Episodes of The Sport Clips Haircuts Hall of Fame Podcast - Julie Vargas

Red Banner with HOF Episode

In this episode recorded in July of 2018, we interview Julie Vargas. Julie is the Senior Director of Career Opportunities at Sport Clips and has been with the company since it began in 1993. In this episode, she reflects on 25 years at Sport Clips and provides insight into why the company has been so successful. Julie also delivers key strategies and pointers to managers and stores looking to recruit and retain the best talent.

Julie Vargas and Chad Jordan at a table with microphones

Episode Air Date  Guest Name  Guest Title Topic(s)
July 11, 2018 Julie Vargas Senior Director of Career Opportunities Reflections on 25 years of helping build Sport Clips into an International Franchise.

Each episode of the Podcast is also available on iTunes and the Google Play store. 

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Chad Jordan:                Hey, everybody. This is Chad Jordan. I'm the Director of Marketing for Digital Services here at Sport Clips and welcome to another edition of the Sport Clips Hall of Fame Podcast. Excited today because I have with me here ...

Julie Vargas:                 Julie Vargas, Senior Director of Career Opportunities here at Sport Clips.

Chad Jordan:                Really stoked about this interview. When you see the picture for this podcast, you're going to see we're at a long table. And that's because whenever I come to Texas I have to do Whataburger for lunch. And so, I got Whataburger breath going on. In fact, you could probably pick it up from the podcast, whatever you're listening to this on, whether it's your iPhone or through your car, so I apologize to Julie that that's what's happening in this room. So she's sitting as far away from me as possible today, but we're going to have a good time. I'm really excited about Julie being here with us. So, Julie, first of all, thank you for joining us.

Julie Vargas:                 Thank you for having me.

Chad Jordan:                What we're going do to today, for those of you that don't know, a little-known fact about ... Well, maybe it's a really well-known fact at this point, that Julie was the first ever Sport Clips manager, at TX101, I assume, is the store number.

Julie Vargas:                 That's right. TX101.

Chad Jordan:                So since she has seen it all, literally, here at Sport Clips, I thought it'd be fun for us to jump into a DeLorean, and go into a time machine, and go back 25 years to get her reflections on her career at Sport Clips. What she's seen. The highs and some of the challenges, some of the lows kind of, and how she and the brand have navigated through that.

                                    So first of all, Julie, take me back 25 years ago, it's 1993. You were 10-year-old at the time. I don't know how Gordon got around the labor laws. You got hired, take me right before you get hired at Sport Clips. What are you doing? Are you a mom? Are you married? Are you a teenager? What's going on?

Julie Vargas:                 I had just had my first child in March of '93.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Julie Vargas:                 And I always say that a higher power played a part in me finding Sport Clips, but I was, at the time, pretty happy at my place of employment. But I went to a manager's meeting and had a not so enjoyable experience when the owner, basically, told all the managers that they were replaceable. Because I was managing, at the time, at one of the top salons in the area. And he basically said to every manager in there that "Don't think you guys aren't replaceable." He wasn't happy with the results and made it very well known.

Chad Jordan:                Was recruiting and retention not an issue back in the early '90s, or?

Julie Vargas:                 Either that or he was not very rehearsed in best practices.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. So you had a pain point. You were kind of, not unhappy necessarily, but put on notice that you weren't really respected and valued. And so do you see a job offer in a newspaper back in 19 ... They had newspaper in '93. They still had newspapers back then. And you answer an ad? Or take me through that.

Julie Vargas:                 So, actually, at the time I happened to look over to one of my coworkers and said something about, wow. I don't know that I want to stay here. And she says to me, just randomly, that there was this new company coming to town, called Sport Clips and-

Chad Jordan:                Whoa, whoa, whoa. Did she say Sport Clips or Sports?

Julie Vargas:                 She probably said Sports Clips.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay.

Julie Vargas:                 She probably said Sports Clips. And she said, "You should check it out." So I got the information from her, because I wasn't looking, and called up and made an interview. And got there and funny enough, when I interviewed, Karen Haney, for those of you who are been around that long.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, please. Let's give shout-outs to way back. I mean, we're in the time machine right now, so

Julie Vargas:                 Who was a mentor and a really good friend to me, and God rest her soul, who's no longer with us, but certainly was very interested in me, and I immediately hit it off with her. And she calls Gordon because there was one slight problem. They were not going to pay me as much as I was making.

Chad Jordan:                Oh. That is a problem. Yeah.

