As Salons by JC celebrates two decades in business, it’s expecting to exceed $30 million in revenue.
Founded in September 1998 by Jack Griffey and Cecil Miller, the company is a salon suite concept where professionals can rent space to operate their own beauty business.
Starting from its first location in North Dallas at the corner of Coit and Campbell roads, Salons by JC has since grown from 32 salon suite owners in 1998 to 3,200 suite owners in 2018. The company has also moved its headquarters from Dallas to San Antonio, and now operates 95 stores in 26 U.S. states and Canada.
Steve Griffey, who took over his role from his father, Jack Griffey, spoke with the Dallas Business Journal about the company’s growth through franchising and how it plans to empower today’s salon suite owners.
What were the early years of Salons by JC like?
Early on, it was trying to figure out how to recruit beauty professionals to come into a space and be independent. There’s been chair rental around forever, where (beauty professionals) would rent a chair or (have) a commission situation. (The company’s founders) were trying to figure out the value proposition to pay a little bit more and have your own room that you have 24/7 access to. It was certainly interesting. I would say Dallas is ground zero for the whole salon suite concept, so the competition revved up pretty quickly in Dallas, as well. You were never going to be the shiny, new penny, so you had to figure out a way that you could compete at a higher level without just having a new facility. We brought the service level in, where we have a concierge on site. It helps with leasing and facility management, but it also helps with marketing assistance and a variety of other business services that we offer to the suite owners that lease from us.
Did you start to see similar salon suite models emerge?
In Dallas, you’re pushing 300 different salon suites in the Metroplex, which is unbelievable. There’s not another market in the country that has even half that many.
What sort of growth has Salons by JC seen since 1998?
We’ve grown our corporate stores (by) about one every year and a half. In 2008, we decided to start franchising. We made enough mistakes that we figured we could help some people avoid. We managed to sell four or five franchises over the course of three or four years. Then, we found a sales group that helped us in 2012, and we sold the rights to salons across the country.
What are your strongest markets besides Dallas?
The Southeast has been great to us, (especially) Atlanta, Miami. We’re in 26 states now, so there are pockets in the Northeast. New York has been awesome for us. We opened a store in Manhattan about a year and a half ago that’s done well. In the Northeast … people are used to working for somebody else. That’s just the culture. If you come to the South, and if you come to the West, people have a little more of the entrepreneurial spirit, and they all want to own their own business. What we do gives them the opportunity to do it. It fits into the whole culture.
What is driving the growth you see today?
For us, it’s been franchising and being able to find partners across the country that believe in the concept. Our existing franchisees have had great success and now, they’re opening their second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth store. We’ll push over hundred stores in the next six months.
What makes Salons by JC different than what you see in a lot of other salon suites is the person that we put inside the salon. We’re starting to leverage that and go deeper with their education. We just rolled out in June an “Empowering You” program for the suite owners that we lease to. We can’t teach people how to cut hair and color hair, but we can help them run their business at a higher level. We can help them save. We can help them find the best option to buy a home. We can help them plan for retirement. We can help them leverage technology to be more efficient with their time and make more money. We want to come alongside them and help them with that.
Story appeared in the Dallas Business Journal – July 5, 2018
About Salons by JC: In 1997, Jack Griffey and Cecil Miller began their journey to transform the beauty industry one salon suite at a time. Like most young entrepreneurs, they started out with a big idea but had to learn how to start and run a business from scratch. After much perseverance and hard work, one year later, they opened Salons by JC in Dallas, TX in 1998, welcoming beauty and wellness specialists who were ready to break free from the traditional salon model. The company has since moved its headquarters from Dallas to San Antonio, where it continues to grow through franchising. Today, Salons by JC has over 87 locations in 24 states and Canada. For more information, visit salonsbyjc.com or salonsbyjc.com/franchise