TEAM SPIRIT: The Sport Clips Artistic Team
The Sport Clips Artistic Team (from left to right): Erin Burton, Andrea Allemand, Krystle Sierras, Linda Casillas, Bailey Wernke and Ashlee Merriweather
Sport Clips Haircuts was founded by Gordon Logan, a business man and salon owner who wanted to create a space for men and boys to get their grooming taken care of while watching the game. He envisioned an environment that was guy-centric, not fussy, and staffed by a team of haircutters who knew how to cater to male clients. Over twenty years later, the Sport Clips haircutting franchise has a presence in all 50 states and is introducing a newly assembled Artistic Team, overseen by Sport Clips Senior Director of Career Opportunities Julie Vargas and Sport Clips Director of Technical Education Mary Carter.
A national team of 90 educators, called Coaches, are currently on the Sport Clips front lines. “Our Coaches are influencers and leaders, “Vargas says. “They are important in recruitment and retention because they demonstrate the kind of career a stylist can have with Sport Clips. They talk to potential team members about how focusing on men has high returns. You will see three guys to one girl because guys want to get in and out. Guys are also more interesting in buying products and they return more often.”
From that core of Coaches, six starters have been selected to comprise the Sport Clips Artistic Team. “We’ve never had an Artistic Team, before, but our Coaches have been asking for one,” Carter says. “It is a huge opportunity for them. We want to showcase our talented stylists and demonstrate what we do really well, which is men’s haircutting.”
Erin Burton, a member of the Artistic Team and a Coach in the northeast, has been with Sport Clips for six years. She chose to specialize in men’s hair because she felt they trusted her to do what she thinks will work best, because they are loyal and great tippers. “Being on the Artistic Team has increased the number of people I get to interact with and has enabled me to spread brand awareness,” Burton says. “While working in schools, I have been able to put some focus on men's haircutting, which often gets ignored. I feel truly blessed to have these opportunities.”
This select group of six artists will be the public face of Sport Clips at industry events including The Sport Clips National Huddle and Paul Mitchell The Schools Caper, an annual gathering of future professionals and Paul Mitchell school partners. Criteria for an Artistic Team member includes, first and foremost, being a positive role model.
“When we visit the schools, this team can share their knowledge and demonstrate their skills,” Vargas says. “Men’s haircutting is huge, right now, and there are so many stylist that want education and want to understand the male client. Our team is putting together step-by-steps videos on techniques which is so valuable, because we watch something, we gain much more confidence in doing it.”
Ashlee Merriweather, another AT member, is an Area Coach for Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas. She has been with Sport Clips for six years.
"I somewhat fell into the niche of men's cutting." Merriweather say. " After coming out of Beauty School, I tried a couple different salons and then found Sport Clips. I wouldn’t necessarilly say I had first started at Sport Clips thinking I loved men’s hair, but I loved our Values System/Culture and the team atmosphere. Then I came to realize how successful I was at doing men’s hair. My career as a Sport Clips Area Coach is so rewarding and fulfilling. I get to help people each and every day become more successful. The Artistic Team has given me opportunities that I had dreamt of back in Beauty School--gettting to do stage work and inspire others to never give up on their hopes and aspirations. I am so thankful for each opportunity. Dream come true!"
In the months to come, the Artistic Team will be huddling up to create a Sports Clips Collection of men’s cuts and styles. They will be on platform at industry trade show events and they will be an inspiring presence for the team members working in the close to 1,400 Sport Clips locations operating across the U.S. and Canada.
Julie Vargas Mary Carter