In honor of the New Year, Pigtails & Crewcuts’ President Wade Brannon wrote the article “9 Resolutions Every Business Owner Should Make in 2013.” The story was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Albany Times Union, Money News and a number of other newspapers, websites and radio stations. We invite you to check out those resolutions here, on our Pigtails & Crewcuts franchise blog.
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By Kate Silver
Can women have it all? It’s a topic that’s generated quite a bit of buzz over the summer, following The Atlantic’s July cover story, “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All.” In the piece, author Anne-Marie Slaughter says that notion of life/family balance is more fantasy than fact in this day and age. “I still strongly believe that women can ‘have it all’ …’” wrote Slaughter. “But not today, not with the way America’s economy and society are currently structured.”
While Slaughter makes strong points, the piece neglects to explore the world of entrepreneurial women who have left behind jobs that don’t allow for the life balance they crave, and set out on their own.
According to the 2012 “State of Women-Owned Business Report” by American Express Open, more than 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States generate more than $1.3 trillion in revenue and employ more than 7.5 million people. Between 1997 and 2012, women-owned firms increased by 54 percent in the United States. That’s one and a half times the national average.
Do the women at the helm of their own businesses have it all? According to a sampling of women business owners at Pigtails & Crewcuts, a kid-centric salon, the resounding answer is, “Absolutely.”
Hailey Arthur never expected to be a stay-at-home mom. When her first child was born, she had every intention of returning to her job as a recruiter at Bank of America. She enjoyed her career, and she and her husband relied on both incomes. But then her son suffered a brain injury during birth, and doctors told her that he had cerebral palsy. Faced with a lifetime of therapy and doctors appointments, Arthur decided she needed to quit her job and stay home with her son.
A few years later, in 2007, her twins were born. For Arthur, being home with three children was challenging, to say the least. “By the time the twins got to be 18 months old, I was certifiably insane,” says Arthur. “I said, ‘I cannot do this! I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom!’” She and her husband, Mike, discussed their options, and decided that they wanted to open Pigtails & Crewcuts, a children’s hair salon franchise in the Blakeney area of their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Today, three years after the salon opened, Arthur spends mornings at Pigtails & Crewcuts and afternoons with her children. She says the business has given her the challenge and outlet that she craved. “It gives me, Hailey-the-person, more of a purpose than Hailey-the-mom,” she says. “I feel like I have something that is mine—my project and my passion outside of my children. And I think it helps me keep my identity that way.”
For Arthur, having it all is about having a strong support network. “I think women can have it all if you are doing the right thing. With Pigtails & Crewcuts I have a very supportive network,” she says. “While I feel like I have a great balance, I wouldn’t be able to do it alone.”
For Kendra Keating, opening two Pigtails & Crewcuts in San Diego (eventually she will open a total of five) was a way of keeping close to home. A single mom, Keating was the former CFO of a consulting firm, and in the first year of her daughter’s life, mom and daughter (and nanny) traveled 122 days. As her child approached kindergarten, Keating began searching for a flexible career that would allow her to pick her up from school every day and be involved in homework, parent-teacher meetings, activities and more. As a Pigtails & Crewcuts salon owner, she’s found just that. “I probably work as much as I would if I were working for somebody else, but I decide when I work, and a lot of it can be done from home,” she says. “I think if you power through, you can do anything you want to do.”
Julie Luna was searching for an opportunity in Omaha, Nebraska that would mean little to no travel. For years, she’d managed an automobile business unit with a Fortune 150 company and was on the road, away from her five daughters, up to 75 percent of the time. After leaving her job, she signed a five-salon deal with Pigtails & Crewcuts, and today, is much more involved in her daughters’ lives and schools. Luna says she’s thrilled to provide an entrepreneurial example for her daughters, who range in age from 6 to 13 (recently married, she also has two stepsons). “I’ve always taught them it’s great to be a mom, and if that’s your career choice that’s awesome, but you can do anything you want to do,” says Luna. “I think this shows them that yeah, I had a big job with a big company, but now I took a chance and I own something, and it really illustrates how many options are ahead of them.”
For Dalia Alford, owning a Pigtails & Crewcuts in Cedar Park, Texas, has proven to her that she’s a better multi-tasker than she ever knew. A former teacher, Alford quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom to her two children. Soon after, her husband was laid off, and the family decided to invest their savings in a kids’ salon franchise (her husband found another job soon after). Now with a third child and a fourth on the way, Alford can’t picture herself doing anything else.
“I can’t imagine what else would have allowed me to continue doing everything I’m doing without completely losing my mind,” she says. “I definitely have flexibility. I have great hours. And while I’m always available to my staff, I don’t physically have to be here every single second,” she says.
Alford adds that, as far as she’s concerned, woman can do whatever they set their minds to. “I take issue with the theory that women can’t do everything. I don’t think it’s easy, but women are certainly capable of having it all.”
