"I've always been comfortable asking my PNC team financial questions about my business. I feel strong loyalty to PNC, because my experiences there have been, and continue to be, phenomenal."
Reaping the Rewards of Vision and Perseverance
When Dorothy Andreas bought her first hair salon at the age of 19, her parents were incredulous. "I quit college and sold my only possession - my car - for $4,000, the price I had negotiated with the salon owner. With my hairdressing and cosmetology teaching license in hand, I knew I could take on the world," Dorothy says.
But oh, the challenges: She had no business experience. Pittsburgh's steel industry collapsed, robbing her of the majority of her clientele. Her first salon burned down. But Dorothy persevered. She learned fast and used every creative skill at her disposal. Then, in 1986, after establishing two salons and an international salon-products distributorship, she introduced Pittsburgh to the day spa concept.
"Critics said there was no market for a day spa in Pittsburgh; I believed otherwise," Dorothy explains. "Why shouldn't Pittsburgh women have the same opportunities women in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta had? When I was elected president of the Pittsburgh chapter of Art & Fashion Group International in 1995, and international president in 1996, I realized how huge the potential for this concept was."
In 1997, Sewickley Spa was born. It has grown into three successful operations, in Sewickley and Ligonier, Pennsylvania, and McHenry, Maryland, at the Wisp Resort in the Allegheny Mountains. Serving 10,000 guests a year and offering 46 different treatments, the spa has been voted Best Day Spa in newspaper reader polls and featured on the cover of Spa Management Magazine. Dorothy also recently established SpaEdge Inc., offering salons and spas a software application for creating gift certificates, and EGiftTech.com, a service for retail Web sites to offer clients gift cards.
"We've been fortunate to be welcomed by receptive communities and to have outstanding partners and advisors supporting us along the way," says Dorothy. "PNC has been a standout in that arena. I've worked with them for more than two decades, and their support has been extraordinary. I've always been comfortable asking my PNC team financial questions about my business. I feel strong loyalty to PNC, because my experiences there have been, and continue to be, phenomenal."
Dorothy and her team today focus on continually improving their services and increasing their philanthropic involvement. "Success isn't about how big your business gets; it's about what you give back," she explains. "I'm proud to provide jobs and benefits to so many employees, and to be able to contribute time and resources to charitable causes. If the right opportunity comes along, I'll consider opening additional locations, as long as that doesn't interfere with my broader vision of success."