Julie Vargas:                 So immediately ask for more money. And Gordon laughs and kids about it to this day that well, we had to pay her more money. But, you know, I had to feed my babies, so he made the change and I got hired.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                And you were hired on as the manager?

Julie Vargas:                 I was.

Chad Jordan:                So, the very first store. Are you then, were you responsible for hiring team members at that point, or?

Julie Vargas:                 So just like it is with any new store, it's a process of learning. For those of you who remember Karen, she very much likes to be a part of everything and in control of everything, so it was something that she did with me, but over time I did take that over. However, we had a very healthy team of about 10 team members at that time.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Julie Vargas:                 And a great team that stayed onboard for quite some time, and a really sharp looking professional group of people that did really well.

Chad Jordan:                And you were not a concept yet, in terms of a brand. Right?

Julie Vargas:                 Exactly.

Chad Jordan:                It was just a single location. At that time were there already rumblings and talkings like, wow this could be a fit. We could see this kind of blowing up? Or were you just thinking this is a different concept, but we're just going to be involved and change jobs?

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah. You know, it really took us about two years to get the store up to where we really wanted it to be, but we did a lot of marketing. We really laid the ground rules, if you will, for local store marketing.

Chad Jordan:                What were you doing at the time?

Julie Vargas:                 Lots of footwork. We were really approaching a lot of companies and giving free haircuts to their employees. And-

Chad Jordan:                Is the MVP part of Sport Clips 25 years ago?

Julie Vargas:                 It was not called the MVP

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Julie Vargas:                 Now you're really testing me.

Chad Jordan:                All right. All right. By the way, she did not get prepped on these questions, so this is like a live firing range here.

Julie Vargas:                 I think we, at the time, still called it the T3 Experience because it was something that we adopted from the Paul Mitchell Systems. And so, for those of you that have been around long enough to remember, the T3 Experience was very similar to what we have today, however, there were a few things that were different. Number one, they used kind of a claw for the massage. You held it with your hand and it was a thing with little balls on it, and we changed that. And also, they used Tea Tree oil on their towels, and we, from day one, have used the hair and body moisturizer.

Chad Jordan:                That sounds messier.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah. It was not cost-effective.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. I was going to say it gets wasted more easily. Okay.

Julie Vargas:                 Pretty potent.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Knock you out once you get around it. Highlights from the first day, week, month, year of opening Sport Clips?

Julie Vargas:                 Well, I would have to say the biggest highlight was that, first of all, Gordon wasn't there for the opening. He was actually at John Paul DeJoria's wedding, and-

Chad Jordan:                Well, that is a great excuse. Yeah.

Julie Vargas:                 Hey. I guess it does make sense that he would choose to go there. But I was scheduled to close on opening day, so I was scheduled to come in at 10:00. Well, Karen Haney was opening, and she walked into a store that was completely flooded.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, my gosh.

Julie Vargas:                 It had like a foot of water standing in the store, so-

Chad Jordan:                Had somebody left water running the night before? Oh!

Julie Vargas:                 The plumbers the night before had left a valve open, or something that wasn't supposed to be opening and running. And unfortunately, at this point, we were in a shopping center that was kind of bi-level as it flows down. And so, below us, next door was a beautiful dance studio with all you know beautiful wood floors-

Chad Jordan:                Past tense. There was a dance floor with beautiful floors.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah. We made enemies really fast.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, my gosh. So what do you do? You get rid of that water and open a couple days later, or?

Julie Vargas:                 No. Believe it or not, we called in the company, they sucked up all the water and pulled away anything that had any water damage and put dryers around, but we opened the store and were operating by noon.

Chad Jordan:                Wow. You mentioned T3 is what the MVP used to be called?

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                I imagine there wasn't a Five Point Play.

Julie Vargas:                 Actually, there was a 5 Point Play.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. All right, tell me about it.

Julie Vargas:                 The 5 Point Play has always been in existence. What we did is over time have just perfected it. So Gordon with his previous work, or not work. What is it?

Chad Jordan:                His experience?

Julie Vargas:                 The company he was working with, in the past, was franchisey. They had a seven-point system, so we took that and really revised it to work for Sport Clips, and perfected it over the years.

Chad Jordan:                His mathematical mind said, you know seven's too many.

Julie Vargas:                 Seven's too many, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                We only have five fingers on one hand, so we gotta remember this.

Julie Vargas:                 We gotta simplify this..

Chad Jordan:                What else, in terms of what we saw in 1993, maybe in the store or in the system, have you seen an evolution for the better? What are some things that maybe through the school of hard knocks you had to learn that you need to change?