Atlanta, Georgia (September 19, 2012) — Pigtails & Crewcuts in Charlotte, North Carolina (in Blakeney) has been honored with the “Asperkids Seal of Awesomeness” by Jennifer Cook O’Toole. This award recognizes businesses, products and resources that are attentive to the special needs of children with Asperger Syndrome. O’Toole, who is a customer of Pigtails & Crewcuts in Charlotte (Blakeney) and the creator of the award, is also the author of the book Asperkids: An Insider’s Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children with Asperger Syndrome.
“We are so honored to receive the ‘Asperkids Seal of Awesomeness,’” said Hailey Arthur, who, along with her husband, Mike, owns the Pigtails & Crewcuts salon in Charlotte (Blakeney). “We opened Pigtails & Crewcuts because we couldn’t find a salon in town that knew how to treat our son’s special needs. We sought to fill that void, and this recognition really validates the hard work we’ve put into doing just that.”
Arthur says she works with her staff to accommodate the needs of all children. She says the following tips are helpful when children with special needs come into the salon:
1. Speak quietly and calmly to the child and let him/her see the tools and touch the clippers/trimmers before you use them.
2. Have someone on hand to blow bubbles or play a game to help distract the child.
3. When you ask a question of the child, wait for him/her to answer. Sometimes the child may need a little longer to respond.
4. Be patient with the child. Let him/her play in the salon for a little while before starting the haircut.
5. End on a positive note. Talk about what a great job he/she did and and say that you hope they come back to see you again. In our salon, the kids get a lollipop, animal crackers and a treasure from the treasure box at the end of the haircut.
Arthur says that Pigtails & Crewcuts is a place where kids can be themselves, whether they’re laughing or crying. She says she got into this business because she wanted to make a difference. “For people with special needs, everything is difficult. Opening a lunch is difficult. Going to the bathroom is difficult. Getting a haircut is difficult,” said Arthur. “I want parents to understand that Pigtails & Crewcuts recognizes that, and we do everything we can to make just this one thing easier for them. Being able to provide that sense of security and comfort for people makes me feel so good.”
O’Toole, who has a background in education and advocacy, created the “Asperkids Seal of Awesomeness” to serve as a guide to help families impacted by Asperger’s. O’Toole was diagnosed Asperger Syndrome as an adult, and her husband and three children also have Asperger Syndrome. An internationally respected advocate for people with special needs, she received the 2012 Temple Grandin award for her contributions to Asperger Syndrome awareness.
About Pigtails & Crewcuts
Founded in 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia, Pigtails & Crewcuts is a children’s hair salon franchise dedicated to making haircuts fun and stress-free for young patrons and their parents. With 32 locations across the nation, Pigtails & Crewcuts specializes in quality haircuts for boys and girls of all ages, and also hosts children’s parties. In 2010, Parents.com named Pigtails & Crewcuts one of the Top 10 Chains for Kid Birthday Parties. In addition, Entrepreneur Magazine has named Pigtails & Crewcuts a top franchise on the “Franchise 500” list for five consecutive years. To learn more, go to pigtailsandcrewcutsfranchise.com.
T.J. Liles, (877) 752-6800, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos available upon request.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Sept. 4, 2012) — Baton Rouge Parents Magazine has named Pigtails & Crewcuts the “Best Children’s Hair Salon” in their 2012 Family Favorites issue. This is the Baton Rouge Pigtails & Crewcuts’ fifth consecutive year to receive the honor, which is determined each year by audience voting.
Brooke Watson, who is manager of the children’s salon, said that the award is an honor that she treasures. “This recognition really validates what we’re trying to do as a children’s salon,” said Watson. “We offer quality hair cuts, unrivaled customer service and a fun environment where kids—and their parents—can relax. Being named ‘Best Children’s Hair Salon’ for five years in a row means that the community appreciates us just as much as we appreciate them. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Pigtails & Crewcuts, which opened in 2008, spends time and resources throughout the year giving back to the greater Baton Rouge community. In addition to donating products and services to local schools and charities, the staff regularly visits Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, where they spend time with sick children, painting their nails and pampering them.
The salon, which is located in Towne Center at Cedar Lodge, 7450 Jefferson Highway, has chairs shaped like airplanes and automobiles, as well as chairs for mom, dad and older siblings. With a variety of toys, books, movies and video games, children actually look forward to visiting the salon, and so do parents. Pigtails & Crewcuts even has a party room reserved for birthday parties, dress-up parties, tea parties and other themed celebrations. Thanks to its enthusiastic customers, Pigtails & Crewcuts has become one of the fastest growing franchises in the United States and has been named to the “Franchise 500” list by Entrepreneur Magazine for five consecutive years.
