Andis Company History - 95 Plus Years and Counting

Andis Manufacuring Office

The Beginnings

Andis Company traces its roots back to the early 1920s when Mathew Andis, who was working at Mitchell Motor Car Company in Racine, Wisconsin, USA as a tool maker, decided to leave and start his own business. John Oster and Henry Meltzer came to his home and asked to be partners, and Andis O M Manufacturing was born. Their venture grew quickly and soon their tool and die company had been contracted to make tooling to produce clipper blades for a hand operated non-motorized hair clipper. This partnership, however, only lasted about a year. When the three split, each started his own company in Racine. Andis quickly developed the Andis electric clipper and began Andis Clipper Company, that official incorporated in 1922, and eventually evolved into the Andis Company of today. Racine was a hot bed for electrical motors, specifically with the invention of the fractional HP motor. Local companies like Hamilton Beach, InSinkErator, Dremel and Andis, used this technology to make blenders, food waste disposers and rotary tools.


Andis' main competitive advantage was that the Andis Clipper was smaller, faster and delivered a higher performance than other clippers available at the time. This clipper was the first generation of today's Master Clipper, which is still one of Andis' most popular models. Production began in the basement of the Andis family home, with the entire family helping to assemble the clippers. Mathew sold them door-to-door to barbershops in Racine and the surrounding area.


With barbers across the United States quickly embracing the new Andis Clipper, the company needed more manufacturing space. Initially, Andis rented space in an industrial building, but because of increased growth, the company needed to move again, this time to a new factory building with 16,000 square feet.


The Second Generation, 1938 - 1971

Matthew G. Andis Jr., an electrical engineer from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, became president in 1938 when his father moved to Florida citing doctor's orders that it would improve his health. He made the move, promoted his 30-year-old son to president, and lived to the age of 92. Matthew G. Andis, the second president of Andis, is credited with the design of the still popular T-Outliner trimmer. Like his father, he had a background of working at an early age in the business and concentrated on developing the best quality clippers and trimmers in the industry. Andis began exporting clippers and trimmers during the 1930s under the leadership of Matthew G. Andis.


The Third Generation, 1971 - 2010

In February 1971, Matthew L. Andis was handed the company reins at the age of 32. About that time, the Beatles were popular, and the barber and beauty industry experienced a huge downturn as hairstyles changed overnight. Andis responded by expanding in many creative ways: adding hair dryers and curling irons to the product line; entering the animal market with the fast, powerful direct drive rotary motor clipper, which resulted in capturing the majority of the market; and introducing the first wall-mounted hair dryer, installed in hotel rooms all over the world. It was during this time that Andis Company developed manufacturing capabilities in Asia to meet growing international demand. The greatest level of growth came from the creative leadership and innovation of Matthew L. Andis.


The Fourth Generation, 2010 - Present

Matthew K. Andis was named president of Andis Company on June 1, 2010, at the age of 38. He is the fourth generation to hold the position and shares the responsibility of guiding the company with his sister, Laura Andis-Bishop, who was named co-president in 2017.


The Andis fourth generation is determined to be successful by incorporating the values their forefathers taught them into the everyday operations of the family business, focusing on communication and respect. "The company is a tremendous responsibility; one that affects many families, not just our own," the Andis' believe. Strong bonds among the employees perpetuate the family-like environment within the company, while excellence and integrity drive the performance of all. Ensuring continuity and security of the company is extremely important, so planning for the fifth generation is underway to ensure yet another successful transition.


What lies ahead?

Andis intends to continue to innovate with new products, to listen to what their markets want, bring real value to all their markets and, quite simply, to supply products that make people look and feel better. The fourth generation has developed a strategic planning process that is a way of life, and that is guiding the company to its vision while remaining true to its legacy and roots.


Andis continues to grow globally. Almost 80 years ago Andis introduced products to Europe, and today these products are available in 90 countries around the world. Barbers, stylists, groomers and consumers everywhere continue to reach for Andis clippers, trimmers, dryers, blades, curling irons and flat irons when they want to rely on top performing tools.


Today, Andis employs more than 400 people at its 160,000-square-foot facility located just down the street from Racine in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, where lean manufacturing principles have been implemented to ensure top quality products. With continued product innovation, a long-term strategy and the drive of a dedicated workforce, many more great things lie ahead for Andis Company.


About Andis Company

Andis Company, a family held business founded in 1922, is a leading manufacturer of handheld tools to trim, cut, curl, straighten and dry hair. The company's products are purchased in more than 90 countries by barbers and salon professionals, consumers, hotels, motels, resorts, small animal groomers and large animal groomers and shearers. To find a local distributor, call 800-558-9441 or visit www.andis.com.