Episodes of The Sport Clips Haircuts Hall of Fame Podcast - Brenda Long

This episode is the final one in our "Survive and Advance" series. The interview is with Brenda Long, the successful manager of the Sport Clips Haircuts of Bonney Lake, Washington. Brenda details how she escaped a life of domestic abuse, overcame drug addiction and how she turned her life around after 3 years in prison for dealing meth. Brenda's joyful approach to life resonates through the episode, and is sure to inspire listeners to confront and tackle their challenges as well.  Domestic Violence, or Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), drastically impacts more than 12 million women and men each year in the United States. Sport Clips offers the Cut It Out training as part of new Team Member Orientation for every store Team Member. The goal is to create awareness so Team Members can recognize the signs of intimate partner violence (IPV) and refer others to help by 1-800-799-7233.

Chad Jordan and Brenda Long holding a microphone

Episode Air Date Guest Name Guest Title Topic(s)
December 9, 2019 Brenda Long Manager Recovering from a 3 year prison sentence to save her family and career

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

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Chad Jordan:                 All right. Hey everybody, this is Chad Jordan from Sport Clips. This is another edition of our Hall of Fame Podcast. Waving to you if you're watching us on YouTube and if you're just listening on the podcast channels, welcome. This is going to be a fun episode. We've already laughed a ton this morning. I am in soggy Washington, I think you guys, I'm in Bonney Lake, that's what it was called.

Brenda Long:                Yes, Bonney Lake. Very good.

Chad Jordan:                 And there's enough water in Bonney Lake. They don't need a lake. It's just coming down. It's all over the place. But I'm having a great time and we had planned and you'll hear from my guest here in a minute, a little bit about her story, but we had planned to do this store visit, I thought... Oh, I'm smart. I'll plan this in the morning and I'll catch her before the store is busy.

Chad Jordan:                 And I walked in around 9:30 and there's literally a line out the door, there's an hour and a half wait. Whoever Amanda Z is, she's got like six people already waiting for her, checked in online waiting for her. So I'm definitely not as bright as I thought I was. This is a very humbling morning for me so far, but we were able to catch a minute or two, hang out. And then really, one of the reasons I'd wanted to come today was to capture your story. So I'm going to have her introduce herself, let everyone know who she is, then we're going to dive into this a little bit. But why don't you give me your name, what's the store we're at, but how long have you been managing, how long have you been with Sport Clips? Give me a little overview right there real quick.

Brenda Long:                Okay. So, I'm Brenda Long, it's WA108. Let's see, September 2nd was my eight year anniversary. Managing, I think it's like three years now I've been managing. I went from stylist to assistant to manager.

Chad Jordan:                 So, you've had how many huddles? Three?

Brenda Long:                Oh no, I've had four or five huddles because I went as an assistant, twice too.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. All right. And your team leader?

Brenda Long:                Is Andrea and [inaudible 00:01:57].

Chad Jordan:                 Oh, okay. All right. So the wicks. They are very, they are awesome.

Brenda Long:                They are.

Chad Jordan:                 So the reason I'm here, we did a store visit today. You're literally the reason I came to the Northwest, you and then Veronica Jordan who will be on another edition of the podcast and she's in Oregon. But I had to get up here because you guys won a social media challenge that we put out over the summer. We did a back to school challenge. So I assume, is that always a busy time of year for you guys back to school?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 And so we said, "Hey post some stuff on Facebook, on Instagram, get clients to come in and if you set a weekly sales record, we'll enter you into this drawing." And you got more entries than anybody else, because how many records did you set?

Brenda Long:                Four, we set four.

Chad Jordan:                 You set four records.

Brenda Long:                It didn't even [crosstalk 00:02:47].

Chad Jordan:                 It was just, yeah, you're that good. So I had to get up here, obviously deliver you your Do It With Passion T shirt and then one for your team as well. We started a new thing here where I'm collecting autographs from team members of stores and managers, especially of stores that do some crazy epic stuff. And you guys qualify for that. So you are the official, those who are looking on YouTube, this is the official autograph journal that I'm collecting and taking all over the country during my Sport Clips adventures. And Brenda Long is the first one to sign that. So...

Brenda Long:                You'll have to come back when I hit the million.

Chad Jordan:                 I tell you what, I'll have a million dollar section in this journal. So it's not very big right now, but it's growing.

Brenda Long:                In two years, guaranteeing you.

Chad Jordan:                 I'll come back for sure. And I know a little bit about your story, just from interacting with you and obviously Facebook and hanging out and stuff. But I think we need to unpack a little bit because it's pretty inspirational. I know you share it with ambassadors, is that right?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, I'm an ambassador.

Chad Jordan:                 So can you walk me through... All right, this is 2019 when we're filming this. I don't know when we'll air it, not too long from now, but walk me through, how far back should we go? How far back should your story go?