About Pigtails & Crewcuts
Founded in 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia, Pigtails & Crewcuts is a children’s hair salon franchise dedicated to making haircuts fun and stress-free for young patrons and their parents. With 32 locations across the nation, Pigtails & Crewcuts specializes in quality haircuts for boys and girls of all ages, and also hosts children’s parties. In 2010, Parents.com named Pigtails & Crewcuts one of the Top 10 Chains for Kid Birthday Parties. In addition, Entrepreneur Magazine has named Pigtails & Crewcuts to the “Franchise 500” list as a top franchise for five consecutive years. To learn more, go to pigtailsandcrewcuts.com.
T.J. Liles, (877) 752-6800, email@example.com
Photos available upon request.
By Kate Silver
From natural shampoos and ‘Groovy Goo’ to hair tinsel, big barrettes and the ‘Big Time Rush’ look, kids will be on the cutting edge in 2012.
The hot words for hair and hair accessories in 2011 were “feathers,” “pink,” and “The Justin Bieber” (followed by “the haircut formerly known as the Justin Bieber”).
With 2012 just around the corner, we polled kids’ hair-care specialists across the country to find out what to look forward to in the coming year. In sum, expect to see their hair accessories big, their hawks “faux” and their products natural (and smelling like bananas).
This is what else we found:
For older girls, the face-framing long layers are in, says Theresa Lamb, manager of Pigtails & Crewcuts in Glenview, Illinois, and so are hair tinsels—shiny, metallic strands that are tied into the hair by a stylist. Those clamp-on feathers, seen on everyone from Steven Tyler (who’s credited with bringing the plumes to fame) to Jennifer Love Hewitt, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Hilary Duff are losing their allure with the tween crowd, but the trend isn’t over yet, according to Lamb. “I think the younger girls are starting to get more into the feathers now, because they’ve seen older siblings wearing them.”
Also popular for girls: The classic bob and braids, including waterfall and fishtail braids.
Boys spent the last year striving to be Justin Bieber—even long after Justin Bieber had moved on to a less mussed look. But now, the boys are asking to look like the guys on the Nickelodeon series, “Big Time Rush. “It’s actually similar to the Justin Bieber,” admits Lamb. In addition, faux hawks and skater-like mushroom cuts are popular. But most of all, Lamb says she focuses on doing whatever works best with the lad’s hair. “A lot of younger boys have cowlicks, so you have to work around that and give them a style that’s good for them,” says Lamb.
Big is better, when it comes to hair accessories—and just about every girl is will be accessorizing their hair in 2012. Kara Dahn, coowner of Queen Bee Barrette, based in Newburyport, Massachusetts, says that large barrettes, fluffy flowers and bold, classic bows are a way of making a feminine statement. “It’s girly, it’s like high fashion,” she says. Popular colors for the coming year include ivory, pink, orange, brown with polka dots, animal prints and anything metallic or glittery.
Annie Sayer, co-founder of No Slippy Hair Clippy, Inc., based in Vacaville, California, says that she’s seeing an increased interest in headbands in all age groups—from babies through adults. Sayer says she expects bright colors with fun and whimsical themes to be a big hit in hair accessories in 2012. “People really want to dress their kids bright and fun,” says Sayer. “Parents want to brighten things up, because things have been hard the last few years,” she says. By spending just $5 to $10, adds Sayer, hair accessories are a simple way take an outfit to the next level and make a statement without spending a fortune.
For years, parents expected kids to share their adult hair products, assuming that hair of all ages had the same needs. Now, kids have access to kid-centric lines, made with high-quality ingredients to keep their hair pure and free from chemical damage. Dick Hegener, president of Custom Formulations, a hair care manufacturing company based in Cologne, Minnesota, says that parents are really embracing more natural products aimed specifically at kids, including styling aids (i.e. hair-spiking balm), like Pigtails & Crewcuts’ Groovy Goo. He said that busy moms on the go gravitate towards Pigtails & Crewcuts’ No No Knots, a detangling spray that makes it easy (and painless) to make sense of bed head, without shampooing, and kids are also drawn to products for their inviting scents, like the strawberry-scented Pigtails & Crewcuts Berries and Bows conditioner and grape-like Goofy Grape shampoo.
Scott Knapp, account executive with Circle of Friends, which is based in Los Angeles, says that shampoo scents such as raspberry and pineapple have also developed a huge following, and he expects banana to be a popular scent in 2012. In addition, Circle of Friends, which specializes in gentle kids shampoo that is free of harsh chemicals, including sodium lauryl sulfates, will be coming out with a new product aimed at kids that’s similar to Moroccan oil, giving the hair a beautiful finishing shine. “This is something that’s grown tremendously in the adult category,” says Knapp. “Moroccan oil is everywhere.”
Knapp adds that the place that Circle of Friends is seeing the most growth is the lice prevention category. That’s right—prevention. “In the past, when you were dealing with lice, you were dealing with treatment,” says Knapp. “It’s been proven time and again that people are getting more sophisticated, as they realize there are ways of actually preventing lice from getting into the home.” Circle of Friends sells a line of products that combine tea tree oil, lavender and other oils that actually repel lice. “If there is a lice outbreak and the children are using our products, they will not get lice,” says Knapp.