John "Stret" Stretford is the founder of Purple Universe & The Purple Universe Group of companies.
Stret is the sole owner of Purple Universe Talent Management, Purple Universe Event Management, Purple Universe Projects and Co-owner of I'm Made Up, R.S Global Projects Ltd, The Beverley Braisdell Consultancy, Red Field of Dreams Ltd & AXS-DBX (Access Dubai
Stret started his working life by joining the British Army at 16 (Royal Artillery, Junior Leaders) following a short spell in the Armed Forces the world of Business beckoned and he left to form SIMPLY TILES with his uncle, a ceramic tile retailer to the public and trade including a sizable fixing service to the domestic market and construction industry.
In 1996, following 11 successful years at Simply Tiles which saw the company growing exponentially year on year Stret was asked to join Proactive Sports Management Ltd (PSM) heading up the Hospitality & Events Division. PSM were pioneers within the world of professional football player representation managing over 500 professional footballers under contract. Stret alongside Directors Kevin Moran & Jesper Olsen established the division as a major player creating new revenue sources for Manchester United F.C, Leeds United F.C, Liverpool F.C, Newcastle United F.C, Chelsea F.C, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven F.C & Paris Saint-Germain by packaging match tickets with travel & accommodation to launch premier weekend breaks. Stret was fundamental in managing the Sales, Marketing & logistical operations with a network of travel agents based in Ireland & Scandinavia.
Stret also managed the day to day running of the division whom (at the time) was the largest provider of corporate hospitality within football and had many top tier brands as their clients, such as, British Airways, Celestica, Williams BMW for example. Stret, alongside Jesper Olsen, was also pivotal in the expansion of the division beyond football securing the rights to an exclusive stand for the Monaco Grand Prix based at The Mirabeau Hotel.
PSM was re-branded as The Formation Group in preparation for its flotation on the stock exchange (A.I.M.) Once the floatation was completed, Stret left the company and at 38 years old decided to take a sabbatical from “corporate life” and looked to increase his knowledge of wine by co-managing Dinks Wine Bar & Restaurant in Wilmslow, Cheshire. The “Sabbatical” didn’t last long as after attending the Marbella Ball in 2004, a charity fundraiser for a local children’s Orphanage, Casa Abril, Stret agreed to co-organise the next Marbella Ball in 2005.
The Marbella Ball was held at The Don Carlos Hotel, Marbella, acts such as The Gypsy Kings, Earth Wind & Fire, Paul Young & Hot Chocolate all performed over the years and the event raised thousands of euros to improve Casa Abril and the lives of the orphans. Stret as well as co-organising the Marbella Ball brought together a team of professional footballers to play a one -off charity match in Marbella. Players such as Paul Gascoigne, Viv Anderson, Bryan Robson, Lee Sharpe, Keith O’Neil and Luther Blissett to name but a few all took part in the game and attended the Marbella Ball.
In 2005 Stret formed his own Event Management Company, Stretford Events which had a stratospheric rise and worked extensively throughout the U.K & Europe for Private & Corporate clients. Notably they became the “safe pair of hands” for all internal & external events for national law firm DWF LLP & Brookson Ltd. The company were also contracted to organise key elements of the Joe Calzaghe Testimonial Dinner at The Grosvenor Hotel, London in Aid of Help for Heroes which saw the likes of The Stereophonics, Joss Stone & The Coldstream Guards all perform live.
In 2011 Stret joined forces with long-time friends Rick & Carolyn Nevinson to launch a new audio recording studio in Alderley Edge, Cheshire called Castle Rock Studios Ltd (CRS). CRS also worked in Event Management merging Stretford Events into Castle Rock Events. The studio had many highlights including hiring rehearsal space to The 1975, co-managing White Eskimo (Harry Styles 1st band) with Yvette Fielding (Most Haunted) working with legendary producer & engineer Andy Macpherson (The Who) & creating the “track” that is used to play alongside the Cream Classical Orchestra show.
Although the studio was not to last and closed its doors in 2015 it gave Stret the opportunity to follow his dream of working in the Music Business and re-ignited his passion for music. Now, fully-submerged in his new challenge, he has worked tirelessly with artists he manages whom are signed to Purple Universe Talent Management and continues to, with a hands-on approach, project manage events such as The Boodles & Berry’s Tennis Classics at Mere Golf & Spa Resort (Cheshire) & Hazelwood Castle (Leeds) respectively. He has also recently become a co-owner of Irlam Live a boutique music festival in Salford, Manchester.
