It’s an incredible year for Rainbow Room International, as they celebrate their 40th anniversary as the global hairdressing industry leaders and innovators. Alan and Linda Stewart, founded the company in 1979 and it has grown to become Scotland’s largest hairdressing group, going from strength to strength over the years winning a plethora of awards and accolades.
In 1979, the first Rainbow Room International salon opened in Buchanan Street, and now there are twelve salons throughout Glasgow, Ayr, Clarkston, Stirling, East Kilbride, Uddingston and Bearsden. The salons are all organically franchised, with many of the franchisees and Salon Directors being with Rainbow Room International since the very start, starting as apprentices and growing to own their own salons and managing their own teams. Some now franchise more than one Rainbow Room International salon, truly showing the groups family bond and the Salon Directors long-term commitment to the brand. In 1983 The Rainbow Room International Academy opened, a very revolutionary concept, based on Alan and Linda’s philosophy to allow their team to continually improve, develop and progress in the company, and to be able to provide training courses and apprenticeship schemes to stylists and students from throughout the UK. The 7,500 sq ft Academy is now the forefront of today’s most advanced development programme. As well as being a centre of education for the Rainbow Room International team, the Academy is open to all hairdressers and attracts many hairdressing professionals from the UK and overseas, looking to learn new skills and perfect existing ones.
Rainbow Room International’s reputation is impeccable, not only for their creativity but also for their business acumen. In addition to launching the Academy in 1983, Alan and Linda have also introduced Shiatsu massage (one of the first salons in the UK to do so), a beauty salon, which was Glasgow’s first Day Spa and Floatarium, their own hair care product company, an Artistic Team who have finalised for Artistic Team of the Year multiple times over the years and travel the world doing seminars and photographic collections that have been published in numerous international magazines, and an annual Congress which culminates in an awards ceremony, recognising the exceptional achievements of the team.
The group have also put many programmes into place, including: an induction programme, structured training programme and fast track training programme, along with client feedback, financial, and monitoring and appraisal systems. Rainbow Room international also provide a sold career structure with on-going staff training and management training and have a Fame Academy for young stylists, as well as an awards programme.
Creatively, Rainbow Room International are seen as Scotland’s colour experts and their creativity is second to none, which is shown in the vast number of creative awards they have won over the years. Just some of the incredible achievements the Rainbow Room International group have achieved are Suzie McGill and Dylan Brittain International Artistic Directors at the group winning the Scottish Hairdresser of the Year title at the British Hairdressing Awards in 2011, 2017 and 2018 and Suzie McGill receiving a place on the British Hairdressing Awards Hall of Fame in 2018 for winning the Scottish Hairdresser of the Year category at the awards three times. In total, the group have won 54 awards (both creative and industry led) – an incredible achievement, with awards including Salon Leadership and Entrepreneur Awards at the Global Salon Business Awards, SHABA Lifetime Achievement Award and a multitude of awards at the British Hairdressing Business Awards including Salon Team of the Year, Training, Business Director of the Year, Salon of the Year and Customer Care to name a few. Due to their reputation as Scotland’s colour experts this has also enabled Rainbow Room International to appear backstage at many of Scotland’s hottest events, including: The Scottish Style Awards, Radio 1’s Big Weekend, T In The Park, The Scottish BAFTAs, the MOBO’s and TRNSMT to name a few, as well as appearing on their own TV show on BBC Scotland: Do or Dye.
40 years down, Rainbow Room International have shown not only their incredible success, but also their dedication and commitment to the industry and we can’t wait to see what’s next in store for the brand. Alan Stewart, Owner of Rainbow Room International with Linda Stewart, commented, "I feel extremely proud of hitting another milestone. In some ways it seems as if it was yesterday and gone in a flash, but as everyone knows it is down to learning, education, meticulous planning and re planning. It has been an incredible journey, which Linda and I are still enjoying. Our team of Directors and Creative Team push us harder than ever and we both appreciate that. We will continue to develop the brand with our amazing team and have fun doing what we have been doing every day. Hairdressing is a great career.