Brenda Long:                My story goes back when I was a kid.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. So about 15 years ago, you're 20 years old and... Right? [crosstalk 00:04:15] All right. All right. Now, what happened?

Brenda Long:                Well, I didn't play with dolls when I was little. I had one doll. It was a Farrah Fawcett head doll. That was all, I do the makeup and the hair on. So then I went to high school, I didn't like high school. It was boring to me.

Chad Jordan:                 Are you from this area?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, I graduated from Sumner High School in '85 yeah. Yeah. So last year of high school, I skipped PE so much that I wasn't going to graduate. So my mom said-

Chad Jordan:                 PE? Why? Of all the classes you're skipping.

Brenda Long:                I even tried to [crosstalk 00:04:51].

Chad Jordan:                 Skip physics or something. Okay, all right.

Brenda Long:                Yeah. So my mom said, "Do you like doing hair? You're going to go to beauty school and your high school is going to pay for it." I was like, "Great. So I only had to go to high school three hours a day." So that was a win win. So-

Chad Jordan:                 Was your mom a stylist?

Brenda Long:                No, she just knew I loved doing hair. So my high school paid for it, running star even back in 1985, 19... Well, I guess it was 83 back then. Yeah. So went in, graduated top three in my school, went into full service for about 20 some years. I went to full service 25 years. Yeah, I've been doing here 34 years now. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. So, but a bulk of that, mostly probably women's hair?

Brenda Long:                Yes. Oh yeah. Yeah. Through the different franchises and stuff like that. Even rented a chair, had a chair in my house, stuff like that. Yeah. Got married, married about eight and a half years. I had three boys with him. Very abusive, life went a little dark, introduced me to meth. Got away from-

Chad Jordan:                 Had he been an addict before you had met him? Or...

Brenda Long:                Yes, yes, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 And is this one of those things where you had kind of rationalized he'll get better? once we get married, settle down?

Brenda Long:                Yes, even the abuse. I thought it would stop. I wasn't raised that way so I thought it would really stop. I stuck... And you're married, you have kids. I ended up having three premature babies. My last one, he was two pounds. He about died, he spent six months in the hospital. He's my little miracle.

Chad Jordan:                 What's his name?

Brenda Long:                Kendall.

Chad Jordan:                 Kendall, okay.

Brenda Long:                I had cervical cancer at the time. Everybody wanted me to abort him and I wouldn't do it. And I got checked after I had him and it was gone. And I feel that kid cured me. I know in all my heart that kid cured me.

Chad Jordan:                 You had documented cancer and could you do treatments while you were pregnant? Or they were making you-

Brenda Long:                No, they wanted me to abort, yeah. And I wouldn't do it. I was in an abusive marriage, I actually would have killed myself. He kept me alive all the way. He is my miracle child, totally. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 And then after, they run tests-

Brenda Long:                So due to the abuse, I lost all my amniotic fluid. He chopped when the cord was around his neck. So that caused cerebral palsy. And then when you're born, a duct in your heart's supposed to shut. Well, his wouldn't, so that caused a brain bleed. So he actually had open heart surgery at five days old on my oldest son, Cody's birthday, a 80% chance he would die. And he lives. So he'll be 26 on Thanksgiving. So, very high functioning.

Chad Jordan:                 And lives with you?

Brenda Long:                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. All right. Okay.

Brenda Long:                Yeah, yeah. Very, very high functioning.

Chad Jordan:                 Well I hope... Kendall, right?

Brenda Long:                Kendall.

Chad Jordan:                 Kendall, I hope you're watching your mom right now. Hi there. Shout out to you buddy. Good job.

Brenda Long:                So then... Let's see. Got away from that marriage. Met a boyfriend. He made meth. So I learned to do that, all within...

Chad Jordan:                 He made meth?

Brenda Long:                Manufactured it.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. All right. And we're not talking Walter White, blue stuff?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, Walter White, blue stuff. All of it. Exactly, just like that.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. All right. So, well give me timeline, where are you? What year is this?

Brenda Long:                This is about 95, 96.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay, so 95 you're a mother of three, still working a stylist? No.

Brenda Long:                No, no. Slinging drugs.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. And what-

Brenda Long:                I learned to make it.

Chad Jordan:                 And what are you-

Brenda Long:                I always had my mom as security with my kids, my mom always helped me out with my kids.

Chad Jordan:                 What are you telling your mom at the time?

Brenda Long:                She don't know nothing.

Chad Jordan:                 Right. Does she think that you are-

Brenda Long:                She [crosstalk 00:08:10].

Chad Jordan:                 Cutting hair for somebody?

Brenda Long:                Yeah. She doesn't know what's going on. Yeah, she knows, getting out of that abusive marriage and stuff, that was a good thing. But then what happened after it.

