The most successful leaders set clear goals, act strategically, and have a vision for the future. That’s how Pigtails & Crewcuts CEO, Wade Brannon, was able to effectively grow two brands in two different industries: his previous company, Heavenly Ham, and Pigtails & Crewcuts. While these concepts are in different industries, one a specialty food company and the other a children’s hair salon, they are similar in many ways, specifically; both created added value while providing a fairly common service or product. However, the characteristics of Wade’s leadership have allowed for incredible growth, scalability, and profitability for his franchisees within both industries.
In the 80s, the restaurant market was booming. The concept of Heavenly Ham allowed customers to efficiently provide quality meals for their families for special occasions. and the idea was appealing to investors who wanted to get into the growing industry. Wade and his partners bought the fledgling brand, in 1985 with the idea of franchising it throughout the US. At the time, there was a single location in South Carolina. By strategically expanding the product line from just spiral sliced hams, to exceptional complimentary products and recruiting business-oriented franchises, Wade and his team grew the brand to over 230 locations across 33 states.
In 2002, Heavenly Ham was acquired, and Wade stepped away from franchising in order to spend time with his family and help others starting out in the industry. Wade recognized the importance of this work-life balance and discovered how few franchise concepts offered that to franchisees. After consulting with the owner of the start-up Pigtails & Crewcuts, Wade ended up acquiring the concept and jumped back into franchising to scale a second brand.
In 2005, after building a team of seasoned franchise veterans and developing the business systems that could be replicated by local franchisees, Wade and Pigtails & Crewcuts franchised their first location. The system has grown strategically and organically from there. Even through the Great Recession and most recently, a worldwide pandemic, the children’s segment of the haircare industry continues to grow. Due to Wade’s expertise in franchising and leading his team with integrity, Pigtails & Crewcuts has grown to 70 locations in 23 states. Part of this growth is due to the importance Wade places on reviewing the financials performance of each franchisee, utilizing key performance indicators, and understanding system-wide data. His team understands that their job is to support their franchisees and in turn, see them through to success and profit.
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