Stret, never one to stand still for too long, has created The Purple Universe Group of Companies, a powerful consortium of connected and highly skilled professionals creating, promoting & delivering exceptional experiences within the Entertainment Business.
Beverley Braisdell has worked in excess of 29 Years in a variety of fields within the Beauty, Nail & Make-Up industries. She is an Author of renowned book; 'The Hair & Make Up Artists Handbook' Published by (Hodder).
She is the Co-owner of the Make Up Company 'I'm Made Up', completing make up services on many events, festivals, films & celebrity clients. A Curriculum Leader in Media Make Up in an FE college and also teaches at University level where she wrote the Foundation Degree & level 6 in Media Make Up.
A HABIA Forum Member, occasional Feature Writer ("The Voice of FE" (nails) Scratch Magazine), Guest Speaker & Judge for the National Nail Competition in Athens Greece and Guest Speaker at Excel & Olympia Trade Shows. Make Up Artist & Designer for Houston Jones Entertainment for short Films & music videos, TV (Britain's Got Talent) and Theatre (Sweeney Todd, Our House & Sister Act). Beverley is a passionate advocate for high standards in the industry.
2018 - Current - Educational Development Manager - Ash Cosmetics
2018 - Current - HABIA Ambassador
2016 – Current - Curriculum Leader Hair, Beauty & Media Make-up Salford City College
2016 - MUA/D - Private Event (cast of 100 performers) for The Purple Universe Group - Events Division
2016 - Current - 'Cream Classics' (Liverpool Cathedral & Brixton Academy) Make-up designer
2016 - 'The Orbit' (short Film, Team Flux) 48hr Sci-Fi Challenge London Screen writers association
2016 - Michael (Indigo at The O2 London)
2016 - 'Josephina's Dresses' - launch 2016 Spring Summer Collection (ASOs, Esty & I Am Attitude) - Make-Up Designer
2015 - Current - 'I'm Made-Up' - festival, events & Media Make-up company (Partner)
2015 - MUA/D - Christmas Event for The Purple Universe Group - Events Division
2014- Current - Course/Module Leader - HE Foundation Degree Media Make Up for Fashion (Salford University)
2014 - Current - Course Designer/Writer - HE Foundation Degree Media Make Up for Fashion (Salford University)
2013 –2016 – Curriculum Leader Media Make-up Salford City College
2012 – Current – Lecturer – Media Make-up Salford City College & Salford University
2012- Current - SV & Lead IQA (Internal Quality Assurer, BTEC & C & G) media Make-up Salford City College
2011-2012 – Owner – Studio 7 - Make-up & Beauty Studio
2012 – Current – Make-up Designer (Houston Jones Entertainment)
2012 – 2013 – Judge Scratch Star Awards, London
2011 – Current – Author (The Hair & Make-up Artist’s Handbook) (Global)
2011 - City & Guilds - Guest Speaker/demonstrator/educator - Olympia Trade Show London
2010 - Current - Beauty National Advisory Council (NAC) - member
2009 - Scratch Magazine - Guest Speaker/demonstrator/educator - Olympia Trade Show London
2008 - HABIA - Guest Speaker - Excel Trade Show London
2008 – Current – Qualification Advisor for Media Make-up & Nail Services/tec C&G
2007 & 2008 - Nail Technician & Make-up Artist Guest Speaker, Judge National Nail Competition - 'The Misel School' - Athens, Greece
2007 – Current – Examiner Media make-up & Nail Services/tec C&G
2007 – Current – Feature Writer - title 'The Voice of FE' (Scratch Magazine)
2006 – Current – HABIA Nail Services Forum Member
2004 – 2012 - Wigan & Leigh College – Beauty Therapy Lecturer & Programme Development Manager For Nail Services & Special Effects Make-up
2003 -2004 - Wigan & Leigh College - Lecturer A – Beauty Therapy/Nail Treatments (Co-ordinator V.T.C.T. Nail Treatments/Advanced Nail Treatments courses).
2000 – 2003 - Wigan & Leigh College - Hourly paid lecturer in Beauty Therapy.