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah. Well, one thing that, surprisingly, most people don't realize is that our mission statement, initially, was a little bit different, and much wordier.

Chad Jordan:                Longer. Yeah.

Julie Vargas:                 And so, what we did do over time, because it's so important that people memorize and internalize it, is that we shortened that up and made it more direct and complete as to what our focus is. Whereas before, it was very, very wordy. Still had the same meaning, but very wordy, so that changed over time. The values have stayed the same. They always have been, and that's good. The things that you've really seen over time change are just, is really just, more than anything, kind of the logistics of what's in the store. The tools and resources that we use. Our training has continued to evolve, and we've definitely kept it relevant because the changes that you need to have over time. Plus your tools and tricks and tips continue to change over time too. One thing about our industry is it's constantly changing, and the techniques are always getting better and easier and more efficient, so we've had to make those changes over time.

Chad Jordan:                And the focus in '93 was still men and boys. Right? I mean, it wasn't-

Julie Vargas:                 It was. We've never moved away from the focus of our target market, which is that niche of men and boys. And back then, it was a huge niche because no one really was focused on that.

Chad Jordan:                Right. Everybody was it was a women's salon. If you were a guy, you had to go to a barbershop. Your dad's barbershop. Yeah.

Julie Vargas:                 And people. Yeah. Over the years people have tried to duplicate and intimidate.

Chad Jordan:                And so in the store, the screens are now flatter and much bigger than they were in 1993. The chairs more comfortable, I imagine.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah. And what's happened is over time we've had better vendors that we've worked with that are better quality. You know, some of the chairs we had initially didn't last very long. And over time just your buying power gets better and you're able to be more efficient in what you buy and get better quality.

Chad Jordan:                You mentioned two years is about when it started to click and think wait, this is something that ... Is that about how long it took before the next one opened, or?

Julie Vargas:                 Yes.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah. Yeah. That's when we decided we were ready to start franchising. Once we had all the kinks ironed out. We thought we were ready and had a proven system that we could go out and succeed.

Chad Jordan:                So that discussion had started earlier that maybe we take this, at least, across Texas, or in the Midwest and then, branch out from there.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah. You know what a lot of people don't know is that when we first started out, there were two concepts that Gordon started with. He started with a concept called Planet Diva. .

Chad Jordan:                Whoa, whoa, whoa. Planet Diva? Okay. I need to know more about Planet Diva.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah, so there were two different concepts that he wanted to try to see which one he thought we would move forward.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. It was A/B testing essentially? Okay.

Julie Vargas:                 Yep, A/B testing. And so the Planet Diva was a mall concept with heavy retail in front, beautiful build out. It looked like planets. You walk in and it was the solar system with all the planets on it. And lots of retail in the front with a small salon in the back. And then, the Sport Clips concept. And so he ran those side-by-side-

Chad Jordan:                Now, were there Planet Divas that opened or is this all conceptual?

Julie Vargas:                 There was a Planet Divas along with a Sport Clips.

Chad Jordan:                In the same center, or-

Julie Vargas:                 Nope. The Planet Diva was in Highland Mall.

Chad Jordan:                Okay, so it was in a full mall, not a strip mall.

Julie Vargas:                 And Sport Clips was in its first location, that's now been relocated, but in strip center. And so, he ran those simultaneously and opened them pretty close together. And it didn't take long to figure out that Sport Clips was going to be the front-runner and the one that he wanted to go with, so he sold Planet Diva to, believe it or not, Regis Corporation.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, wow. Neat.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah, so.

Chad Jordan:                And did you end up managing additional locations, or once it started to get populated or cross the state and all that, you were on the franchising side pretty much quickly?

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah. As we started opening new locations, and additional locations, I was just involved in the setup and the training, and really working with people to get the stores ready to open up. So I became a technical coach, then an area coach and really worked with the managers and the teams and stuff. And then, eventually the team leaders and their developers as we openly start developing regionally.

Chad Jordan:                Your oldest daughter was born months before the first Sport Clips. Right? So how were you juggling that? Eventually had another girl. Eventually. So you had two little girls, and you're now managing/helping launch this brand. Tell me a little bit about that process.

