Sunday 29th April 2018
By Michelle Hammond
Q1 - How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards
I grew up as one of four brothers with only 2 years between each of us, so while we
were a really very close unit, this also made us all very competitive which is a trait
that has continued into our adulthood and our professional lives.
Also, my Dad ‘disappeared’ when we were very young and we watched our Mum
struggle hard to make ends meet which has given me a sound work ethic and
healthy respect for strong female personalities, which is pretty relevant in this
Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?
Primarily, you need a clear vision and the determination to pursue this with focus and
integrity.. and a little luck along the way.
Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?
That’s an easy one; definitely starting our own business (with my Business Partner
Mike Fitch). We started in Mike’s shed, as many entrepreneurial outfits do, before
moving to consecutively larger offices over a period of approx. 20 years as we
launched various new enterprises. Fortunately we’ve been mostly successful with
pretty much all of these projects.
Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?
I’d have to say Mike. I’ve actually known him longer than I’ve known my wife and I’ve
been married 25 years – and I probably spend more time with him!
We’ve had an interesting journey; at various times we’ve been colleagues,
competitors and now Business Partners and like any strong relationship it’s based on
trust and mutual respect.
Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision?
Most difficult; I think taking the first step from employment into self-employment and launching a new business is always a difficult decision which should not be taken lightly.
Worst; I really can’t think of anything I would have done differently. Although there
was one occasion when, having been retained by a Bank on a rescue and recovery
mission after an operator had gone into Administration. We really enjoyed
operating the business and planned to make an offer to purchase it but we decided to wait to see how things went. Unfortunately, someone else stepped up and made an offer before us and I think I’ll always regret not acting sooner.
Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for
Determination … and an element of luck (if that can be considered a character trait).
Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?
I’m quite impatient at the best of times and tend to be quite direct so when I’m
stressed these traits are exacerbated, so I try to simply stop, walk away and count to
Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing? How do you look after yourself?
My first degree was in Exercise Science and I began my career managing Health
Clubs so now I’m just soooo bored of gyms. But I love walking and often head off for
a couple of hours at a time either with my wife, or alone with my headphones on and
a chilled playlist.
I’m also a big believer in mindfulness and I think it’s important to find time for the
things in life that help you to relax. For me there are two things that always relax me;
one is a really good massage (but it has to be an hour as, the first 30 mins I’m
unwinding and the second 30 mins I usually fall asleep); the second thing is simply
sitting in a curb-side café or a town square people-watching with a drink in my hand.
Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what
would it be and why?
It would have to be the way we collate and share data, performance metrics and
market intelligence at Industry level. As an Industry we’re really bad at it.
I read a quote somewhere recently that said: “If knowledge is the engine that drives
the economy of our industry, then data is its fuel”. I want the change the way the spa
sector shares data for the benefit of the whole industry.
Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote or the best advice you’ve ever been
That’s a difficult one but I think it would probably be; “Control the controllables” – in
other words don’t worry about things that you can’t control and just focus on the
things you can.
FLASH FACTS - FOR FUN SECTION
1. What’s your favourite book?
Whatever I’m reading at the time! Although I really loved ‘Why men don’t listen and women can’t read maps’ by Alan & Barbara Pease – a fascinating scientific observational work; I defy anyone to read it and not recognise themselves.
2. What’s your favourite film of all time?
Don’t really have one, or even a favourite genre, but a few movies I really enjoyed spring to mind including, The Full Monty, Shawshank Redemption, Notting Hill and Avengers Assemble – that’s a fairly eclectic mix of genres.
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
I’d love to meet any pioneer who was the first to set-out into the unknown and
hear about their journey. Also, my family has military connections and I really
enjoy chatting with old soldiers and listening to their stories; I’m in awe of what
they sacrificed and lived for our Country.
4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?
Trees Tops Safari Lodge, Kenya.
5. Your perfect dinner is?
Steak & Chips –my wife always gets it just right. (and i'm not married to Michelle Hammond!)
6. Your go to drink is?
In Summer it’s a cold beer; in Ireland (at any time) it’s Guinness. I also love good brandy and I’m also partial to a G&T, or a large glass of Chardonnay.. OMG – must get back to AA!
7. Your favourite sweet treat is?
I don’t have a sweet-tooth at all but I do like a pecan Danish!
8.What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?
Hmmm … Does lemongrass qualify?
9.You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?
Full body massage – just lay me out and pummel me.
10. What’s your favourite flower?
11. You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?
I wish I knew, I sleep so little!
12. You want to energise fast, what do you do?
Vodka & Redbull.
13. The theme tune to your life is?
Monty Python’s “Always look on The Bright Side of Life”
14. What makes you laugh to your belly?
My brothers and my youngest daughter, she’s got my sense of humour.
15. What’s your favourite season?
16. What’s your favourite colour?
17. Your favourite time of day is?
18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would you be?
An Astronaut, for the sheer excitement … or perhaps just a better Dad (having grown up in an all-male environment and now having three daughters has convinced me that, as much as I love them, they are all aliens and I’ll never understand them!)
19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?
Just discovered ‘Breaking Bad’ it’s so compelling.
20. Magic dust – one sprinkle and you can do anything, what is it?
Become Invisible ….Imagine the possibilities!!!
Andrew Hammond, Director of Spa Life International, is a seasoned professional who likes to bring charm, wit and humour to every situation. He has an entrepreneurial spirit as evidenced by the range of projects he has led and been a part of over the last 2 decades.
His extensive experience includes successful design, management & marketing projects in the hospitality, health and wellness sector where he has operated hotels, spas, health clubs, magazines and international networking events.
Andrew is passionate about the wellness industry and served as the Vice-Chair of the UK Spa Association for 9 years, with commercial responsibility for developing National Spa Week into the largest free promotional campaign for the UK spa sector.
Today Andrew is continuing to expand the reach of the Spa Life brand in to new, far flung territories such as South Africa, Canada and India. Additionally he is negotiating with several leading stakeholders to develop an international spa data and benchmarking service and an on-line bookings app - and as if that weren’t enough has just launched a new Wellness Club in order to encourage his local community to get fit and healthy.