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Finding The Salon Where I Belong 

We regularly hear that Great Clips salons are an inclusive, welcoming environment. A place where individuals have the freedom to be themselves and at the same time, be appreciated for who they are. We sat down with Savannah and Andrew, two stylist educators who have a great deal of experience in the industry and with the Great Clips brand. The two of them shared their personal and professional journeys, along with how they have felt as members of the LGBTQ community along the way. Here are their stories.  

How did you first connect with Great Clips? 

Savannah: I went to a trade school in high school, and then I attended a local community college for cosmetology. After graduation, I worked at a private salon for six months and did not make a dime. I was 19-years-old when I walked into my local Great Clips salon, and thankfully they hired me. 

Andrew: Finding Great Clips was my happy accident. I was a middle school science teacher, but the economy was getting bad. I had my cosmetology license and saw an ad for my local Great Clips® salon, so I decided to check it out. I went in for an interview and they asked me to do a haircut and a clipper cut. I was used to full-service salons, so I gave a beautiful haircut, but it took 25-30 minutes. They said they could work with me on my haircut time and gave me the job. I didn’t realize Great Clips was a select-service salon, so I wondered how it would go. I discovered I can do an efficient service and give each customer a great experience in 15 minutes.  

What was your personal experience like at the salon? 

Savannah: When I started working at a Great Clips salon, I realized being a gay person didn’t mean I had to be satisfied with just being tolerated. I had been tolerated all my life – not accepted, supported, or affirmed – so Great Clips was refreshing. I got to show up as myself and experience true affirmation. The salon culture offered nothing but kindness.  

Andrew: The beauty industry has a reputation for being open and accepting to all, and Great Clips is part of that. I have never been singled out because of who I am. In fact, I’ve been embraced with open arms. My husband, Tim, was also immediately accepted into the Great Clips family. My teammates have always been loving and kind; it’s part of our brand’s values, and it’s present throughout all levels. 

What opportunities have you had with Great Clips?  

Savannah: I don’t think people realize how much your career impacts your quality of life, especially when you’re a minority. Through Great Clips, I was able to move up to an assistant manager position, and then a manager role. I worked as a recruiter and a trainer for my franchisees and had the opportunity to build my presentation and public speaking skills by delivering technical demonstrations to local cosmetology students. My wife and I were able to buy our first house thanks to Great Clips!  

Andrew: I started off with Great Clips working part-time in the evenings for six months, then I was promoted to salon manager of a busy salon for three years. In 2012, my franchisee brought me and the other salon managers in his organization to the Great Clips 30th Anniversary Convention in Minneapolis. I loved it and had the opportunity to connect with the Great Clips national education team. I later joined the education team and have now been on it for 11 years. It’s like everything aligned – my education degree and cosmetology license all came together.  

What advice would you give to a stylist considering where to work? 

Savannah: Great Clips® salons are accessible to everyone, and that’s important. Stylists who choose to join Great Clips have the chance to be a part of something really special. 

Andrew: In one of my recent classes, I met a stylist who has worked for locally-owned Great Clips® salons seven times in 40 years. I see it all the time. Companies that have a strong values system are some of the most successful companies. At Great Clips, we are kind, and if you leave, you’ll come back. 

We’d love to connect with you! Use our search tool to find available roles at your local Great Clips salon. 

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