2002 – 2002 - Bolton Community College Hourly paid lecturer in Beauty Therapy.
1996 – 2003 - Self-employed salon owner
1995 – 1996 - Josianne’s Beauty Salon Last Drop Hotel, Bolton. – Manager
1990 – Current – Freelance make-up Artist
1990 – 1995 - Shape up toning & Beauty Salon – Manager
1988 – 1990 – Brides of Leigh - Assistant
Media Make-up credits
* 2018 - Mini Summer Festival Tour, Daniel Burnett, make-up Designer (The Piece Hall, Irlam Live, Blackthorn Music Festival & Kendal Calling)
2018 - Made in Studio - TV Production, Dock 10 - ITV/BBC - MUA/D
* 2018 - Cream Classics - Ibiza Anthems - Liverpool Cathedral - MUA/D
2017 - Deceived - Short Film - Houston Jones Entertainment - MUA/D
2017 - Creme De la Creme Ball - Dawn Ward - MUA/D
2017 - Blackthorn Music Festival - Etherow Country Park - MUA/D
2017 - Irlam Live Music Festival - MUA/D
2017 - Buckle & Boots Country Music Festival - MUA/D
2017 - Parklife Music Festival - Manchester - MUA/D
2016 - The Manchester Zombie Walk - The Printworks - I'm Made Up -MUA/D
2016 - BassJam - Event Bolton Whites Hotel - I'm Made Up - MUA/D
2016 - Private Event - MUA/D - The Purple Universe Group (Events Division) - Cirque Du Soleil Acts, Priscilla Queen of the Desert cast, Boss Models, House of Angels & Swing Fire Quartet - I'm Made Up - MUA/D
2016 - JJ Rosa - Main Stage Kendal Calling - I'm Made Up - MUA/D
2016 - Michael (The Show) - I'm Made Up - Indigo at The 02, London - Alex Buchannan and JJ Rosa - MUA/D
2016 - 'Cream Classics' - I'm Made Up - Liverpool Cathedral & Brixton Academy, live performance with Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - MUA/D
2016 - 'The Orbit' (short Film, Team Flux) 48hr Sci-Fi Challenge London Screen writers association - MUA/D
2016 - Photo Shoot - Hotel Gotham - I'm Made Up , Michelle Smith Photography - MUA/D
2016 - Photo Shoot - Faraday (Band) Press Shots - I'm Made Up, Michelle Smith Photography - MUA/D
2016 - Photo Shoot - Media City - I'm Made Up, Michelle Smith Photography - MUA/D
2015 & 2016 - 'Josephina's Dresses' - launch 2016 Spring Summer Collection (Client's Website/Social Media, ASOS, Esty & I Am Attitude) - MUA/D
2015 & 2016 - Blackthorn Music Festival - I'm Made Up - MUA/D
2015 - Current - I'm Made-Up - festival, events & Media Make-up company (Partner)
2015 - Private Christmas Event with Will Mellor - I'm Made Up - The Purple Universe Group - MUA/D
2015 - Fashion Show - Lady V (In Aid of St Anne's Hospice) MUA/D
2015 - 'I Am Become Death' - (short film) Houston Jones Entertainment MUA/D
2015 - 'Sister Act' - The Lowry Theatre (All Saints) MUA
2014 - 'The Eclectic Sessions' - Castle Rock Studios (live show/music video) MUA/D
2014 - 'Our House' - The Lowry Theatre (All Saints) MUA/D
2013 – BBC - Children in Need - MUA/D
2013 – ‘Machete’ by Purge (Music Video) - MUA/D
2013 – ‘The Creep’ Danny Productions (Music Video) - MUA/D
2013 – PA – Auditions, ‘Take a Chance’ Houston Jones Entertainment - MUA/D
2013 – ‘Sweeney Todd’ – The Lowry Theatre (All Saints) - MUA/D
2013 – Rendezvous – (short film) Houston Jones Entertainment - MUA/D
2013 – The Lovers – (short film) Houston Jones Entertainment - MUA/D
2013 – First Contact – (short film) Houston Jones Entertainment - MUA/D
2012 – BBC –(short film) – ‘Seneca’ - MUA/D
2012 – Fashion Show – Le Boutique - MUA/D
2012 – Excel Trade Show – C&G – Guest Speaker/educator - MUA/D
2011 – Author - ‘The Hair & Make-up Artist’s Handbook’ - MUA/D
2011 – ITV – Britain’s Got Talent – ‘Terminator’ MUA
2011 – Photo Shoot – ‘Corsetry’ – Calendar MUA
2011 – Photo Shoot – ‘Temptu’ MUA
2011 – Healey’s House of Horrors - Event, Denise Welch & Time Healey - MUA
2011, 2012 – Dick Whittington – Wigan Little Theatre - MUA
2009 – 28 hours Later – short film, Houston Jones Entertainment - MUA/D
2007 – Current – Christine Gray School of Dance (Theatre Shows) -MUA/D
ROBIN ARNOLD, Co-Owner of R.S Global Projects Ltd
Robin formed his first business in 1976 (R&W Plant Hire) hiring construction vehicles & Plant mainly in the soil removal sector. The business had depots in Stockport & Chester expanding its operations into engineering & land fill.