Chad Jordan:                 We fast forwarded through that. I mean, how did you get out? There may be others watching right now or listening-

Brenda Long:                I knew I was going to die.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay.

Brenda Long:                I ran across the street to a neighbor.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. In the midst of an attack?

Brenda Long:                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad Jordan:                 Okay.

Brenda Long:                I had to leave all three of my kids, that's the hardest thing.

Chad Jordan:                 You left to go call 911 or do whatever?

Brenda Long:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. Yeah. And then what happened?

Brenda Long:                His mom came and grabbed my kids and then he just appeared and so my mom-

Chad Jordan:                 Because he's worried about getting arrested or whatever? Yeah.

Brenda Long:                So they eventually find him and he goes back to jail, but then he's back out hunting me down and I go live with my mom-

Chad Jordan:                 Do you have a restraining order?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, I have a lifetime one actually, still to this day even. Yeah. Yeah. I got my nose broke, I have fake teeth, I've had stitches over my eye. It was really bad. Broken ribs. It was really bad. I got told one of my kids would be abusers and I knew I was going to die. I knew, it was getting to that point. So yeah. So I had to run. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. But you were able to keep your kids.

Brenda Long:                Yes, yes, my mom. Thank god for my mom.

Chad Jordan:                 All right. Shout out to all the moms out there. You being one as well, but so your mom helped, you have your kids, and then you kind of pivot to this lifestyle. Had you ever been an addict or anything in your life?

Brenda Long:                No.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. So you had never abused previous to this boyfriend?

Brenda Long:                No, no, no.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. And so you start making the meth with him, your partner, literally a partner in crime?

Brenda Long:                Yep.

Chad Jordan:                 What unfolds with that kind of lifestyle? It can't end well.

Brenda Long:                Living in hotels, my mom would have my kids all the times. My mom had my kids for about six to eight months, I disappeared. Well actually let's go back. So the ex-husband always wanted to see the kids and it wasn't to see the kids, it was to see me. And he was all-

Chad Jordan:                 As an intimidation factor?

Brenda Long:                Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. So I was like, "You think you can do a better job? You raise them then." And so then I took off for eight months and I ran and made dope and I made dope in al the hotels. He had the kids, I just didn't... It was here. You know what I mean? You stay numb. You don't feel. my mom's seen the kids, they were fighting over a piece of bread. They had no beds. He's a drug addict too. They were living in all these dope houses. So my mom's stole my kids back.

Chad Jordan:                 How old were your kids at the time?

Brenda Long:                Oh gosh. What do they have to be like three, six, and seven, something like that.

Chad Jordan:                 Oh my word. And Kendall was part of that?

Brenda Long:                Kendall was in that mix too.

Chad Jordan:                 Wow.

Brenda Long:                Yeah. Yeah. That's the only time he actually even had Kendall. So otherwise, he's never taken care of Kendall since. So they're at my mom's-

Chad Jordan:                 Some would argue he didn't take care of Kendall that time too. Right?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, yes. So relied on my mom a lot. Yeah. So mom stole the kids back. I came home. The boyfriend... We had gotten in trouble. He was wanted, supposed to do a contract. He actually went away. I came home, I come home to my mom-

Chad Jordan:                 By contract, what do you mean?

Brenda Long:                He was supposed to snitch on people to be able to get out of his trouble, or whatever. Yeah. Yeah. So then I came home and lived with my mom, here I have no income, I am nothing. And I'm like, "I think I can do this. I'm on the phone with my ex." He's like, "I know you can." And so I had chemicals shipped to me and for $200 I could make $2,000. so I started slinging and doing it myself and I would leave my kids with my mom and I could go do my business and then come home and be normal. You know what I mean? So it kind of ruled in a way.

Chad Jordan:                 Wow, it is like a TV show. I mean it really is.

Brenda Long:                So all within that two years, then I got in trouble.

Chad Jordan:                 Did you not get in trouble the first part of it, that time? You're getting away with it and so that's kind of feeding the lie. Like, "Hey, I can make this happen." Right?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, because I'm a woman in a man's world and these three brothers, no matter, we would help each other out with the chemicals or whatever. And so then two years and then you get people who buy from you but then snitch on you and all this. So, within two years I got in trouble and so I got sent to prison for manufacturing meth.

Chad Jordan:                 I assume that's a felony?

Brenda Long:                It's a big felony.

Chad Jordan:                 So it's not like you're in county jail.

Brenda Long:                No, no county jail. No. Yeah. So I'm in the big house. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 And your kids are...

Brenda Long:                So my kids are actually with my mom. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 And they're now, what year is this?

Brenda Long:                This is 1998. I went to prison in April. Yeah. Yeah. And then I got out.

