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Reflections on 40 Years with Great Clips

As a stylist for more than 40 years, Bev has seen hair trends and fashions come and go. But throughout it all, the one thing that has remained the same is her employer. Bev started at her first independently owned Great Clips® salon in Minnesota in 1984 and has worked for the same franchisees ever since.  

At 60, Bev could be planning to wind down her career, but instead, she’s planning her next 10 years. We couldn’t wait to sit down with this veteran stylist to learn what inspires her, how she keeps her skills fresh, and why she’s not ready to put down her clippers yet. 

[Interviewer:] How did your career as a stylist begin? 

[Bev:] After finishing beauty school, I wanted to work nights because I wasn’t a morning person. Plus, nights and weekends are when you can make the most money! I got my first job at the Brooklyn Center Great Clips salon. Over the next 10 years, I bounced around between three other salons in the Twin Cities area. During that time, I got married and, after I had my daughter, we moved north. I was able to transfer to the Great Clips salon in my new town and have spent the last 30 years between two locations here.  

Over 40 years, you’ve probably seen it all! What’s your most memorable customer request? 

Once I was asked to shave the Notre Dame emblem onto the back of a customer’s head. I don’t remember why he wanted it. It was back when I was at our Columbia Heights salon. That was when we wore navy blue pants, white and red polo shirts, and blue shoes. We had those canvas director chairs in the lobby, and wicker baskets on our stations to hold our combs and brushes.  

Great Clips salons have changed a lot since then. Hairstyles have, too. What are some of your favorites? 

Back in the day, I loved creating the Farrah Fawcett feathered cut with long, shaggy curtain bangs. Mullets from the 80s were fun. Today a guy asked for a pompadour. It was a fun cut, and it looks great on him!  

Sounds like you have the skills and flexibility to execute almost any haircut. 

I owe that in part to Great Clips. Great Clips has a solid cutting and clippering system, and a culture of training for stylists at all skill levels. You can access online and in-person classes on hundreds of topics. There’s always something new you can learn. If you take advantage of it, there’s so much room for career advancement and growth. 

Have you ever explored salon management opportunities? 

Yes, I’ve done it all! I’ve been a salon manager off and on over the years. I loved managing and developing really great teams. Then COVID hit, and managing was taking a toll on me. I was bringing a lot of my stress home. I decided I should focus on being a hairstylist. 

Any advice for stylists looking to build a long and rewarding career like yours? 

Keep learning! Take advantage of classes and continuing education, and don’t be afraid to ask your fellow stylists for help on specific skills. For example, if you don’t understand how to do curtain bangs, ask! Hair trends will continue to evolve, and you need to keep up. 

After 40 years behind the chair, what’s next? 

I hope I have 10 more years in me! At 65, I’d like to go down to a part-time schedule and, if my body allows, I want to work until I’m 70.  

I think it’d be cool if I could tell people I worked at Great Clips salons for 50 years.  

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