Episodes of The Sport Clips Haircuts Hall of Fame Podcast - Lucia Cheek

Red Banner with HOF Episode

In this episode recorded in November of 2018, we interview Lucia Cheek. Lucia is the Manager of NC506 and a Technical Coach in North Carolina. Lucia was one of the winners of the "My Sport Clips" challenge at the 2018 National Huddle. In this episode, we kick off a new series called "Success Story" and we get to hear her inspiring story of achieving the American Dream. From migrating to the US as a teenager, to learning english, to becoming a US Citizen while at Sport Clips, this episode is packed with reasons why Sport Clips is such a great place to work.

Chad and Lucia smiling and holding a microphone doing the scissorspose

Episode Air Date Guest Name Guest Title Topic(s)
December 7, 2018 Lucia Cheek Winning Manager of #mysportclips challenge Finding the American Dream at Sport Clips.

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 again. I'm the Director of Marketing at Sport Clips. I handle all the digital services stuff and this is another edition of our Sport Clips Hall of Fame Podcast. Super excited. I'm out here in the North Carolina region right now, so we have a number of episodes coming up with some of our Sport Clips family that is based out here. And without further ado, I'm going to introduce or have her introduce herself. Why don't you tell me who you are, what you're doing, what story you're at, all that fun stuff.

Lucia Cheek:                 Oh, hello everybody. I'm Lucy. I am an NC-

Chad Jordan:                Lucy what?

Lucia Cheek:                 Lucy Cheek, I'm sorry. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Thank you. Okay. All right. Now at huddle you were called Lucia.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yes.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, my bad. I'm sorry. My bad.

Lucia Cheek:                 That's okay. It's Lucia.

Chad Jordan:                Lucia. Thank you. Okay. Thank you for the correction. All right and keep going. I'm sorry.

Lucia Cheek:                 That's okay. All right. So Lucy Cheek, and NC506. Yeah, North Carolina.

Chad Jordan:                And obviously you were born and raised in North Carolina. I can tell by that southern accent that you have. Where are you from originally?

Lucia Cheek:                 I am from Guatemala in Central America.

Chad Jordan:                Excellent. When did you move here?

Lucia Cheek:                 I move here when I was 16 and actually it was by accident, literally.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, okay. Let's go. What do you mean accident? What happened?

Lucia Cheek:                 So I wanted a motorcycle back home and my dad said, "No way you're going to have a bike." So I told him, "Can I go and visit my aunt in North Carolina?" So he say, "Okay, you can go there for one month."

Chad Jordan:                And what was your excuse? Why were you going to go visit her?

Lucia Cheek:                 Because it was my 16th birthday.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. All right. Okay.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah. So he say, "Okay, you can go for one month." And my cousin got her driver license and she took me out to get pedicures a week before I was going back home, and she crashed the car.

Chad Jordan:                Oh my.

Lucia Cheek:                 So I dislocate my knee and my back.

Chad Jordan:                Oh no. You meant you were here by accident, like you got into an accident. Oh my gosh. Okay.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yes, yes. So my one month visit come to be a now 16, 17 years. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                So what about, did you ever get to get a motorcycle driver's license?

Lucia Cheek:                 No I didn't.

Chad Jordan:                So all the way from Guatemala, your father's like, "No, you're still not going to be ..." And here you are in your early thirties and you still-

Lucia Cheek:                 Yep. Yep.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. All right. So he made a good impression on you for not getting that.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah, broke his heart for sure. I'm the youngest of five kids and ... Yeah, I was the first one leaving the house and in my culture that is, it's hard, very hard, but I'm here. They're very proud of how far I've been.

Chad Jordan:                Of course.

Lucia Cheek:                 And I didn't know any English.

Chad Jordan:                So how did you learn English? What ...

Lucia Cheek:                 I had to because-

Chad Jordan:                Just by going into school-

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                ... or watching TV? I mean I've heard-

Lucia Cheek:                 Both. Listen to music, I was singing songs that I didn't know what that means. You know what I'm saying? But yeah, I put my mind on and I wanted to adopt the culture from here because I didn't want to lose my visa. So I applied for my permanent resident and in five years you can not leave the country. So I couldn't go back home so I had to learn English.

Chad Jordan:                And you made a living in those early years doing what?

Lucia Cheek:                 So I was living with my aunt and when I turned about 18 I moved out and I was working two jobs. I put myself to beauty school.

Chad Jordan:                Had you known already that that's what you wanted to do?

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. In Guatemala growing up that you had wanted to already be a stylist and cosmetologist kind of?

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah, I was cutting my doll's hair and my brother's, he had the best haircuts ever.

Chad Jordan:                How many brothers?