Chad Jordan:                 I'm not ready for you to get out. Hold on. I know you are. I got to find out. There are some other... This is going to be in my series that we have, The Survive and Advance series of podcasts where we look at managers or team members, stylists of Sport Clips who have overcome some sort of challenges. I mean you've overcome a-

Brenda Long:                [crosstalk 00:13:29] Cut it Out program. I talked to that lady at the huddle because it happens in here. We cut men and boys hair, all men are not... I am not saying that because there's women that are abusive too, like don't get me wrong all day long, but you can be verbally abusive to me in my chair. You don't have to be physical and it does happen. It does happen.

Chad Jordan:                 Well, and I mean, I want to key in on the things that you've survived in advance. Had you just survived cancer, right? That would've been-

Brenda Long:                I've actually survived it three times.

Chad Jordan:                 That would qualify for this podcast.

Brenda Long:                [crosstalk 00:13:58].

Chad Jordan:                 And you've survived abuse and addiction and a prison sentence and so you, I mean, we got to turn this into a movie. We'll talk about that later, but-

Brenda Long:                [crosstalk 00:14:15], that's what they tell me and my mom.

Chad Jordan:                 But I need to understand the impact of mom as she, do your kids come to visit you in prison? How does that happen?

Brenda Long:                Mom comes every weekend.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay, so-

Brenda Long:                Mom cries every weekend.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay, so your mom brought the kids. What's your mom's name?

Brenda Long:                Kathy.

Chad Jordan:                 And she's still around, right?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, we live together.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. Okay. Okay. We love you Kathy. Yes, no kidding. We need to get her a cape. A W, a Wonder Woman outfit. So Kathy brings the three kids. What are those memories? What those conversations that you're having with her? With the kids?

Brenda Long:                I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

Chad Jordan:                 Every time? Every weekend that they come?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mom's crying every weekend because my mom, I have a little brother, he's 80 days older than my son. Me and my mom were pregnant at the same time.

Chad Jordan:                 Oh my gosh.

Brenda Long:                So she has four under the age of 10. So it's a lot. The guards were so sweet to her. They're like, they would practically cry with her.

Chad Jordan:                 Are you a model citizen essentially once you get to jail? Are you like, "You know what? I got to clean myself up. This is-"

Brenda Long:                Yeah. I only got in trouble one time because they were trying to send me to Spokane and my mom could not make that trek with the kids and I need to see my kids. I need to be a mom, you know what I mean? As much as a mom as I can be. And so I got in trouble so that I wouldn't get sent there because prerelease or whatever was in Spokane. So I got in trouble to stay in-

Chad Jordan:                 So you intentionally?

Brenda Long:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. And did it extend your sentence at all by doing that?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, three months. Yeah. I lost some good time. Yeah. And-

Chad Jordan:                 If you had to do it over again, would you have done that?

Brenda Long:                No, because I-

Chad Jordan:                 Okay, you would have got out early.

Brenda Long:                ... Didn't see the kids for 30 days. I was back behind glass. I didn't get to hug or kiss them or my mom, I didn't have my mom. My mom came and see me. And all she would do is cry. And I told her not to bring the kids. So we would have once a month they would come and they would play in the gym with me. And it was a mom and kids day where they would bring them snacks and all that. And there was a thing called Angel Tree where I could pick out presents.

Chad Jordan:                 Yes, I know Angel Tree.

Brenda Long:                I was able to give my kids presents for Christmas. And they would come and we'd play and yeah, it was really cool.

Chad Jordan:                 Yes, I love that Angel Tree program. A lot of churches will do it at Christmas as you know, and people get to pick out gifts and it's really special. So, I don't think I've ever met anybody that's participated in the Angel Tree program, so on that side of it. So I've seen people that have donated and been in the round them but-

Brenda Long:                And I know it sounds funny, but I mean, you still got to try and be the best parent. Even though I'm not there, I'm still a parent and my mom never took that away from me. They're always my kids, they're not her kids, you know? So yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 I mean jeesh, Kathy, rockstar.

Chad Jordan:                 Yeah, she was, she is.

Brenda Long:                Doggone it, we should have had her on this [crosstalk 00:17:03]. Next time, hey, when you're a million dollar store.

Chad Jordan:                 There you go, okay, we'll bring my mom.

Brenda Long:                We'll bring mommy. So, okay, so prison, I mean, is it same day every day? It's just kind of...

Brenda Long:                I actually redid my beauty school in prison because I thought I lost my license. So Clover Park had a program there. So then I got through till my, where you get put on the floor and actually I found out I only had to pay 100 bucks and I got my license back.

Chad Jordan:                 And you're in prison from 98 until when?

