Truth be told I am an independent career woman that is also heavily influenced by her now adult children. My son Jojo is on me about my health and forbids me from blaming anything on my age. My daughters are always a bit embarrassed about my use of technology and my grammar. If there are misplaced commas here, that is no fault of theirs. One daughter is a high school teacher and the other a communications executive. You see how this works.

For their entire life, I have been with one brand. The brand, Supercuts, and I grew up together. I learned the systems necessary to run a shop and the business, one painful lesson after another. At some point I began to work with our franchisor and I had some credibility because with our partners we ran some strong and successful shops. I have always had a long view to staff development and I have been fortunate to work with incredible, professional women who not only were open to learning but taught me plenty over the years.

A few years ago I began to get a bit itchy. Our general managers and our office were working together almost seamlessly. There was little available real estate in our areas for further expansion. We had a strong operator with impeccable credentials who wanted to partner with us. Maybe after this many years it was time, like so many others I have met in franchising, to take on a second brand? We started looking and researching. We were not necessarily excited about food. I have after all not been in food service for 35 years after I cut off the end of my finger while preparing sub sandwiches in college.

We went down the road of looking at other franchise businesses but we felt each time that they just weren’t quite right for us. After some starts and stops we went back to our franchisor and asked about other markets.  We started investigating purchasing existing Supercuts shops.

Less than a year later, we purchased at what was really a fire sale price, three salons in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Minneapolis the city that for at least part of the year is like a frozen tundra to this California girl.  Minneapolis where our partner had just moved away from. Minneapolis where our franchisor is located and where our brand hasn’t had the best track record.

When you have been with a brand for years there is a sense of security and complacency. I have incredible people in our California business. They are dedicated and they step up to any challenge. On to Minnesota where there are 145 Great Clips and 6 Supercuts.  Minnesota where our own shops were not open seven days a week because we didn’t have enough stylists and no one was particularly concerned about it.

How do you get started? What do you do first? In my years on the SFA board and Executive Council on many an occasion I have had people say things like, “You don’t know what it is like”, “No one knows the brand out here.” Well I am out there. We had to spell the word Supercuts to the guys from the utility company and then they asked us what it was. A hair salon – you know Supercuts.  They didn’t know.

We have our brand – we have our experience. We will see where we go from here.