Further growth ensued when Robin under a J.V known as EPH Civil Engineering saw Robin become the Operating Director heading up large scale projects such as The Trafford Centre, Manchester (The Peel Group).
Once again the company expanded under Robins Tutelage acquiring J.J Oakes House Builders & Commercial Landscapers, Clapham Landscapes. Robin to this day “keeps his hand in” and with his consortium own vast plots of land across the U.K
Robin has also created successful partnerships with The Ainscough Family forming Arnold, Thorpe & Ainscough.
In more recent times Robin has been a fundamental adviser and assistant to his wife (Julie Arnold) growing the hugely successful Premier Event planning company, Entertainment Today which saw the Arnold’s selling to Professional footballer James Miler for an undisclosed sum in 2018
Today you will find Robin doing what he does best, achieving success on the myriad of projects he manages to seamlessly juggle. For a man of his experience he laughs at the word “work” its more like a vehicle to put all his passion into, at the last count he was working on over 20+ projects ranging from landfill, developing land, a charity focused digital shopping channel, a T.V company, an Energy service, production of a new Theatre show & promoting performances & events across the country.
The Purple Universe Group are proud to have this statesman of business on board and look forward to benefiting from his experience & knowledge.
DARREN GOULDEN, Co-Owner of Red Field of Dreams Ltd
Darren has an unbridled passion for all things music and as such turned that passion into a career spanning more than 30 years working with some of the North West of England’s’ best-known brands & venues delivering entertainment programmes to ensure healthy levels of foot flow and revenue to high street names such as Greenall Whitley Brewery (tenanted properties), Best Western Hotels & Lavender Hotel Group.
30 Years in and Darren continues to feed his passion and works just as hard today, notably when the craze of “Speed Quizzing” came along with its cutting edge mobile phone platform, Darren not only “gave it a-go” but became one of the U.K’s most prolific hosts notching up 1400 quizzes in over 100 venues for the brewery chain J.W Lees & Holts, a record which still stands today.
As you can imagine his appetite for hard work and getting the job done is boundless apart from finding time for a home life of wife and children he seamlessly founded The Manchester Music & DJ School a project to help underprivileged children and adults gain qualifications and industry training to help secure employment within the Entertainment Industry. Not one to stand still for too long Darren with his business partner created the now established music Festival known as Irlam Live a boutique festival attracting significant attendance numbers from the community with legendary acts such as Tony Hadley, Billy Ocean, Jason Donovan, Alexander O’Neal & The Stranglers, to name but a few, all have graced the stage at Irlam Live over the years.
Darren is a shining light in a competitive sector, his friendly approachable demeanor matched with a problem-solving brain enables him to effortlessly communicate at any level be that the close relationship he has forged with fashion mogul Mahmud Kamani of Boo-Hoo, board room executives at Talk Talk or the man in the street who simply wants to chat everything music.
He also has the same passion and drive for his hometown of Irlam, with an attitude of “getting involved” he recently created his own political Party, CO:RE (Community Revolution Party) and stood for election as a local councilor of which he received 36% of the vote in his first standing.
In a recent statement Darren publicly announced his involvement as a Director in Red Field of Dreams Ltd, part of The Purple Universe Group, hinting at “very exciting times ahead” in a reference to yet to be disclosed projects he is working on with Global powerhouse Peel Holdings.