Brenda Long:                April of 2001.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. And was that your original sentence or were you suppose.. I mean, I know they extended it, but had you-

Brenda Long:                So they sentenced me to 54 months for manufacturing math, then they took me back to county because they forgot to sentence me for a gun because, I had a gun in my room and they said, "Is this your gun?" I said, "Yeah, sure it's my gun." Well I never even shot a gun in my life to this day still. But it was my gun in my room, but my partner, it was his gun. I said, yeah, it was my gun. So they sentenced me on that. So they put a 41 months with it.

Chad Jordan:                 Oh wow.

Brenda Long:                And they told me they were going to put me down 10 years if I didn't get away from these three brothers. And so if you put it together, there was my 10 years, so they ran them together. So I ended up doing just a over three and a half. Three and a half years about is what I did. I did two years Purdy and then I did one year at pre-release in Steilacoom where I worked at Western State Hospital there and it was a lot more lax because you're on your last time. I didn't go to work release, that costed a lot of money and I just stayed at pre-release so the kids could come hug and see me and we were out in a courtyard and stuff like that.

Chad Jordan:                 At what stage do you think your boys, especially your two oldest started going, "This isn't normal. Most kids don't have to do this with their mom." When did it start to click? Because when they're little they don't know, right?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, well when the little one would be in the grocery store and he'd be like, "My mom and dad are in prison." And the other ones would be like, "Grandma, stop him." Yeah, so that's when...

Chad Jordan:                 They must be some tough boys.

Brenda Long:                They are, they're amazing.

Chad Jordan:                 All right. You get out.

Brenda Long:                I get out.

Chad Jordan:                 You have your beauty license renewed, cosmetology license renewed.

Brenda Long:                Yes. I meet a guy.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. All right. How long-

Brenda Long:                Well, as a friend. Well supposedly, her daughter has this guy that works and is amazing and handsome and blah, blah, blah. I'm home two weeks, my mom's like, "You're going to be a mom. You need to be a mom. We waited three years for you to come home. It's time for you to come home." You know what I mean? And so-

Chad Jordan:                 When you first get out, are you kind of in a daze like that you're-

Brenda Long:                Yeah, I mean, three years is a long time because things changes and yeah, it's a whole different acclimation, you know what I mean? And then my brother Jeff actually helped with getting me a car and supplies to go back to work.

Chad Jordan:                 Anybody in your family turn on you and just like, they're done with you?

Brenda Long:                No, but all of them wanted one of my kids, like a puppy, nobody wanted all of them. Well, my mom took them all and my mom would work in the rain, my mom went bust her butt. She got some little bit of stay help but not much. She was out in the rain shagging cars and stuff for Kia back then, busting her butt to take care of my kids. She got a nice house up here in Bonney Lake. My grandma then would help her out too and watch the kids and stuff like that for her. And grandpa would help her out. Yeah.

Brenda Long:                Otherwise, no, nobody really... Grandma lied to people and said I was somewhere. Grandpa wouldn't come see me until I'm in pre-release. He wouldn't come in prison. I actually lost my dad when I was in prison. He was my hero. He got sick before, he had emphysema and he actually, in prison you get a choice to either go to a funeral or their death bed. My dad didn't want a funeral, so my grandma paid for me to go visit him at Good Sam Hospital.

Chad Jordan:                 Wow. Was he conscious?

Brenda Long:                No, he was in a coma and it was me and my mom in there and my mom talked to him and she said, "Brenda's here, Brenda's here." And a tear ran down his eye and he shook his head when my mom talked in his ear and-

Chad Jordan:                 Had they been together? Or were they...

Brenda Long:                Yeah, they were married 22 years. Yeah. Yeah. So, he passed away after that night, after I seen him, he passed away. So yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 Do you feel like you got some sort of closure because you at least got to see him while he was around?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, and I was only talking to him on the phone. He wouldn't come see me because he was on oxygen. He said it wouldn't last that long. But I think it was just, he didn't want to see me there. Grandpa didn't want me there. Like what they had to go through to come in there, even the kids to be searched and all that. You know what I mean? It was like I said, my mom bawled every time. So yeah. So grandpa came and see me a pre-release though. So that was nice. But yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 All right, so you get out, you meet a guy.

Brenda Long:                Yeah. Meet a guy. And so we're together a few years, we decide to get married. He has addictions.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. Oh, that was my next question. I just didn't know if I was going to need to ask it, but all right.

Brenda Long:                He was very high functioning.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. Had you known?

Brenda Long:                Fell in love, no, fell in love. So his was either gambling, the meth, or the alcohol and fell in love, promised to quit, promised to quit, promised to quit, promised to quit, I stayed clean. I've still been clean 22 years clean and sober today.

Brenda Long:                Awesome.

