Andrew McGehee spent the first 18 years of his career logging 70-hour workweeks as a restaurant general manager. But, as a father of two young children and a third on the way, Andrew’s strenuous work schedule became less sustainable.
He decided to re-route his career path away from restaurant management and in pursuit of franchise ownership. After taking his sons for a haircut to Pigtails & Crewcuts, Andrew realized the children’s hair salon franchise presented the perfect business opportunity.
“Every four weeks, my wife and I had been taking our three- and five-year-old sons to the nearest Pigtails & Crewcuts, which was a two-hour roundtrip drive from where we lived,” Andrew said. “Our whole family loved the brand and experience, and there were no similar concepts in our area. Opening a local Pigtails & Crewcuts seemed like a no-brainer.”
Finding Fulfillment with a Kid’s Salon Franchise
Beyond the strength of concept and high market demand, Pigtails & Crewcuts also felt like the perfect fit for Andrew because of its kid-friendly focus. Before having young children of his own, he spent his college years pursuing a degree in elementary education
“Before getting into hospitality management, I always thought I’d be a teacher because I loved working with kids,” Andrew said. “I enjoyed working in the restaurant industry, but the idea of opening up my own kid-friendly business was really exciting.”
The opportunity seemed like destiny to Andrew, and in January 2016, he opened the doors to his first Pigtails & Crewcuts franchise.
“Even during the very first phone call with the VP of Franchise Development, I felt like I was talking to family,” Andrew said. “I felt like that when I met the entire leadership team and continue to feel the same way to this day. And if I ever have a question, I can count on them to get back to me with an answer by the next day.”
Growing His Business while Raising a Family
Just one year after opening his first location, Andrew became an Area Representative. Now he oversees our entire Alabama and Mississippi markets.
“I wanted to break into the Mississippi and Alabama markets because both areas were untapped, and we knew the concept had the potential to really take off there,” Andrew said. “We also wanted to bridge the gap between some of the states, like Louisiana and Tennessee, where there were also no existing Pigtails & Crewcuts or many competitors. I really had the chance to corner the market by investing as an Area Representative.”
In 2019, he decided to purchase the Pigtails & Crewcuts franchise in Roswell, GA, where he used to take his kids.
Andrew now owns and operates his two Georgia franchise locations, while overseeing the development of two others in Alabama. Even with so much business growth, he has also been able to spend more time with his family – one of his main objectives in business ownership.
“The first six months to a year in business, you have to really give it your all. But now, I spend about half as much time working as I did in restaurants,” Andrew said. “Pigtails & Crewcuts completely changed my life from that standpoint. I’m able to pick my kids up from school, help them with their homework, and I work from home for much of the business management work.”
Whereas Andrew previously worked until 3 a.m. most nights in the restaurant industry, the simple hours of operation at Pigtails & Crewcuts were a welcome change for the father of three.
An Unyielding Commitment to the Brand and Business
Andrew has been able to achieve an enviable work-life balance, but his strong work ethic and dedication to his business haven’t wavered.
His hard work has paid off even beyond the balance sheet, and last year, he received the prestigious President’s Award. This award is presented by President and CEO Wade Brannon to a franchisee who is not only committed to the success of their salon but also the success of the entire franchise.
“It was completely unexpected, but the President’s Award meant a lot to me because I really go out of my way to not only protect the brand but also push the brand, make it better and be there for my fellow franchisees,” Andrew said. “Whenever a prospective franchisee calls for validation, I’m always more than happy to tell them about what an amazing opportunity and experience it has been.”