“I have never seen a kid who didn’t want to get his hair cut as much as Tommy.” Bob Farster, Pigtails & Crewcuts owner of the children’s salon in Glenview, IL, smiled recalling the experience one of his long-time customers had while conquering his fear of getting his hair cut.
Since Tommy started coming into Bob’s salon at around the age of 2, he kicked and screamed. To be fair, Tommy was a very sweet kid when he wasn’t getting his hair cut. He would run up to the stylists and give them hugs, but he was just afraid of getting a haircut.
Then, there came a day when Tommy walked through the front doors and announced to the entire salon that today was the day he wouldn’t put up a fight and would sit calmly through his haircut.
“The look of joy and pride on his face after he sat through his haircut makes it totally worth it,” Bob said. “He did something he didn’t think he could do, and we played a pretty big part in that.”
Today, Tommy is in middle school and still gets his hair cut at the salon.
It’s this type of experience that Bob finds most rewarding. Being able to watch his clients grow over the years and change, and being a small part of their lives is an irreplaceable source of satisfaction.
“We see them coming in when they’re very scared of getting their hair cut and when they reach the point where they’re running into the salon and hugging the stylists,” said Bob.
A Franchise Opportunity Designed Around Kids
The initial spark for Bob and his wife to explore business ownership was ignited by a life-changing moment for many married couples – having children.
“The idea of having a 9-to-5 job while raising kids wasn’t really appealing to me,” Bob explained.
In 2006, Bob first began researching business opportunities, focusing his attention on those that catered to kids. That’s when he came across Pigtails & Crewcuts.
“The salon had a very classic, upscale look,” said Bob. “This was a business where we could see ourselves bringing our kids.”
A year after initially discovering the brand and doing his due diligence, he and his wife went to the brand headquarters in Atlanta, GA, for the Discovery Day. They ended up signing the franchise agreement and opened their salon in 2008.
The Impact of a Strong Company Culture
“The Pigtails & Crewcuts culture is fun, friendly, thoughtful, and helpful,” said Bob.
This includes other franchisees and the corporate office, both of which are always there and ready to help. Bob’s background, like the vast majority of Pigtails & Crewcuts franchisees, is not in the hair care industry.
Prior to opening his salon, Bob worked in the mortgage lending sector. Superficially, there aren’t many similarities to running a children’s hair salon, but, according to Bob, there is a variety of translatable skills.
“If you’ve ever been in a career where you’ve had to look at balance sheets, managed other people, or needed to do business planning, all of these skillsets serve you well as a business owner,” said Bob.
There is a slight learning curve when you first get started running a hair salon, but that’s where the strong corporate support really comes into play. You’ve got decades of experience in running a franchise to back you up.
A Kid-Friendly Franchise Business Model
Pigtails & Crewcuts operating model offers advantages to both franchisees and their staff.
Bob’s newest employee has been with him for four years, the rest have been with him since the beginning. His hiring strategy has focused on online recruitment through Facebook and other job boards, and once he finds a great stylist, he’s able to leverage their connections to find other qualified talent.
Bob attributes the long staff tenure to really understanding his employees’ needs.
“Stylists really want the same thing anybody else wants,” he said. “They want to feel appreciated at work and like their voice matters.”
A big draw for stylists is that they’re not exposed to any harsh chemicals, which is fairly rare in the hair care industry. The clientele is another factor that keeps stylists happy – they love working with children.
And the operating hours, which are typically 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week and reduced during the weekend, help to give stylists the opportunity to maintain a strong work-life balance.
Work-life balance is something that Bob highlights as a benefit for franchisees, as well. Initially, you have to put in the effort to ensure you understand how to effectively operate a children’s hair salon, get comfortable with your staff and build a strong clientele.
But after 12 years as an owner, Bob works primarily from home. He still communicates regularly with his employees over the phone and by texting, but his staff is so strong that he doesn’t need to be in the salon every day.
“I’m able to go my kids’ sporting events, pick them up from school, and have the flexibility to be the dad that gets to volunteer for different events,” said Bob.
How to Learn More about Pigtails & Crewcuts Franchise Opportunities
Are you interested in joining a leading kids’ haircut franchise? Download our free franchise information packet to learn more about franchise opportunities with Pigtails & Crewcuts!