Chad Jordan:                 Yeah. He's love of my life. We decide to have another child, promise he'd quit, promise he'd quit. This child turned five. I can't do it anymore. I can't raise him like I raised the other ones and when I'm wanting to spend time with him and I'm sitting at drug houses in the car and I'm like, somebody rolls up, they're not going to believe it's not me. I have a huge record. We went to rent a place and they were like, "Oh, we'll rent to you but not your wife." And it didn't even dawn on me that that would come up that manufacturing, nobody wants to rent to me. They think I'm going to blow up their house.

Brenda Long:                Right, of course.

Chad Jordan:                 You know what I mean? And it never... I have great credit. I have all this. I never stole, I never did anything like that. You know what I mean? Yes, I slung the drugs, but I wasn't a bad drug dealer, do you know what I mean?

Brenda Long:                Right. Okay. Yeah. So anyways, yeah. They said they would rent it to him, not to me. So five years, 10 years in with him, can't do it anymore. The kid's five I need out. So I was a stay at home mom for six years. He would disappear for days and then come home. No money, no nothing, borrowing money from my mom behind my back because he would go gamble it away. He could win 500 or 600 bucks every time he walked in the door, that casino and he blow 200. So never get ahead, we lived like we were poor and we weren't. Over 100,000 a year he made. So to put him out, I had to rely on my mom and my grandma again. So...

Chad Jordan:                 How do you bring yourself to have that conversation with them?

Brenda Long:                Yeah. They knew. They knew it was going on because behind my back he was borrowing money from my mom and stuff. So then I also went through, thyroid cancer at that time, they removed my thyroid. I've had-

Chad Jordan:                 Is that a result of meth?

Brenda Long:                No, no. I don't know. I guess it's hereditary, but we don't know who in my family, and I've also had cancer polyps like three times in my colon to that I have to get removed every year also. So now we have no idea and I take it all on, I guess.

Chad Jordan:                 Yes. You're that strong. Yeah.

Brenda Long:                I'm that strong for the family, right? So relying on my mom and my grandma again, this one kind of threw me for a loop. I really loved him. I really, really loved him. So I went on some antidepressants and couldn't even go in a car anywhere. I would feel like I was crawling out of my skin. It was really bad.

Chad Jordan:                 So you're holed up in the house kind of thing?

Brenda Long:                Yeah. Got on the antidepressants, start breathing, can live. Mom and grandma are very supportive. A friend of my kids' mom owned a barber shop in [inaudible 00:24:51] and so she needed help part time. So I'm like, "Okay, I can do this again. Let's go do this." You know what I mean? I have boys, I have five boys. I can cut boy hair all day long. So I went and I worked there for about a year. I needed more money. I'm raising a five-year-old by myself, you know what I mean? So I remember a postcard I got in the mail about Sport Clips and they only do men and boys' hair for the most part. We specialize in. And so I'm like, "Ooh, that's 10 minutes away. I live in Bonney Lake."

Chad Jordan:                 Was the store getting ready to open? Is that why-

Brenda Long:                No the store had been open. Yeah, I think it was open three years or so maybe, because I think I came in 2011. So actually Devin, one of my stylists out there, and I came in, my manager was out sick. The manager here was out sick. So Devin and there's a Kelly who actually used to own that barbershop, they hired me on the spot. They said if I could work for that woman, I could work for anybody. So I was hired on the spot. So-

Chad Jordan:                 No technical interview? No, nothing?

Brenda Long:                No, hired on the spot. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 No background check?

Brenda Long:                No, no background check. [inaudible 00:25:57], "Are you a felon?" "No, I'm not." So, we had that conversation later. Yeah, I proved myself, you know what I mean? I made rising star in 30 days. I cried my eyes out. I got so much support here. So much pats on the back.

Chad Jordan:                 When did you disclose your background? Or did somebody find out and bring it up?

Brenda Long:                No, but I had... Some of the girls here knew, only ones I was close to. I didn't tell everybody. People are judgy and people don't really think you can change. So I didn't really disclose that. And then we had a manager here that got... Anyways, was yucky, got fired. And I was like, "Ooh, she's going to tell me. I know she's going to tell me she knows my story." So Andrea was here one night and I said, "I need to talk to you." And she's like, "Okay." So I ran down my story to her and she's standing there, she was like, You're an amazing woman." And I was like, Okay, that was not what I was expecting."

Chad Jordan:                 Wow, what a response.

Brenda Long:                And I was like, "I just want to tell you my story before somebody else tells you and I want you to hear it, I wanted you to get to know me first and to have that trust before you knew what was going on." And I think that was right before I'd asked for Courtney to be manager, me to be assistant because I didn't know enough about the computer and stuff like that. And I really wanted to learn. So I wanted to be assistant first and then work into management. But I wanted all that out in the air first. So, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 Yeah. So, Andrea, are you guys like sisters at this point? I mean, are you guys thick as thinking I was going to say thick as thieves, but maybe I won't use that analogy.

Brenda Long:                Partners in crime? Nah, not any more.

