At Pigtails & Crewcuts, family always comes first. The same is true for Keesha Kitterman and her mother Tracy Risley, who own three Pigtails & Crewcuts salons in Kansas and South Carolina.
From following their entrepreneurial dream to building a strong team for their multiple salons, Keesha and Tracy are looking forward to serving more families and continuing to grow their locations in the coming years.
From Manager to Franchisee
Keesha began her career as a teacher’s aide and went on to become a manager at the Pigtails & Crewcuts in Wichita, Kansas. Throughout her five years there, she became more impressed with the brand and the relationships she was building with her clients. Meanwhile, her mom Tracy worked for an aerospace manufacturing company.
Keesha first recognized her entrepreneurial dream when she was still working as a manager and the owners were looking to sell the Wichita West location. It was then that a lightbulb went off.
“I thought, ‘If someone is going to own it, it might as well be me,” Keesha explained.
Keesha spoke with her mom and together the two of them purchased their first Pigtails & Crewcuts location in Wichita West, Kansas. Just 9 months later in the height of the pandemic, they took over the second location in Wichita East. Three weeks after Keesha went from employee to entrepreneur, she was forced to close for two months due to COVID-19 state mandates. They opted to use that time to focus on upgrades around the salons, reorganize supplies, and improve the employee’s lounge room. From revamping to refining processes, the new entrepreneurs’ proactiveness paid off well, and once state guidelines were lifted, they received positive feedback from clients and team members eager to get back to work.
Their investment paid off and Tracy was able to retire from her previous job. Almost a year after taking over their second store in Kansas, Keesha and Tracy purchased their third location in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in November of 2021.
Building and Enhancing through all Obstacles
When it came to building a team, Keesha and Tracy were fortunate enough to retain the majority of the staff at their first two salons in Kansas. They were able to have a few floaters bounce back between locations but mainly worked to build up a consistent set of team members for both stores. They focused more on maintaining a positive work culture and doing everything they could to provide the best service possible.
Keesha and Tracy are currently developing their semi-absentee model by continuing to build up their team. They’ve hired a few managers in Wichita and they hope to do the same with all of their locations.
The Benefits of Owning a Well-Known Children’s Franchise
For Keesha and Tracy, the best part about running their salons is the people they get to interact with every day. They credit much of their success to their strong team.
“They are so patient. They truly listen to clients, make the kids and parents as comfortable as possible and treat each person who walks through the door like family,” they explained.
The mother-daughter duo loves the fact that they put not only the kids, but the parents at ease, especially with so many clients who are stay-at-home moms. They have also enjoyed the solid profitability that comes along with owning a Pigtails & Crewcuts franchise.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s so rewarding,” they said. “Financially it will work as long as you keep your inventory stocked, you get to know your market and your staff, and you can build a positive work culture.”
With benefits like startup assistance, a low entry cost, franchise support, extensive training, and reduced hours of operation, there are so many reasons to explore the opportunities available in the world of children’s franchises.