An entrepreneur’s tail
SEPTEMBER 11, 2021
It was about seven years ago that Terra DiSpirito realized the need to raise funds to help the animals get medical treatment or find permanent homes when she began volunteering at the Castaic Animal Care Center.
The Santa Clarita resident has been a hairstylist for more than 25 years and an animal lover for even longer.
“I wanted to start something so I can either donate to their medical care, donate to their adoption fees or donate to the rescue that saves them,” DiSpirito said.
So DiSpirito got the idea to combine her two passions — her career as a hairdresser and hobby as a shelter volunteer — to create Fig and Star beauty products, which she named after her own adopted shelter pups.
Terra DiSpirito with Fig and Star Beauty beauty supplies and shelter dog, who inspired the company. Courtesy
DiSpirito started developing the company concept in 2019, after the idea to create a more natural, sulfate-free, made-in-the-USA haircare line came to her at a trade show in Las Vegas.
Fig and Star then went live in March 2020, just as the pandemic hit.
“We launched literally the first week of COVID, so I was terrified,” she said. “I thought I (would have been able to) get out there and do boutiques and trade shows, but the whole first year of my company I just had to do everything online.”
However, with most turning to online shopping during the pandemic, DiSpirito was still able to gain some traction and expand the company, which now has more than two dozen products, for hair, skin, body and even pets.
Terra DiSpirito volunteers at the Castaic Animal Care Center. Courtesy
“We donate most of our profit back to the shelter animals,” DiSpirito said, adding that partial proceeds from sales are donated to rescues and utilized to pay “pull” fees at shelters, which rescues have to pay for each animal they rescue. “Mine and my husband’s goal is to open an animal rescue with this.”
Now, DiSpirito finds herself juggling her full-time job as a hairstylist, volunteer work at the Castaic Animal Care Center as she manages the center’s social media, and business owner duties at Fig and Star, all on top of her full-time mom duties to two kids and her animals — five dogs, a turtle and three hamsters.
“It’s really challenging,” she said, “(but) I just really schedule myself. Every day, I write a list of what I need to accomplish for the day.”
DiSpirito also takes inspiration from her mom, who was a single mother working two jobs.
“I really admired her … and I just saw the passion my mom had and how hard she worked, so anytime I get down on myself, (I think of her), and say, ‘I can do this,’” DiSpirito added.
Terra DiSpirito with Fig and Star Beauty beauty supplies. Courtesy
It’s this passion and dedication that is recognized by DiSpirito’s family, who are cheering her on.
“I can’t speak enough about how hard she has worked to get this company going, especially since she launched it in the middle of the pandemic,” said DiSpirito’s husband, Jason Hill. “I’m continuously amazed at how she balances a full-time hairstylist, a dedicated shelter volunteer, entrepreneur and amazing mom to our two boys.”
To date, Fig and Star has donated more than $2,500 to help save animals and is proud to be a Santa Clarita-based company working to help the local shelter community.
“I’m really trying to kind of represent the Santa Clarita community,” DiSpirito said, adding that she hopes to also inspire other local residents to do the same. “I want people to know that you can start (a successful company) from anywhere, it doesn’t just have to be L.A.”
Writer: Emily Alvarenga