By Shea Parton & Luke Warner
Photos by Alex Berry
We are fortunate that our good friend Alex Calderwood thought we would get along with Vy Le, chief visionary and CEO of Rudy’s Barbershop. It was a privilege to recently host her in our Los Angeles neighborhood and we are proud to share a photostory of a day in the life of her local Seattle community.
Vy Le’s story and her approach to life are entirely her own. Her family escaped Vietnam when she was young and they resettled in San Francisco. These challenges and changes have given her a straightforward manner and ‘no holds barred’ style of business. Although she studied International Business at San Francisco State for two years, she knows that her real schooling came at the Gap. During her dozen years there she worked with what she considers to be “some of the brightest people in the industry” and is quick to note that, although America’s long-term love affair with the company has dwindled, Gap under Mickey Drexler became the most accessible “lifestyle brand” in the world.
With that pedigree, experience and a connection with one of the owners of Rudy’s, Le gave up a brand new job when she was asked to become CEO of the growing barbershop & retail company. Now, as the CEO of a company that’s growing exponentially, Le has a lot on her plate. To take on that kind of role requires a love of business which she clearly has as evidenced by her admission that her favorite hobby isn’t actually biking, it’s business. Although her petite build and smile are unexpected in a person at the helm of a burgeoning enterprise, her savvy and style of getting things done, has given way to accolades and a resume that demands attention.
A refreshing level of enthusiasm is exposed when she describes that real success boils down to understanding the market's true need for a good or service. Le also knows that taking risks and trusting your colleagues is an important part of success in such a fast-paced and evolving business world. Her systemic changes at Rudy’s have been large but effective starting with rethinking their entire standard operating procedure where she is constantly challenging those around her to “work smarter.”
A natural friendship has made Rudy's not only our first choice for a haircut but also a welcome addition to our list of retail partners with the Rudy's Saves Market Bag, available only at Rudy's Barbershops. To celebrate this announcement, the first ten subscribers to purchase the exclusive Market Bag and present their Apolis mobile app coupon will receive a free haircut. So if you’re in Portland (Pearl), Los Angeles (Hollywood, Silverlake, Melrose, Main Street), or Seattle (Fremont, Bellevue, Ballard), download the Apolis Mobile App, head to Rudy's and get your ‘first come, first served’ Apolis + Rudy’s savings.
Follow Apolis Journal: RSS Feed | Twitter | Facebook | Apolis Mobile App | Correspondence