Lucia Cheek:                 I have two brothers and two sisters.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. And then two sisters. Okay.

Lucia Cheek:                 So, yeah. I put myself to school and I had two jobs. I was working, actually the school, they allowed me to work after classes helping getting the rooms ready for the next day and using my pay as a payment for school. After that I used to work in like Blockbuster from 5:00 to 11:00.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, when there was a Blockbuster.

Lucia Cheek:                 When there was a Blockbuster. And yeah, on the weekends I used to work also teaching how to dance Latin music.

Chad Jordan:                What?

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, that sounds like a class we need to have at next year's huddle.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Salsa dancing with Lucy.

Lucia Cheek:                 Salsa dancing is how I met my husband and start dating.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. All right, all right. Quickly. You met him, was he a student or was he another instructor or ...

Lucia Cheek:                 No, he just went there too, to hang out.

Chad Jordan:                To find Guatemalan that he could fall in love with kind of. Okay.

Lucia Cheek:                 Okay, okay. Yeah. So it's how I met him and when I was 21, we got married.

Chad Jordan:                Wow. So 12 years? Or 11, 12 years.

Lucia Cheek:                 12 years. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad Jordan:                Great. Congratulations.

Lucia Cheek:                 Thank you.

Chad Jordan:                And right away did you jump in at Sport Clips or were there Sport Clips in the area at that time, or where were you working?

Lucia Cheek:                 No. I work for a full service for like four years before and it gave me a little bit experience.

Chad Jordan:                Was that doing mostly women's hair?

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                You said that with a frown. Did you already know that you preferred cutting the guy's hair or ...

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                After your experience with your brothers and everything.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah, for sure. I love doing color, don't take me wrong, but we change our mind to easy. Girls, we want one color, in 30 minutes we change our mind. So my husband actually got me into Sport Clips. He went to a gym and he saw that store and he said, "Hey Lucy, why you don't try there?" And I'm like, "Oh, but they only speak English." And he's like, "You need to step out of your comforts. You need to push it because if don't you're never gonna do it."

Chad Jordan:                What year is this?

Lucia Cheek:                 2008.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. So 10 years ago.

Lucia Cheek:                 10 years ago.

Chad Jordan:                All right, but you weren't very confident in your English yet.

Lucia Cheek:                 My English.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. So that was kind of maybe going to hold you back. But your husband ... What's your husband's name?

Lucia Cheek:                 He's Chris.

Chad Jordan:                Chris.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                All right. So Chris is kind of nudging you towards Sport Clips and who was the team ... What store were you?

Lucia Cheek:                 So Matt Lewis.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, okay. One of Matt's stores. Great, yeah.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah, yeah. Matt's store and I went there. I had no idea that he was the Team Leader. He let me cut his hair.

Chad Jordan:                So is this part of the interview process or ...

Lucia Cheek:                 Well yeah. We go for the interview and then we ask for technical. So he asked me for a technical. I didn't had any model because my husband don't have hair.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, okay. All right.

Lucia Cheek:                 So he volunteered and I cut his hair.

Chad Jordan:                Wow. He believed in you before he even knew you. That's pretty cool.

Lucia Cheek:                 He called me that same afternoon and he pretty much hired me and I still have the piece of paper that he gave me. He wrote in Spanish, welcome to my team.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. Hold on, let me try it. [Spanish 00:06:59].

Lucia Cheek:                 [Spanish 00:06:58].

Chad Jordan:                Okay. All right. Close.

Lucia Cheek:                 Good job.

Chad Jordan:                Okay, sorry. All my California based friends are probably going to give me a hard time when they hear me [crosstalk 00:07:09].

Lucia Cheek:                 No, you did great.

Chad Jordan:                So what store number was that one?

Lucia Cheek:                 506. Northfields.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. And that's in the Raleigh area?

Lucia Cheek:                 Raleigh. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad Jordan:                Yeah and so you started off just as a team member?

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, a stylist.

Lucia Cheek:                 Part time and like three months later they asked me if I want to be a full time. So I come to be a full timer. Tracy Carter, stopped by one time and she pretty much ...

Chad Jordan:                What was Tracy doing at the time?

Lucia Cheek:                 She was a coach.

Chad Jordan:                She was coach already.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah, she was a coach. So she stop and did a success check, which I had no idea what a success check was then. And she explained to us, she took her time, explained to us all the numbers and how we can hit commissions and everything. I start focusing on and I say, "You know what, I'm going to do it." And six months later they ask me if I want to be the assistant manager.

Chad Jordan:                Did dollar signs start going off in your head when she started explaining everything and you saw really there's some potential here?

