Opening her fourth Great Clips franchise this summer, Panama City Beach resident Lynn Richardson is excited to have yet another location geared towards making people look and feel good.
"This isn't a business about cheap haircuts," she said. "Our purpose is making customers feel good and have fun."
Richardson's husband, John, was the one who opened the first of their string of Great Clips franchises in 2010 in Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City Beach. The idea struck him while looking to get a quick haircut in Phoenix, where the couple had a second home. But when he decided to open a Great Clips franchise, there were already too many in the Phoenix area, so they headed back to Northwest Florida and set up shop.
In 2011, John passed away unexpectedly, and so Richardson retired from her 30-plus years in educational publishing to handle the business.
"I've gone from corporation environment to essentially running a small business," Richardson said. "I do payroll, marketing — a little bit of everything. It's kind of fun. And I've received overwhelming support from Great Clips."
The hair salon franchise is different from the average walk-in salon in that it offers online check-in. From your computer or smart phone, you can find a Great Clips nearest to you and check-in, which decreases your time waiting in the reception area.
"Our customers want to get a haircut when they want to get a haircut," Richardson said.
On top of convenience, Great Clips is also affordable, with regular haircuts priced at $13 and $7.99 for military and first responders. Richardson noted that her husband, who was a vet, was always pleased to offer that discount.
While the price is low, the quality of service is not. Great Clips stylists are licensed and regularly receive training to develop their skills and talents. Richardson said she is always looking to add more stylists to the team.
"These people are professionals," Richardson said. "Our customers come in getting a $30-$40 value for $13."
And no matter where you are and who cuts your hair, you are guaranteed to get the cut you like through the ClipNotes service, which allows stylists to keep an online record of your hair cut preferences.
"We hope when customers come in, it feels like home," Richardson said. "Same price, same service."
Over the years clientele at local salons have expanded.
"Historically, men have been our demographic, but we're seeing more and more women come in," Richardson said. "We also love our snowbirds and even have a snowbird stylist."