Julie Vargas:                 So of the 25 years that I've been with Sport Clips, I have probably traveled all but eight years, maybe six. So most of my career has been on the road, and I could not have done it had I not had the support that I did from my husband.  He's made a lot of sacrifices, including giving up his career, to some degree, because we sat down and said, okay. You've got opportunity, I've got opportunity. Where are we going to go with it? We got two small children. Well, at that time, we had one, because they're six years apart. We really talked long and hard about it, and I absolutely loved my job. His love was not quite as strong for his job, and his potential probably wasn't in it. At that time, I didn't know what my potential is, but I certainly knew it was somewhat analyst, being with a new company, whereas his was not the same thing. We made the decision that I would be the one that would take the traveling position, and he took the backseat. So, that's a hard thing to do, especially in today's world. Sometimes people think that the man's gotta be the one to be the decision maker and do all that, and my husband's very much still involved in all decisions, he just doesn't travel.

Chad Jordan:                What's your husband's name?

Julie Vargas:                 Arnold.

Chad Jordan:                Arnold, so he was a visionary, really. I mean, he saw the potential here and said, go for it, and then also, for you guys to say, hey, let's wait six years before we have another kid, and then she could be a babysitter and help us with, yeah, that was brilliant.

Julie Vargas:                 That's not exactly how we planned it, but it worked].

Chad Jordan:                Well, it worked out.

Julie Vargas:                 Six years came and we're like, oh my God.

Chad Jordan:                In a flash, right, yeah. So, back to the early days, we're still in the DeLorean. Can you recall some of the key traits? You already mentioned that you did a lot of marketing, but some of the key traits that made you successful as a manager, and then maybe that you were able to bring to the brand, some of the things that you're proud of?

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah. You know, I've always said that I was surrounded by some great mentors. Gordon has always surrounded himself by really good leadership, and so Karen Hainey, Nancy Vandiver, two very, very special people in my life, who shaped me I think, and really did a couple things for me, well more than just a couple, but two really big things for me.

Chad Jordan:                Jim and Nancy were living here at the time then. 

Julie Vargas:                 Jim and Nancy were here, Nancy at that time was VP of operations, it's hard to remember because their titles have changed so much, I think Karen was VP of education and Nancy was VP of operations.

Chad Jordan:                And probably wearing even more hats than that.

Julie Vargas:                 Oh, absolutely. They were instrumental in laying the groundwork for this company and really making it what it is today. If it hadn't been for them we wouldn't be here.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Julie Vargas:                 Thank goodness. We used to call them Ethel and Lucy. And equally so, because they...

Chad Jordan:                I'd love to see Nancy with some chocolate on a conveyor belt, you know, doing the whole, uh-huh.

Julie Vargas:                 I think I may have seen her do it. The interesting thing is, they were so different in their personalities and their leadership tactics. They both taught me so much about what I wanted to be and what I didn't want to be, and molded me into the person I am today.

Chad Jordan:                So was there a lot of constructive criticism going on? Are they coming along side you, kind of a mother daughter relationship? What?

Julie Vargas:                 One was a very nurturing an always reminding you of your worth, and the other was just hard core, you know...

Chad Jordan:                Catholic nun, rapping you on the knuckles to make sure.

Julie Vargas:                 Love you, but here's reality, and you know, "No, no, don't do it that way." Really black and white. One was more gray, one was more black and white. I think what they did was they gave me such a great foundation and understanding for appreciating both sides of that, that you've got that happy medium that you have to find so that you can be able to relate to people and get buy-in from people and help people understand.

                                    So there were many things that I did as someone that they mentored and taught that today I look at and think I'm so thankful I went through that and challenged them in the way that I did because they taught me to be better at what I did. My buy-in is out the roof because of what they taught me and the reasoning behind it. I think as a manager and my leadership skills today, one of the things that I've always kept really near and dear to my heart and used as a tactic is buy-in. When you get buy-in you get much better results. One of the things I always work with is our coaches on our artistic team, our team leaders that are struggling, managers, is that buy-in is key and there's always a way of going about and doing, going about getting that, and that is helping people understand why and how they benefit from it.

                                    So I would say that's probably one of the biggest takeaways in things that I've learned over the years is just how to be better at what I do.

Chad Jordan:                Is there a way to know when you have buy-in? Is there a sign or a light bulb goes on, you can see it in their faces?

Julie Vargas:                 Typically when you know that you have someone's buy-in it's through their execution. It's because I have a better understanding that I know execute in a better way because I understand how I benefit from it. And why we do what we do and the benefits I'm going to get as a result of it. I think that's when you start to see their buy-in.

Chad Jordan:                So can you walk me through, we at Sport Clips start to hit momentum, it goes from one to two stores, to ten, to 100. At what point did everybody look around and go, "Oh my gosh, we're not going to be able to contain this."