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah. I was missing it for seven cents, for three cents. So I was like, "Okay, I can do this." Yeah. So six months later they ask me to be the assistant manager in the store. Four years later they asked me if I want to join the coaching part of Sport Clips,

Chad Jordan:                Okay. So around 2012-ish.

Lucia Cheek:                 Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad Jordan:                So did you stay at the store? Did you become a full time coach? What?

Lucia Cheek:                 No, I'm still full time in my store.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. So you're now ... Let me get this straight. You're managing 506.

Lucia Cheek:                 506.

Chad Jordan:                NC506 and full team there. And then you also are a technical coach?

Lucia Cheek:                 A technical coach.

Chad Jordan:                For which area?

Lucia Cheek:                 For Raleigh. For Raleigh.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. So for the Raleigh area and you go around and do a lot of the coaching. Do you do success checks and all that kind of stuff?

Lucia Cheek:                 I do. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                And you literally ... Some people have been there and done that. You are there and doing that. You're still managing and getting success. Do you give yourself your own success checks or how does this work?

Lucia Cheek:                 No. I can't have my self doing that, but I have my team well trained and let them know how important it is and living Sport Clips values is very important.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. So give me ... because at National Huddle in 2018 we had a challenge, it was called the my Sport Clips challenge where we asked different team members across the country to submit ... What was it? A one minute video, if I remember right, on what the Sport Clips journey has meant for you and to you, and you were one of our two national winners. I just remember your video. Now that I know, Chris I think helped to do some editing. It was like a professional quality grade video and under a minute. It was amazing. Give me a little bit about what that journey for you has been all about and why this company and this culture has meant so much to you over the years.

Lucia Cheek:                 Well, I'm very thankful for the opportunity that Sport Clips give to anybody. The opportunities, they're there. So all you have to do is ask and put your heart on, and you can grow with them. That is one of the amazing things that I never thought in 100 years I was gonna be the one sharing that knowledge with the new hires. Like I said before, I was [inaudible 00:10:30] with my English and now I'm here talking and sharing, talking to 12, 13 people at a time every time I have a class. So it's been amazing.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Hopefully hundreds or thousands now that they're listening to the podcast and it'll be forever encapsulated, your voice and your story. What are some of the things that you've liked most over the last 10 years about your Sport Clips journey?

Lucia Cheek:                 The support that you get from ... my team leader has been great. Matt has has been always believe in me from day one.

Chad Jordan:                Literally, he had you cut his hair before day one.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah. So he always believe in me and having so many people mentors to me has been great. It's been an amazing opportunity. I just want to let people know that if I make it, other people definitely can do it. It's not [inaudible 00:11:25] Sport Clips, you have the opportunity there for you.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Are you guys, as a team, are you in high recruitment mode? Are you guys pretty comfortable right now? What's the culture like in your store and around that area?

Lucia Cheek:                 Well Raleigh area we definitely some more hires. We definitely growing as a company in the state, so we definitely need more good stylists to enjoy our team and see how fun and how much you can grow.

Chad Jordan:                Well, what I hope, and the reason I'm asking that is I'm hoping that your team, the others around you could share this story with some prospective team members and they could hear about the great culture that you guys have in your area, the support system, and that it'll inspire others to join the team there. What are some of the benefits that you've experienced? You talked about the support from Matt Lewis, just what are some of the perks that you've really enjoyed about Sport Clips and the side that maybe others might not see sometimes.

Lucia Cheek:                 The loyalty and the appreciate that they have for you is, that it's not just about numbers. It's about seeing you, how hard you work and how much you care, and that is amazing for me. Also he's been great on supporting my ideas and say, "You know what, let's see if we can make this happen." My store and personal, we have team members that have been there for 11 years, six years, and now that I have the honor to lead them, they don't want to leave. They say, "Lucy, we're going to stay here until forever."

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, what are you doing in your store that you think might be contributing to that loyalty factor or making people feel safe and not want to ever really ever go anywhere?

Lucia Cheek:                 It's about leading by example and treat them really the way they want to be treat and never asked them something that I'm not willing to do. So I'm always there with them, not because I have a title on my name tag I'm better than them. I'm always work equal with them and show them that I appreciate what they do and be there for them, have their back.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. I love it. I love your story. A girl that was just wanting to ride a motorcycle in Guatemala and her dad said no. So I can imagine that conversation when you said, "Well, I'm gonna go visit my Tia in North Carolina." Did you end up living with her for years and years or just for that ...

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah, I was there for two years with her.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. Now whose fault was the car accident?

Lucia Cheek:                 My cousin.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, okay. So maybe that was part of the master plan the whole time to get you to America.

Lucia Cheek:                 She's been, in a lot of my life journey's she's been there. She was the one kinda like, "Yeah," with my husband too. So she's my girl.

