From Stylists to Owners: How 3 Sport Clips Stylists Became Franchisees
Sport Clips Haircuts has worked to establish itself as a reliable choice for men’s haircuts nationwide. For some franchisees, owning a store and managing a team of stylists is second nature because they got their start as stylists or barbers themselves.
- Amanda Mazzone, owner of three Sport Clips in New Jersey, has been with the franchise since she was 22, when she started out as a coordinator with dreams of becoming a stylist. Mazzone was drawn to this work as a child because she saw other stylists carrying themselves with incredible confidence. “I loved who they were as people,” she says. Mazzone brought this people-focused approach to her own management style, where she prioritizes building relationships and treating employees and clients with kindness. When it comes to leading a team, the perspective gained through experience as a stylist provides substantial benefits. It paid off for Mazzone recently when she was recognized at Sport Clips’ National Huddle as a Team Leader (Franchisee) of the Year.
- Almaz Haile began her journey with Sport Clips in 2000 as a stylist. Coming into the brand as a stylist or barber has its advantages, she says, “because you know what you are doing. The stylists always say to me, ‘You understand us better.’” Management positions require an ability to multitask and think on your feet, skills she learned through working as both as a stylist and manager.
- Gregory Zotian began as a barber to gain experience before owning his own stores. “I’ve seen other shops where they don’t care about their employees, but with Sport Clips, the way we focus on the culture of the store and how we focus on the team members, that mentality helps drive us to how successful it has been in every state,” he says. Zotian says Sport Clips is unique because it focuses on cultivating the specialized in-store experience, elevating it above a simple haircut.
Advice for newbies
Here are the biggest pieces of advice these three stylists/barbers turned franchisees have for others looking to follow in their footsteps and make their own career leap.
- Work hard. “I tell them the grass is greener here because we make it green,” says Haile, speaking to the importance of putting in effort to get yourself where you want to go. “It doesn’t happen overnight, but with hard work you can get there.”
- Ask questions. “The way I made the leap from stylist to owner was to ask a lot of questions,” says Zotian. “When you want to own your business, you can never ask too many questions. Make sure you take the time and understand the business before taking on a big change in your life.”
- Be confident. “I was a stylist for two years and a manager for eight before making the jump,” says Mazzone. “I did not inherit my stores. I had to earn them, and that was scary. But don’t let anyone doubt your abilities. Be positive and determined.”
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