Julie Vargas:                 When I look back and say it's been 25 years, I think that's almost unbelievable to me because it's just flown by. I think anybody and everybody who's been involved in that kind of whirlwind, if you will, would probably say the same thing.

                                    I feel like every milestone that we've hit, you know 100 stores, has been one of those times when we sit back and be like, "Oh, wow." But you ask Gordon, and he'll tell you "I never thought we wouldn't get up there, we wouldn't top 100."

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. He knew it.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah. I never put a lid on it because I didn't even think that I could say what it was because I knew it had potential.

                                    Looking back on it, I don't think I would have ever thought we would be where we are today, but certainly I'm glad we're here and I can see that we have potential to keep moving forward.

Chad Jordan:                When did it make sense to start having huddles? When did that all transpire?

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah, so I think we, it was very, initially small, and not many people there. Those were effective, but they started getting a lot more effective when we got pass the 500. 

Chad Jordan:                There was a buzz, an energy.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                We're legit.

Julie Vargas:                 It made it more fun. It's actually easier when you have more people. When you have fewer people [crosstalk 00:22:14]

Chad Jordan:                We'll have to ask Saronna and Fileshia if they agree with that part.

Julie Vargas:                 It's true, it's true.

Chad Jordan:                I definitely can sense that, the more people that are there, and when you take over a town and everybody's wearing the Sport Clips gear, and you see each other and you nod or meet friends. Certainly, so what about when did the, not the ambassador team, the artistic team, when did that start to take shape? We just had Chris[inaudible 00:22:43] up here on the Look All Stars, and Win, hopefully this podcast. Voting still going on, right? Can you still vote?

Julie Vargas:                 Yes, if you haven't voted.

Chad Jordan:                You can vote up until what?

Julie Vargas:                 I think Sunday is when it ends.

Chad Jordan:                Okay, so this podcast should launch this week, Thursday before the July, what is that, 15th air date of the next one. So if you're listening to this before then, please make sure you find out. Details will be available at Sportsclips.com/podcast, how to vote.

                                    So, Julie Vargas, a member of the artistic team, when did that all begin to take shape and walk me through that. It's such a exciting team, and what they do, not just at Huddle, but around the country is pretty amazing.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah, believe it or not there's been talks about having an artistic team for years. Back to the Cynthia Sanchez days. I don't know if you guys remember Cynthia. She used to be a director of technical education. Now Mary has, Mary Carter has that position.

                                    There were talks about that years ago, and it just took a while to convince people that was an avenue that we really needed to go down. I will tell you that some of that happened with the transition of Edward becoming a part of the team. He really saw that vision, understood the power in what an artistic team could do for Sport Clips brand, and the perception that it could help elevate within people who had thoughts about the brand, and how it could really position us as authority on men's grooming.

                                    Once we convinced him, that's really when it all started to come into play. I would say that now has been, our artistic team is coming off their fourth year at the beginning of this year. So, it's been in the works for about five.

Chad Jordan:                One of the things, you travel. I travel. We go to a lot of stores, meet a lot of managers, assistant managers, team members. The artistic team, they're like on the Mount Rushmore of, not just Sport Clips, but stylists in general. What's happened in the last four or five years with them and for them? And because of them? It's pretty amazing.

Julie Vargas:                 I think if you ask any of these team members they would tell you that they have grown so much by being a part of this team. Just number one, their confidence. Their ability to get up in front of people, their leadership skills. One thing that we do is, my team, is we hold them accountable for their actions, the way they look, the way they act, how they represent our brand. We watch very closely their social media. We want them to be strong brand influencers, so part of what we require from them as members of the team is to always represent the brand strongly.

                                    Over time they've realized that's only benefited them and made them better. They've had opportunities that many people never have in their lifetime to be featured in trade publications, Modern Salon, Launchpad, American Salon, Behindthechair.com, just many many opportunities.

                                    I don't know if you guys have caught recently Aaron was featured upon Hairbrained, which is the Facebook version of the hair industry. We will have five more of those before the year is over.

Chad Jordan:                Wow. Cool.

Julie Vargas:                 So, basically Facebook live is on Hairbrained. Just really helping to position Sport Clips as an authority in men's grooming, and really elevated the perception. We all know that everybody in the industry, especially when you're in beauty school, you're one goal is either to own your own salon or be on stage doing education.