Chad Jordan:                See, there was a master plan at work. Here's what I'm going to do. I've got a list of questions that I ask different managers and coaches and people at Sport Clips just to kind of get to know them a little bit better. I'm going to end with this because we're going to do a series of these types of podcasts, but I'd like to have a common thread through each of them. So I'm gonna ask you 10 questions. I can't ask a follow up to them. Whatever your answer is, I'm going to have to live with. Okay?

Lucia Cheek:                 All right.

Chad Jordan:                Are you ready? Here's the first one. Which super power would you most like to have?

Lucia Cheek:                 Oh boy.

Chad Jordan:                I got it. You would have most liked to ... I think the character is Ghost Rider, can ride a motorcycle of fire. I think that's clearly ...

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah, that is clearly me.

Chad Jordan:                A life goal of your ... a bucket list item of yours is to be able to ride a motorcycle. Number two, what is your personal motto?

Lucia Cheek:                 My mom.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. So she's your motto. I like that, hero. Other than where you live now, where else in the world would you most like to live? Guatemala could work, but where else in the world, if you've not lived there already, I guess, would you most like to live?

Lucia Cheek:                 Hawaii.

Chad Jordan:                Hawaii?

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, you got to go. Have you been there?

Lucia Cheek:                 No.

Chad Jordan:                You've got to go. There's three awesome stores in Hawaii right now.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah, I'm taking one.

Chad Jordan:                okay. Do it. Who is the celebrity you would most like to meet one day?

Lucia Cheek:                 A celebrity. Well, it would be a Spanish guy, his name is Ricardo Arjona.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. Is he a singer, an actor?

Lucia Cheek:                 He's a singer.

Chad Jordan:                okay. I'm not going to try ... Ricardo, I can get, that last name ...

Lucia Cheek:                 Arjona. Arjona.

Chad Jordan:                Arjona?

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. All right. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Lucia Cheek:                 Humble.

Chad Jordan:                Humble?

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. What sound or noise do you love?

Lucia Cheek:                 The r.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, the ... the rolling of the r.

Lucia Cheek:                 [crosstalk 00:16:42].

Chad Jordan:                Okay. All right. Okay. Then what sound or noise do you hate?

Lucia Cheek:                 Snoring.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. You hear that Chris? What profession, other than your own, would you have been good at or at least have wanted to try?

Lucia Cheek:                 Teaching.

Chad Jordan:                Teaching?

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. Yeah. And you're kind of doing that, but I thought you were gonna say Blockbuster or like executive or something.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Lucia Cheek:                 Being a mom.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, awesome. How many ... you've got a kid?

Lucia Cheek:                 I have two.

Chad Jordan:                Two? What are their ages?

Lucia Cheek:                 Eleven and seven.

Chad Jordan:                One of each or ...

Lucia Cheek:                 One of each, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. So you can be done because you have one-

Lucia Cheek:                 I'm done. Yeah, that's it Chris.

Chad Jordan:                It was funny because I asked you what your greatest achievement was, you said being a mom and you got emotional real quick. I could see it in your eyes and then the minute I said, "Are you done?" You're like, "Oh, heck yeah I'm done." So that's how quickly it turned. I love it. And what are their names by the way?

Lucia Cheek:                 Alicia and Angel.

Chad Jordan:                Alicia and Angel. And do you call him Angel or ...

Lucia Cheek:                 I call him Papi.

Chad Jordan:                Papi. Oh yes, of course. Is it mommy and papi or ...

Lucia Cheek:                 [Spanish 00:17:53], my doll.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, okay. Oh, I like it. Okay. Last question. You ready?

Lucia Cheek:                 I am.

Chad Jordan:                If heaven indeed exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Lucia Cheek:                 Welcome home.

Chad Jordan:                Welcome home. Yeah, love that. All right. So she's one of my favorites. What a great story about not just getting to Sport Clips, but getting to America and making it and finding a way just to keep going. Working multiple jobs, a dance instructor, meeting her husband, just all of that and we covered it all in under 20 minutes. So what an amazing career. Hey, this is just the beginning. You're 10 years in?

Lucia Cheek:                 10 years.

Chad Jordan:                10 years in, 10 of let's say 30 or 40 years at Sport Clips.

Lucia Cheek:                 Yeah. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah? Okay. Let's do that.

Lucia Cheek:                 I can do that.

Chad Jordan:                So thank you so much for joining us. It's been a pleasure.

Lucia Cheek:                 Thank you, it's an honor.

Chad Jordan:                And we'll talk to you and hope that everybody will listen to the next ones. Thanks everybody.

Lucia Cheek:                 Thank you.