Photographed by: Anthony Bolante | PSBJ
October 9, 2019 – The Puget Sound Business Journal released an article recognizing the top 40 leaders in the region that are under the age of 40. Joe Trieu, President of Evergreen Beauty College in Washington State was one of the honorees of the 40 Under 40 for 2019. The Journal’s 40 Under 40 recognizes “leaders in the region who are making major strides in their career while leaving a positive impact and helping shape the Puget Sound region.” For the original source and full article, you will find it year title “40 under 40: Joe Trieu knows that beauty starts with culture“.
The sneak preview of story published by the Puget Sound Business Journal is also found below:
40 under 40: Joe Trieu knows that beauty starts with culture
Written By Paxtyn Merten – Staff writer, Puget Sound Business Journal
Joe Trieu is the president and owner of Evergreen Beauty College, which he took over 12 years ago after the death of his father. Trieu took the beauty school started by his father in 1996 from six employees — half of which were family — to what has become the largest beauty school group in Washington. This year they opened a Yakima location, acquired a North Seattle location and began construction on a Mount Vernon Location.
How has your family’s strong ties to the business impacted its growth?
Before my dad passed away, he would share with us that all five of his children are like fingers on a hand. Some are small, some are bigger and some are stronger. Each finger presents its our own unique purpose and strengths to a hand and can do many things. But if we use all of our fingers together, we can achieve so much more, faster and with less effort. Working with my family has been one of the hardest things to do, yet one of the most powerful weapons. We actually had a college professor do a case study on our family that got published in Harvard Business Review. In our family you never have to worry if someone is working hard or giving it their all — in the end we recognize that each one of us leads and contributes differently yet we shine together. It is this gift of working together that is allows our company and culture to grow at times that our industry is not growing.
How does your beauty college work to develop students into entrepreneurs?
First of all, I think my family is the living example of what is possible to our students. That is the first step: our students come with the mind set that owning a business is a possible in their life. Our family had nothing when we started and here we are today. Secondly, critical thinking is an area we are always focused in on. Our classrooms typically start with a quote of the day where we have our students share what it means to them. Thirdly, our business curriculum (Embracing Change, the Complete Retail Experience, Customer Wow, How to Build Your Business, Salon and Spa Professionals) exposes our students with the good and bad sides of the business and allows them to see the opportunity of owning their own business within another business or on their own.
Why did you develop a personal develop program for employees?
I wanted some day at our company picnic for one of my employee’s spouses or kids to stand up during introductions and say, “my mom has grown more in these five years working at Evergreen Beauty College than I have ever seen in my life.” That was the vision. We have a formalized five-year personal development program for our employees. It is filled with reading, reflecting, planning and acting. Depending on the assignment, you would find an employee doing a speech on the lessons learned, role playing certain conversation, coming up with a new business idea and submitting a proposal. The intention initially was to provide a pathway for our employees to have an ongoing development process during their first five years of working for us. We needed our employees to speak the same language and this is one avenue of doing it. Since then, we have seen our employees apply lessons in their personal and professional lives, employees leave abusive relationships and others have saved their marriages. We have seen employees stay longer with our organization and seen a lot of innovation within the business. Lastly, there is a new found connection amongst our employees that are more senior with our newest hires and I am very happy to say that it is not uncommon for us to hear that our employees have grown more in the five years working for us than they ever have before.
Where do you want to be at 50?
My grandfather died in his 50s, and so did my dad. I still remember the vivid memory of my dad in his final days staggering as he tried to walk my sister down the aisle on her wedding day. Once he accomplished that, he turned to me and told me “my work is done” and a few days after that he had passed away after fighting liver cancer. My goal by 50 is just to still be alive and healthy enough to be able to walk my four daughters down their wedding aisles.
How will you pay it forward?
I feel like I am already doing that. By helping people believe in themselves, creating a community where people feel a sense of belonging where they can become something more than they every could have imagined is what I live for. As a boy and even now, having others believe in me means the world and a huge reason why I have accomplished what I have today.