20 Years Through The Eyes of Stell Andrew
The Rush Brand began in 1994 with 2 hairdressers filled with passion, drive & ambition. Twenty years on and sixty one salons under the brand’s umbrella, founders Andy Phouli and Stelios ‘Stell’ Andrew reflect on their journey, the growth of the brand and their partnership.
We reveal why Stell says “I am in love with this company…”
Why did you call the brand ‘RUSH’?
SA: The name for the brand came from the back page of a newspaper, the heading said RUSH and it caught my eye. Rush also being the buzz word of the nineties party scenes, it all just seemed fitting that this name was right for us.
What qualifications do you have that helped start your career as a hairdresser and businessman?
SA:I was good at two things at school; Art and Maths, but my business skills were taught to me by my father. I started helping out in the family business from the age of twelve. That gave me a great understanding of business from an early age.
How soon after launching the first salon did you decide to open more? Are you the fastest growing salon group in the UK?
SA: Twelve was the target from the offset, it has gone beyond our wildest dreams! And yes, Rush is the fastest growing salon group in the UK.
What have you learnt about business during the empire building process?
SA: After twenty five years in business you just know when to make the right call, it’s a gut instinct but that doesn’t mean you stop learning every single day.
What have you personally learnt from launching a salon group?
SA: I have learnt how retail on the high street works. I think I now have a degree in this subject, but like I said before, there is always something to learn everyday.
What is your greatest achievement?
SA: Andy would agree that our greatest achievement in business is building a brand from scratch and working hand in hand against all the odds. We have over come every obstacle that has been put in our way and we stood united through thick and thin. Today, we are very proud of what the Rush brand has become.
Why do you think your partnership works?
SA: Our friendship is beyond anything you could ever imagine, nothing can ever break this partnership and that is the strength behind the Rush brand. We have always looked out for each other no matter what happens.
Is there any major decision you disagreed about – how did you change the others mind?
SA: We have never ever had major disagreements but sometimes different views. Whoever was more head strong on an idea would win, we complement each other. It is a magical ingredient that has given us great success over the years.
When and why did you add Beauty into the mix?
SA: Andy’s sister was the driving force behind that! She is a fantastic therapist and passionate about this industry.
Within your career there have been amazing high points, but running a business is a series of highs and lows – how do you pick yourself up when things haven’t gone to plan?
SA: Taking risks in business is what it’s all about; you cannot be afraid to fall sometimes. Failing is a part of business. Entrepreneurs are not afraid of failure, they learn from their mistakes and find a better method to move forward! This is our philosophy.
Is there anything you wish you had done?
SA: If I knew what I know now, I would have done a lot of things differently, but I have no regrets! It makes you the person you are today. You live and you learn.
Over the years how have Rush’s clients influenced the growth of the brand?
SA: Without our loyal clients Rush doesn’t have a brand. Everything we do is to make our clients experience the best and we have been lucky enough to have so many loyal clients that have supported the brand for all these years.
Our motto is to serve the client doing hair the Rush way.
What does Rush offer to people looking to join the group as franchise partners?
SA: It is a great chance to be your own boss, get great job satisfaction and earn a great living doing something you will love. We take a lot of the risk away due to our experiences over the years. There is no business like hairdressing, it ticks so many boxes!
Do you still cut hair?
SA: Not any more. I overlook all the creative work and guide the Rush Artistic Team, this team has done some amazing things over the years they have won every major award in the industry. This is where my true passion lies; in the creative part of the industry.