Chad Jordan:                What I love about each of them as well, you alluded to it, obviously I'm pretty active on social media. Each of them, if you follow them, they're all positive. Even if they've had a bad day, they're not communicating it on social media at all. Representing the brand really well, and that's something that we actually teach in leaderships. At Huddle, not just the artistic team, if you wear Sports Clips on your badge, anywhere on your uniform, be positive on social media. If you've had a bad day, go have a bad day at home and talk about it to your spouse, your friends, whatever. Don't blast it on social media because everyone can see that, and it does have an impact. So I love that about the artistic team and how well they represent us.

                                    Let's see. I have a couple more, and then I have some fun questions, if I may. I want to get back in the time machine. We're going through, you probably have, over 25 years and especially the first couple years of managing, a ton of memories. I want maybe one favorite part of managing the store, favorite story, something just out of your vault.

Julie Vargas:                 Yeah. I would say that managing was probably one of the most rewarding times in my career. I'm a person who really likes to see people grow and the results of that. As a manager I felt so empowered by that capability because what I was able to do, and through the Sports Clips system, because I didn't feel that I had this capability in my previous place of employment, but I was given tools that enabled me to really work with my team members and take the five point play and the standards that were put in place and show them how the execution of the five point play really made them better at their job, and how if they execute those standards it makes them more successful, influence their paycheck, and their tips and their return on their clients, and all those things.

                                    I used to get such great joy in sitting down with someone and going over their goals initially, then coming back and looking at those goals after we created their execution plan and really seeing the results of what that had done and just them thanking me. I'm like, "Don't thank me."

Chad Jordan:                You did the work, right?

Julie Vargas:                 "Yeah, but no one's ever taken the time to show that they care. I just never really realized how." Truly, I had never experienced that as a manger, because I hadn't done it at that level. It gave me something in my leadership bucket that made me better today as well because it showed you how taking the time to work with individuals, it's amazing what you can do with an individual even who doubts himself. If you just take the time to show them that through proper execution and you give them all the tools that they need, and that's what I love about Sport Clips. They have these great tools and this great ability to do this with a

Julie:                             You have these great tools and this great ability to do this with our teams and it's part of what we expect of our managers. And it truly makes you a better a person because it's not just about what you do at work, it plays into your life.

Chad Jordan:                Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. One thing that, looking back now, we get out of the time machine and you're looking back, and you remember that part in Back To The Future where Biff goes back and he gives his younger version this Back To The Future II, lame, geeky stuff, I'm sorry if you don't ... you had daughters so you might not be in the ... but gives him a magazine so he can cheat and learn and get successful. If you had to go back in give Julie Vargas 25 years ago, the cheat sheet, of this is now, because you now you know, this is what it's going be ... going to make you a tremendous success and give you that extra little advantage, what would you tell yourself?

Julie:                            You know I probably would have been quicker to ... because I was one of those that it took me a while to get by and I had to really see it. I had to really ... I'm one of those people that I'm very much a visual person so I had to see the results, I had to ... when I came to Sport Clips I had doubts initially and it took me a while to get past that doubt-

Chad Jordan:                Doubt about the brand or about your ability?

Julie:                            I had been taught different ways-

Chad Jordan:                Oh. Okay. So you had to unlearn.

Julie:                            Yeah. Which is very common in the industry.

Chad Jordan:                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Julie:                            You learn something, you've been doing it for a while and someone tries to change you. So as many of us experience on a daily basis, it's very hard to change people. And I was one of those people. I can to Sport Clips set in my ways and I was still young so I was still very coachable and trainable but I really needed to see things and internalize them. And I think if I had known then what I know now, I would have been quicker to jump on board and move forward faster.

Chad Jordan:                You would have resisted less.

Julie:                            Resisted less. Yeah.

                                    I say that, I might not have gotten as much out of it.

Chad Jordan:                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Julie:                            Because I think sometimes-

Chad Jordan:                The struggle, yeah, yeah, it's part of it.

Julie:                            Yes, you need to be in which ... and plus it makes you better when you have those people that resist against you as well.

                                    That would probably be the one thing I would change. The other might be I don't have a lot of regrets. I think it's all molded me into what I wanna be. I like to pride myself on thinking that I made pretty good decisions over the years.

Chad Jordan:                But it's part of the journey.

Julie:                            Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Right?

Julie:                            But I can absolutely say that I wouldn't be where I was today if it hadn't been for what I went through.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. I love that.

                                    Let's see. I got a couple questions from managers. If ... you mind if I ask you some of those? And then we'll wrap this up. I know it was a little ... I try to stop at 30 minutes but this is, I think, worthwhile.

