By KEVIN CHIRI
Tammany West news
Haircuts and sports.
It’s kind of surprising no one thought of combining those two things until Sport Clips founder Gordon Logan started the first store in 1993 with a Texas location.
Since that time, the company is ranked by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the top 10 fastest growing franchises in the United States.
When Jeremy Aydell and his wife, Lori, began considering some type of franchise to open their own business it seemed that Sport Clips kept rising to the top.
When the Slidell Sport Clips opened in July, 2014 as part of the Fremaux Town Center Phase I debut, it marked the seventh store owned by the young couple.
The key to the success of Sport Clips, which recently opened in its 50th state, is the combination of haircuts mainly for men and boys, connected to a sports theme in the store.
“I was always a sports-minded guy and have always been competitive,” Jeremy said. “When I saw the Sport Clips model it seemed just right for us.”
Jeremy said he began researching different franchises and had a couple of key points in mind.
“I didn’t want to start a business that the Internet could eventually affect and I didn’t want a business where our product could be outsourced to other countries,” he said. “The haircut was the perfect thing.”
Jeremy said the reason Sport Clips is successful is due to offering the sports theme, with TVs at every cutting station, while also giving a great value for your money. Additionally, he said, most men don’t like to make appointments and Sport Clips accepts walk-ins.
“The service we provide is great and very reasonably priced,” Jeremy explained. “We guarantee a precision haircut every time, and also give a shampoo massage and what we call our ‘legendary’ hot steamed towel, like they did in the old barber shops. You also get a relaxing neck and shoulder massage.”
Now at the youthful age of only 34, Jeremy owns and operates eight Sport Clips locations along the Gulf Coast region and isn’t slowing down, with plans for Gulfport, Hammond/Ponchatoula and Central (Baton Rouge) next on the horizon.
He grew up in French Settlement, La. playing baseball and basketball, but also with a 4.0 GPA that took him to college at LSU. He earned a Master’s Degree in accounting, opening the door to great opportunities with a large regional CPA firm. After gaining 7 years of experience in both public and industry accounting he decided to embark on his own business venture.
“I got interested in locations along the Gulf Coast, and especially in St. Tammany Parish because I was sent to do audits at businesses around here,” he said. “I loved St. Tammany and clearly it was a good place to have a business, both in Covington and in Slidell.”
Fortunately he has a great business partner in his wife, who also happens to be a CPA. Not surprisingly they met at the CPA firm where they both worked and after getting married, have one 3-year-old daughter. Now Lori is the controller for their growing Sport Clips company.
Jeremy opened his first location in Denham Springs in 2010 and immediately saw the potential for the franchise.
“We did 109 haircuts the first day. That area was underserved with salons that specialized in men’s haircuts and during my research for a potential site, I knew that location would be a home run from day one,” he said.
His first franchise is now in the top 15 percent of the company, making the President’s Circle. He followed that with a location in D’Iberville, Miss. in 2011. He purchased the existing locations on College Drive and Siegen Lane in Baton Rouge, and on Airline Highway in Prairieville from another franchisee in 2012 and then opened his Covington location in Dec of that same year in the Nord du Lac shopping center.
The Covington store was recently awarded “Store of the Year” out of 23 stores in the La.-Miss. Region. His most recent addition is a store in Gonzales near Cabela’s which opened in September of this year.
“We’ve been successful because my wife has been such a great partner and support, and also because I have some great employees—particularly great managers at the stores,” Jeremy said. “We try to make it a fun working environment for them all, and offer commissions and incentives to always bring out the best for the company, and for our clients.
“I think you will feel that positive atmosphere in any of our stores you go into,” he added.
As for his own success, owning eight stores at the age of 34, Jeremy said “I’m very competitive and when things get tough, I work harder. That’s always the way you find success.”
The Slidell location is in the Fremaux Town Center, at the intersection of Fremaux Avenue and I-10, while Sport Clips is at Colonial Properties Nord du Lac Shopping Center on Pinnacle Parkway in Covington, off the Hwy. 21 exit of I-12.