Since 1988 John Allan has been a pioneer in the men’s grooming industry. John Allan has provided men with more than just great services and products; he has introduced them to a lifestyle and philosophy that has men caring more about their appearance and well being. His 6 state-of-the-art clubs in New York City, Toronto and Chicago offer a complete lifestyle experience and new concept in luxury men’s grooming. Members can enjoy amenities such as a scalp massaging shampoo, conditioning treatments, the warmth of a steaming hot face towel, a haircut by an JA trained styling expert, manicure, shoe shine, a beverage and a round of billiards. With six clubs, expansions to the West coast and global distribution of award winning hair care, skin care, shaving and accessories lines, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York, John Allan continues to pave the road for the industry. He has been a FoundersCard Member since 2011.
1. What inspired you to start your company?
Inspiration first came from my years at Jean Louis David Paris, my background, and the women and men who shaped me. At the time in 1986, there was a tremendous void in the men’s market. A percentage of men were moving past Old Spice, Gillette, and Ivory. Along with that, the service was in the hands of Super Cuts, the corner barber shop, and where your wife, girlfriend, and mother got her hair done. I thought I could change the landscape of mens grooming, the way it was presented, build loyalty in membership, and create a brand “WHERE SERVICE MEETS STYLE”.
2. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be respectful, and don’t take no for an answer
3. What is your favorite destination?
If you are referring to clubs: The one that im opening. (Beverly Hills)
If its a place: Paris.
4. What is the one book you recommend to everyone?
Has to be two: “Art of War” and “Huck Finn.” It must have been something to be on the river.
5. Do you feel personal style/appearance/grooming are connected to success? If yes, how so? If no, why not?
Confidence is a big component for success. I cant think of a better way to be confident, than to be comfortable in ones skin.
6. What is the hardest part about your job?
Managing and motivating multiple personalities.
7. On your website, you are quoted as saying “Most men think they are OK where they are. It’s my job to try and get them to go just a little further.” Can you expand on this thought?
When you make over a man, chances he will fall back into his comfort zone. You go 180 and he turns back 180. I think most men evolve their style slowly. I also feel that when you get a man to own his style, you have a client for life. Trust is key in men.
8. How many days a month (or year) do you spend traveling?
Once – twice a quarter.
9. Prior to your current success, what was the worst job you ever had?
Working in a factory building coffee machines.
10. Aside from your company/job, what is your greatest success?
My wife and kids, my relationship with my father, and being able to take care of my mother as she reaches 85.
11. Whom do you admire?
My wife Marianna, 4 great kids, my mom and dad, being a parent looking back, I had a great life. My staff and employees; they go to work every day to push and grow my dream. You got to admire that.
12. Since your clubs are primarily located in NYC, what’s one of your favorite places in the city?
Any place early in the morning, just as the city starts to wake up. One place in the village: Bar Pitti – Italian food, incredible. Early in the morning when the bread is delivered, sitting outside with Giovanni, an espresso, and the town is just waking up, that’s it for me.
13. Give us your best plug/brag a little about as to what you’re working on now/next?
Design my hats for kids with cancer. LFL, LIDS FOR LIFE.
New product line up 6 sku
Opening 2 new clubs on the west coast in November and December
Finishing a screen play by spring
14. What are the most common grooming mistakes that you see your clients typically make?
Hopefully they are not making them anymore. Product application is one. They tend to just apply on the top layer of their head instead of even distribution from root to end. Another one is not re-applying shave cream after first pass of razor, before shaving against the grain.
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