                                    Samantha Scott, you might know her as the voice as the National Anthem, the American National Anthem this year. She asked ... she wanted me to ask this, that one of the issues she runs into as a store manager is keeping everything separate. So knowing where she's going and simultaneously coaching a staff who are all going in their own way and their own direction. So when she's out there picking up new talent for her stores and assessing her goals and coaching to reach her full potential, how can she remain focused on her own personal goals while still helping the store.

Julie:                            Yeah. It's a time management and focus all in one.

                                    I think it's really important because when I was a manager I was highly requested. I mean there were times when I couldn't take a lunch because it would ... it should be that way. But with that being said it becomes a challenge to make sure that you do get the things done that you need to get done. So the only way that I was really able to get that done was to schedule my time that I needed to get that done and not have it on the schedule.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Julie:                            So if I was going to cut hair and I knew that I was gonna cut hair from three to close, then that's all I wrote on the schedule. Just for the sake of the team knowing or, you know, if Karen or Gordon or somebody walked in and needed to know when I was gonna be there, I would put off floor hours and write that one the schedule so that the other people knew that. And that would be the time that I spent doing what needed to be done with ... focusing on my personal goals and my team members goals and coaching them [crosstalk 00:34:49]

Chad Jordan:                Were you strict in that? If the stores ... there's a line out the door, do you say, “I gotta get this schedule done or I gotta do whatever,” in the office or do you hop out on the floor?

Julie:                            Every manager knows that if you've got a line waiting out the door, you gotta do what you gotta do and that means you would then hop in and do some haircuts and take the wait down. That's just good floor management. We all know that that's gotta be what it is. But that also goes back to scheduling.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Julie:                            Making sure that you're scheduling appropriately, understanding your tools that are there to help you understand the flow of the clients and trying to prepare and anticipate that ahead of time so that that doesn't happen.

Chad Jordan:                Excellent answer.

                                    If I may ask two more. Wanda Ward, she asks, she has a hard time finding applicants that if they do show up for interviews are willing to work at when they need to and try to dictate what their schedules gonna be. What are, maybe one tip or trick that she can do to get around that challenge?

Julie:                            I think there's a couple things that in ... and by the way that's always been the case. I think we've seen-

Chad Jordan:                25 years ago, that was the case right?

Julie:                            Yeah. We seem to make that a millennial thing and ... yeah, it probably might be there mojo but it was also there 25 years ago so it's been around a while. But I will tell you that, today you do have to be a little more creative in your scheduling. And I use the word creative because that's exactly what it is. What I have suggested to folks that deal with those kind of struggles is you may want to use your scheduling tool and really look at what your shifts are and try to get a real understanding of what that looks like and then hire for your shifts.

Chad Jordan:                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Julie:                            So that you're not having to decide who works when and what but better yet who covers what shifts. And if you hire someone for a 12 to 8:30 shift than that's what they're scheduled to work.

Chad Jordan:                And they know it going into that.

Julie:                            Yeah. Yeah.

                                    And if at some point that changes then they no longer meet the ... what they were hired for so you go to them, you talk them and see if that's ... they're willing to change that and if not, well then they understand they're no longer to meet the scheduling need that they were hired for.

Chad Jordan:                That's a good one.

Julie:                            There are some you can do that but that is one way to look at it

Chad Jordan:                Okay. I like it.

                                    Two more. Lisa Marie asks, “How do you help your team members get over their fear of commitment?” She's got a great staff but hires some people that have old saloon habits of where their previous place. Is there a suggestion you have there?

Julie:                            I think that goes back to what I was talking about earlier about the buy in.

Chad Jordan:                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Julie:                            I think anytime someone comes to work for you, they really wanna come to work for you and succeed. So it's not a matter of, “I don't wanna do what you're telling me to do.” It's more of, “I don't get why I have to do this. It's more work. It's hard. Please explain how I benefit from this.”

                                    It's the buy in that's missing there; really helping them understand here's why we do it. Here's how you'll benefit from it and let me show you an easy way of doing it. You know?

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Julie:                            And some of the best practices. And remember unless it becomes a habit, they're never gonna get there.

Chad Jordan:                Right.

Julie:                            So you have to, as a manger, coach and reinforce positive reinforcement and continue to give them the praise that they need so that they continue that behavior and continue to see that success. And then at some point you're able to say, and don't make it a month later, that you're coming back and saying, “Now look, you've been doing this, look at the results.” You need to do it daily; at the end of the day, at the end of the two days, at the end of the week. Make sure you're showing them what that execution is doing to their bottom ... their numbers.

Chad Jordan:                Excellent.

                                    And then one more bonus question if I can and then we'll wrap it up with a quick fire fun questions.