Chad Jordan:                 So because, how many stores do they have?

Brenda Long:                Two. This one and Covington.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. All right. Are you close with the Covington manager? And the people over there.

Brenda Long:                Yes, love her, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. So is there like a... Well, I felt the vibe when I came in. Your daughter-in-law works here. Is there a family kind of atmosphere going on in this area?

Brenda Long:                Yeah. Courtney's been here since day one. Devon's been here nine years. I'm eight, I have my twins that are going on eight years. I think Kendra is rolling on something like six or something. There's lots of people who've been here many, many, many years. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 I'm looking around, how many... What do you have?

Brenda Long:                I have a core of eight. I have 14 but I have a core of eight who have been here and built this store, yeah. It's pretty awesome.

Chad Jordan:                 Yeah, and I mean if you're looking on YouTube you can kind of see over my shoulder, all their Chairman's Club gold awards, silver back in the day. But I mean they're aiming for platinum and then of course, they want to be $1 million a year store. CES score of 90% or higher.

Brenda Long:                Well, I think I run the number one online check in percentage in all-

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. That's what I love. I love that online check in.

Brenda Long:                Let me tell you something-

Chad Jordan:                 I love that online check in percentage. And because you're so busy too, I mean you're better if you're a client check in online.

Brenda Long:                Yes, [inaudible 00:28:50] the two hour wait.

Chad Jordan:                 Yeah, at this store.

Brenda Long:                Yes, always.

Chad Jordan:                 So you now have had this very fruitful career at Sport Clips. Do you ever get in your car and just either driving home or on the way here, just reflect on what it took for you to get here and how you've made it?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, I [inaudible 00:29:09] over Rising Star at 30 days. I went from stylist to assistant manager to manager. I'm an ambassador lead now. I got asked to be that. I didn't apply for it. I got asked, like corporate asked me to be that. I run a number one, number two store in our region. I'm headed to, I will be a million dollar store in two years. Yeah. Like, "Woo, all my dreams are coming true." That five year old, I will be putting him through college by myself, by myself. I'm almost hitting a hundred grand. Yeah, I went from dirt to this and I have all this support, all this love, my dreams. Gordon came and see me. You came and see me this year.

Chad Jordan:                 Yeah. Yeah. No, this is... This store is on the map. You are obviously such a huge reason why. At what point... Is there a point in your, I don't know whether it's in prison or there was abuse and there was addiction and then now you're back in a cycle with this next guy where he's addicted. Was there a point where you're like, "You know what, I got to give up. I just can't do this anymore." Or is there something always kind of keeping you going?

Brenda Long:                No, I always kept on going. The only time I really want to give up is when I was pregnant with Kendall and I totally would've gave up then. Yeah, that was super bad. Like, yes, when I went on the antidepressants, I definitely needed that for a year and I weaned myself off of them. But all the support and the strength I get from everybody and my mom's always my cheerleader, and my children, my children are like, "Mom, let it go. Let it go." We have let it go and this one I've raised alone. You know what I mean? I am a good mom. I did this. It's okay. I made mistakes. but it's okay. I'm a good person.

Chad Jordan:                 So good. Give me some... No, don't give me advice. I'm not a mom. Give advice to moms that are listening right now, that are working their butts off doing everything that they can, know that they've made some mistakes, some choices that they wish they could take back but couldn't. Talk to them real quick and just give them something to hang on to.

Brenda Long:                Just don't let it define you. Don't let it define you. You know what I mean? Just keep striving. There's another day. Always look to tomorrow. There's another day. You just keep going. I don't know what more to say. I seen the pain that I caused in my children and I would never do that again. That's with Andrew, I cut it off at five. You know what I mean? I can't do this again. You learn from your mistakes, insanity is keep doing them over and over and over again. Reach out. Even in Sport Clips we have the Cut It Out program. You know what I mean? There's just-

Chad Jordan:                 So let's talk about that, in case there's some that haven't heard it. Can you walk me through what the Cut It Out program is and why it's so important?

Brenda Long:                Well, it's for abuse, if you're having abuse in your home life or even in your store, you can reach out to your managers, your coaches, your team leaders and they can help to get you help. There's also the Wayne McGlone fund. That you can get and... If things happen in your life, you can ask for money to help to get you out somewhere. You don't have to accept that. Don't let it define you. I thought it would stop. It doesn't stop. It will end in death eventually. It may seem like the rug's pulled out from under you, but you can gain again, just take baby steps. And I think that's the biggest thing. Don't let it overwhelm you, just one step at a time. And I was thankful, I have my family, but there's shelters, there's other places, the Cut It Out program that you can reach out to for help also.

