Taking 10 with...Adam Thomas

Taking 10 with...Adam Thomas

Sunday 3rd February 2019

By Michelle Hammond

Q1 - How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards business?

I enjoyed school, but I was always keen to just get out into the big wide world and discover work for myself.  My dad had always been self employed so I knew that’s what I wanted eventually, in what industry was yet to be discovered. 

Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?

I’d like to think you can still do business on a handshake so honesty and integrity are right up there for me.  You won’t get anywhere without hard work & determination as (cliché as that sounds).. I honestly believe if people like doing business with you you can’t go far wrong - be nice, it isn’t hard! 

Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?

There was lots, but those decisions didn’t just appear in bright lights.  I read a book by Eric Ries called The Lean Start Up, it focuses on pivoting your business until you get it right - this helped me A LOT. 

Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?

Will Dean (the founder of Tough Mudder) was a massive help… he pointed me in the direction of The Lean Start Up, he guided me on proving the concept before putting everything in. He helped me with covering my back with NDA’s etc, he was a great sounding board.  Thanks Will! 

Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision?

Doing too much for free.  I wanted customers to love my product so much, that I just gave it away.. this decision really slowed down the growth of the business.  Once people are used to it being free, getting them to invest their cash later, is a much more difficult challenge! 

Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for success?

For me it was determination.  I had more downs than up’s during the first 4 years of salonspy, I should have given up plenty of times.. but I was determined to make it work.  Now we have a team of 4, key integrations with most leading salon/spa software systems and provide an awesome verified review platform for 1000’s of salons and spa’s in the UK and Australia. 

Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?

I’m a sharer.  If it's good news I call my business partners. If it's bad, I call them.  They’re a great support network - having a strong support network will help you through the loneliest of times as a business owner. 

Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?

Fresh air!  I’m a real water baby, I’m never far from the water.  I’m also a big skier! 

Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?

I’d love to see the digital aspect become more widespread.  As soon as you install spa software, you’ll never look back, it will genuinely change your business forever. 

Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote or the best advice you’ve ever been given?

I read a book by Phil Knight (the founder of Nike) called Shoe Dog.  There's a quote in there that is a reference to the early American settlers who survived the cross country journey and arrived on the West Coast.  

“The cowards never started, the weak died along the way, that leaves us”. 


1. What’s your favourite book?

I’m not a fan of fiction or anything like that.. so the only books I read are about business.  The Lean Start Up & The 10 Immutable Laws of Marketing are 2 books I highly recommend. 

2. What’s your favourite film of all time?

Any Ed Harris film.

3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?

David Attenborough.  What a legend, imagine the stories he could tell you. 

4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?

North Wales.. Its where I grew up, its my happy place.  I’ve lived in Manchester for 10+ years now, so escaping to Wales is one of my favourite things to do.

5. Your perfect dinner is?

Anything with Yorkshire puddings.  

6. Your go to drink is?

Gin & Tonic, with lemon.  None of this cucumber malarkey for me. 

7. Your favourite sweet treat is?

Cadburys! Or Brownies… are Cadbury-brownies a thing? 

8. What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?

I spent most of my employment at Aveda so this is a really tough question.  I adore the Aveda signature smell, but if I was to pick one, I would say Lavender. 

9. You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?

I love deep tissue aromatherapy massages.  

10.What’s your favourite flower?

Daffodil - true Welshman. 

11.You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?

Lavender spray on my pillow or lavender cream on my chest / neck - works a treat.  

12.You want to energise fast, what do you do?

Water and cold air, it really awakens those senses.

13.The theme tune to your life is?

Let it be. (Enough said) 

14.What makes you laugh to your belly?

My friends.  We have a connection that doesn’t even require words, I know what they’re thinking.  

15.What’s your favourite season?

Late spring, the water is just warm enough to get the kayaks out.

16. What’s your favourite colour?

Grey, as depressing as that might sound.  I just think it goes with everything. 

17. Your favourite time of day is?

Meal times - love my food, sometimes too much. 

18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would you be?

I’d love to be an Orca. Living in a family unit, just roaming the oceans. 

19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?

Vikings on Amazon!  I’m not even ashamed.  It's (loosely) based on history, so I feel like I’m learning too. 

20. Magic dust - you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?

Language! If I had to choose one, it would be French.  Who doesn’t want to be spoken to in French. 

Adam Thomas is Founder & Managing Director at salonspy.com.  After an accomplished career at Estee Lauder Companies, Adam set out to tackle the way salons and spas gather feedback about their service, with the goal of harnessing the power of word of mouth.  

Currently the award winning platform has a customers across the UK, Ireland and Australia integrating with most* leading salon/spa software systems. 

Out of hours, Adam can be found on the water or mountain trail.  Adam speaks fluent sarcasm and prefers his puns intended. 

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Instagram/twitter: @salonspy 

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