In this episode Nathan Plumridge talks to Colin McAndrew, MD of Medusa Hair – one of the fastest growing salons in Scotland, about his inspirations, his challenges and his passions.
- Growing up I had three central female figures in my life, my two older sisters and my Mum – Dad disappeared. I went to salons with my sisters when they were baby-sitting me, Mum worked two jobs. I loved the atmosphere in that space. After I left school I got an apprenticeship in a beautiful salon on Prince’s Street in Edinburgh where I learned how to make coffee and tea. Within nine months I was a hairdresser in their eyes. I had a real desire to not be in poverty so I worked two jobs, seven days a week.
- Mental health is a big concern and well being. I don’t say that flippantly or cheaply. I think the onus is on us to have the right balance between targets, driving and moving forward without adding to anxiety and levels of stress. If you’re still running your business and your team in the same way as you were 15 years ago, you’re really outdated – 15 months ago is outdated. But on the back of that, as correct as it is to say it's OK not to be OK, it’s also OK to say I’m going to try my hardest to change that feeling. I have a horrible feeling that resilient young people are becoming more alien than the norm. Everyone deserves the best life, but the reality is (unless you marry a footballer), you’re going to have to work really hard to get your best life. That message is missing at home and in schools.
- I’ve always been obsessed with personal security rather than wealth. I’ve always wanted to know that if, god forbid, something went wrong £1000-£5000 can probably cover it. When my Mum’s fridge broke down we’d have to wait two months without a fridge, so I’ve always wanted enough money to buy white goods whenever I need to. At 46 it’s still my attitude: “Have we got a fridge-freezer in the bank?”
- Without the team there is genuinely nothing. I want the team to have as many opportunities – always say when someone joins Medusa: “We’re a company of opportunity, I don’t care if you’ve been here six days, six weeks or six years, if there’s something coming up and you’re good, we’ll help you, or if we think you’re the perfect fit for it then we’ll do it.
‘When I went to Medusa I had two other jobs in the city that were much better paid, but I knew Medusa was my opportunity to grow in an artistic sense – I didn’t imagine buying the company in the future, but I thought this is going to give me a platform.’
‘Every team member thinks we’re millionaires, and I know we’re remunerated better than anybody else in the company, but ultimately we’ve got the bigger risk: If things go wrong we could lose our house. People don’t see the risks that we put in, before we even talk about expenditure. But, everybody’s human, not supermen or women, we’re all taking punches, especially in the last two years.’
‘You don’t want to die the richest guy in the graveyard, I want my last cheque to bounce.’
‘I want to create a clear reward for hard work and that people are paid what they deserve to be paid – a good salary with a decent bonus structure. There’s no limit from the top.’
ABOUT THE GUEST
Colin McAndrew is the managing director of Medusa Hair, an award-winning Edinburgh hairdressing salon consistently creating new styles at the vanguard of fashion, but all the while exuding a genuine warmth and welcome.
ABOUT THE HOST
Welcome and thank you for reading this, I’m Nathan Plumridge salon owner and Hair Stylist. I’ve been in the industry for nearly 30 years and have been a salon owner for 23 of them. I have been fortunate enough to work and learn with some of the biggest names in the industry and this has given me the experience and drive to now be here with you sharing my experiences.
Instagram is @nathan.hairlife
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org