                                    The bonus question is from Dana Jordan. Dana asks, “How do I help team members who are hesitant about recommending and selling products to clients?"

Julie:                            Great question. A very common thing we see in the industry. Number one, most stylists are that way because they just have never developed a comfort level with doing it and so that falls back on the manager and the development of the team member. It's not uncommon for people to come to you, not being comfortable with that.

                                    I think the biggest piece in that is to show them best practices and really help them understand the difference between education versus selling. This is huge. If someone feels empowered by the fact that they've educated a client and helped a client understand how to maintain their look at home and what products they can use to do that.

                                    It's not about the sell. What it's about is making sure that a client understands that the way you walked out of the door today was due to the products that you used in his hair and the way that you shaped his hair once you put that product in there and teaching him how to do all those things; not just you doing it but literally letting him putting the product in his hand, working it through his hair, tell him how much to use, making sure he understands the techniques he should use to get that same look at home. And then letting him leave there, understanding what you did, what you used and then the decision to buy becomes his-

Chad Jordan:                yeah.

Julie:                            Not yours because you did your job.

Chad Jordan:                I can 100 percent vouch for my last haircut in St. Louis. A shout out to Felicia. She used Sexy Hair. First asked how I liked it styled. I said, “A kind of dry look.” So she used Sexy and style and didn't even give me a hard sell. “Like this costs $20, what a duh, duh, duh.” Just told me what it was and when I went to check out, I went and grabbed it; just naturally. And not because I felt like I needed to, to impress anybody. Because I felt, whoa, this looks great and I want it every day. And so I'm hooked on it.

Julie:                            I think that's the key because a lot of people will tell you, “No one ever made that recommendation to them,” and once they did they're sold on it.

Chad Jordan:                Right. Yup. That's .. that's ... that is, I love that.

                                    Okay, five questions. It won't take more than one minute.

Julie:                            Okay.

Chad Jordan:                And then I'll get you out of here.

                                    I usually ask 10 but I know we're gonna do another PodCast with you this year so these are the first five. And the catch is, I cannot ask follow up questions to these.

Julie:                            Okay.

Chad Jordan:                Alright.


                                    Number 1, which super power would you most like to have?

Julie:                            Oh wow. I think flying.

Chad Jordan:                Flying. K.

                                    What is your personal motto?

Julie:                            That's a good question.

                                    I actually posted something on my Facebook page the other day about your business card is actually your ... the way your brand and the way that you tend to put yourself out there and how people perceive you. And-

Chad Jordan:                I think I saw that one. Is it like your personality is your business card or something like that?

Julie:                            Your personality and how people perceive you is so much ... very much. And that's kind of the motto I live by. You know? You are what people see.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

                                    Number 3, other than where you live now, where else in the world would you most like to live?

Julie:                            Hawaii.

Chad Jordan:                Ohhhhh. Have you been to any of the stores in Hawaii?

                                    Ahhh. Their awesome.

Julie:                            I have been to some of the stores in Hawaii.

Chad Jordan:                Number 4, who is the celebrity you would most like to meet one day. And you've met a lot and we haven't even covered all of them but.

Julie:                            A celebrity I would most like to meet someday? Wow.

Chad Jordan:                Arnold's probably listening. So like George Clooney and those guys you might wanna leave out.

Julie:                            Oh gosh. Wow. That's a really good question.

                                    Maybe somebody like ... Julia you're gonna blow this, come on think, think through this.

Chad Jordan:                Cause they're gonna tagged in this PodCast-

Julie:                            I know, I know, I know.

Chad Jordan:                So you might get an opportunity to meet them.

Julie:                            You know what, maybe Ellen DeGeneres.

Chad Jordan:                Aha. Ellen. Okay.

Julie:                            I love her.

Chad Jordan:                We will definetly tag Ellen in this PodCast.

Julie:                            She is the funniest. She makes me laugh on any given day. I love her.

Chad Jordan:                Oh. I can see the artistic team on Ellen's show. Okay, I love it!

Julie:                            Yeah. There you go.

Chad Jordan:                Last one and then I'll let you go.

                                    Which words or phrases do you most often overuse?

Julie:                            Oh my gosh. Amazing. I'm always like, “That's amazing. Wow. That ... guys that was amazing."

Chad Jordan:                Well, this PodCast has been amazing. You are amazing and will continue to be.

                                    Thank you for joining us. I've had Julie Vargus on here with us. The Sport Clips Hall of Fame PodCast.

                                    Thanks to everyone for tuning in.

                                    Thanks Julie.

Julie:                            Bye guys.