Industry News

Happy 30th Birthday to Great Clips!

Lauren Salapatek | October 2, 2012 | 8:15 AM
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Great Clips Convention
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Great Clips Convention
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Great Clips Convention
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Great Clips Convention
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Great Clips Convention
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Great Clips Convention
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Great Clips Convention
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Happy 30th Birthday to Great Clips!In 1982, the year of mullets, side ponytails, big bangs and tons of hairspray, Great Clips started on the University of Minnesota campus. Ray Barton and his two partners David Rubenzer and Steve Lemmon had a dream to franchise Great Clips nationwide.

Barton admits he “hounded” his close friends who opened the first Great Clips franchise in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. In 2011, Barton handed the company reins over to his sister, Rhoda Olsen, who is now CEO. The rest is, well, haircutting history.

After 30 years of offering a comfortable salon environment and providing quality cuts by professionally trained stylists, Great Clips is celebrating its 30th birthday in Minneapolis, where more than 3,000 attendees have gathered for the company’s biggest convention ever.

The celebration started Sept. 30 and continues through Oct. 2 with more than 3,000 franchisees (salon owners), salon managers, corporate staff, educators, industry leaders and vendors participating in three days of networking, workshops and recognition at the Minneapolis Convention Center. 

Throughout the three days, Great Clips’ Convention attendees were treated like rock stars, including great prizes, swag bags, food, drinks and entertainment provided by comedian Dana Carvey. Hundreds of salon managers were recognized for their exceptional results in areas such as customer count growth, sales growth, record weeks and highest average unit volume.

A formal dinner on Monday evening, Oct. 1, recognized Franchisees of the Year, Managers of the Year, Corporate Employees of the Year, Vendor of the Year, and more. Before attendees hit the dance floor to enjoy some great party tunes, the evening was capped off with the induction of three franchisees into the Great Clips Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees included a standing ovation for Great Clips’ founder David Rubenzer.

Other event highlights included:

Hair Competitions and Hair Show: A “Create the Cut” hair competition, the first-round qualifying event, was held on Sunday, Sept. 30. This competition featured 80 Great Clips salon managers who showcased their talents as they competed on mannequins. The top 30 were then selected to complete again in a semi-finals round with models on Monday, Oct. 1. Of those 30, the top 10 winners were featured during a hair show on stage at the Tuesday, Oct. 2, closing general session alongside top talent representing a variety of product lines.

Vendor Showcase: The event’s signature showcase featured hundreds of salon business solutions from payroll systems to furniture, signage to point-of-sale hardware, and direct mail to salon technology. As the Convention’s largest sponsor, Great Clips’ exclusive product distribution vendor Salon Innovations offered an array of fun Great Clips logo items and apparel. Attendees also visited booths staffed by experts from Sexy Hair, Joico, Redken, American Crew, Matrix and more.

“Great is…” Mural: Throughout the first two days of the Convention, a group of local artists worked together to create a 30-foot by 30-foot painting depicting all that is great. Attendees contributed to the mural by texting how they personally define “great.” The artists translated those texts into a sea of beautiful colors and images.  

For more information about Great Clips, Inc. or to find a location near you, visit

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