FB: @4MASGrooming  

TikTok: @4mas_grooming

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