Changing Faces: Greenwash

Andy Edmunds

After an injury ended Andy Edmunds’ prospective sporting career, his life took a different trajectory and he became a successful businessman. He is now turning his talents to a new challenge, as the new owner of Greenwash house washing.

Andy grew up in Buckinghamshire north-west of London. He was keen on rugby and played for the Wasps club in London – the largest club in the city – and represented England at a student level. He was eyeing a professional career before he was hit by a life-changing tackle.

“I injured my neck during a game but, stupidly, I kept on playing. I was a prop and I had the entire weight of the scrum driving into my neck and I ended up breaking a vertebrae.”

Before the injury, he was considering a career in the police force or the army, where he could continue to develop his rugby skills, but overnight he had to reassess his future.

Undeterred, he became the youngest franchise owner of Signarama, the world’s largest sign franchise.

He went on to become general manager of a large signage manufacturer.

When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, he had to make half the workforce redundant and he sought a less stressful lifestyle. He moved to New Zealand with his wife five years ago and soon settled in Warkworth.

Andy continued to work in the signage industry but, tired of the commute to Auckland, he looked for a business closer to home and took on Greenwash last month.

Greenwash offers a cleaning service from Puhoi to Mangawhai for residential and commercial buildings, roofs, gutters, drives and decks, using methods that don’t harm the environment.

“It’s important to regularly clean buildings. You don’t expect your car to keep running without a service – it’s the same with a building, especially in this harsh, coastal environment.”

He recently employed an 18-year-old with the support of Springboard Future Works.

“He is dyslexic and had difficulty at school, which I could understand because I have dyslexia and so does my son.

“I was diagnosed at a young age and got a lot of support – if I hadn’t had that, things could have turned out very differently. It’s great to be able to support a young local person with dyslexia in the early stages of his career.”