Chad Jordan:                 And we'll link to that Cut It Out programs so that people can find out more about it. But I like it. I like your perspective that you're bigger than your mistakes, it doesn't define you. I love that. This has been incredible. And this is, I know this is the abridged version, we could literally spend three hours and still barely scratch the surface. There's so many stories that we could unpack. But what I want to do, I want to end with, I got 10 fun questions to end with. Can I end with those? And then we'll get you... Oh, and then we'll end with devouring some Mountain Dew that you made.

Brenda Long:                They're actually really good. I had one last night, they were really good.

Chad Jordan:                 They look amazing. And I got-

Brenda Long:                No, I cut hair better than I bake.

Chad Jordan:                 Oh, here's a question, can I keep these Tupperware? I'll have to mail them back because I'm going all over. I'm driving to Eugene, Oregon-

Brenda Long:                You can take it, yeah, take it with you.

Chad Jordan:                 So I'm going to... I need that for my road trip.

Brenda Long:                That's fine, you bet.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. Here are my questions for you. All right. The very first one, which superpower would you most like to have?

Brenda Long:                Which super power?

Chad Jordan:                 Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brenda Long:                Oh my goodness. That's hard.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. These are 10 thought provoking questions.

Brenda Long:                I guess I'd take pain away from people.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay, so kind of like draw the pain out?

Brenda Long:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 I like that. Healer.

Brenda Long:                Yeah, yeah. We do that a lot behind our chairs.

Chad Jordan:                 For sure. I mean, the conversation, even the physical contact.

Brenda Long:                Even when you, for years I've watched kids grow up, go to college, I watched their births and deaths and marriages with these people. I get invited to their homes. I got invited to my one, he's a police officer, I got invited to his pinning of his badge. All his family's like, "Who is she?" And he's like, "She's my barber." Yeah, it was super cool.

Chad Jordan:                 That's awesome.

Brenda Long:                And to be on that side of it, I'm in a room full of police and I'm not in trouble. I'm like, "Woo hoo."

Chad Jordan:                 Yeah. He's got your back.

Brenda Long:                That's full circle baby.

Chad Jordan:                 Ah, man. That is awesome. I didn't expect that. Give me one of your nicknames that people have for you.

Brenda Long:                Oh God, they call me... I'm loud. I'm just-

Chad Jordan:                 Loud? Okay. Brenda, the Loud? Loud Mouth?

Brenda Long:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 I noticed that you've kept the microphone kind of away from... That's good.

Brenda Long:                I'm very loud.

Chad Jordan:                 Because I'm sure the levels would have peaked. Number three, other than where you live right now, where else in the world would you most like to live?

Brenda Long:                Mexico, just went to Cancun. I would live there in a heartbeat.

Chad Jordan:                 Really? Okay. What were you doing in Cancun?

Brenda Long:                Vacationing.

Chad Jordan:                 Yeah, with?

Brenda Long:                Three of my stylists.

Chad Jordan:                 Oh, had you won a contest?

Brenda Long:                A client gave us a timeshare for-

Chad Jordan:                 What?

Brenda Long:                Yeah, I gave it to Caitlin.

Chad Jordan:                 Are you kidding me?

Brenda Long:                I was like, "I want to go."

Chad Jordan:                 Holy moly.

Brenda Long:                I wasn't sure if I could get a passport. In my 22 years, it's over.

Chad Jordan:                 That is awesome.

Brenda Long:                It was so cool.

Chad Jordan:                 My best friend lives in the Cancun area, man, that's amazing.

Brenda Long:                Oh I love it. Yeah. My assistant manager, Nellie and Angie, I have twins that work here, so yeah-

Chad Jordan:                 Wow. Your client. Just, jeesh. You guys must be doing something special here.

Brenda Long:                See?

Chad Jordan:                 All right. First of all, do you have any pets? Have you had any pets?

Brenda Long:                I'm a cat person.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay, great. Your favorite cat's name?

Brenda Long:                Oh, it's Albert.

Chad Jordan:                 Albert? Okay, so the other cats listening aren't going to get jealous?

Brenda Long:                No, my first cat was Dummy.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. All right. But Albert's your favorite?

Brenda Long:                Berto is the favorite, then my kid took him over.

Chad Jordan:                 Number five. What's a hidden talent that you have that maybe others might not know about? And please don't say cooking meth. That is not... We all know about it now, so that's not a...

Brenda Long:                A talent? Ooh, I don't know. I can roller skate.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. There we go. Roller derbies in your future. All right. What sound or noise do you love to hear?

Brenda Long:                Sound or noise? Ooh, the laughter. Just laughter with my kids or in here when everybody's bantering. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 Yeah. Just that loud, joyful noise.

Brenda Long:                Yeah, usually, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 What sound or noise do you hate?

Brenda Long:                Ooh... Birds chirping.

Chad Jordan:                 What?

Brenda Long:                I do. When I go camping I wear earplugs.

Chad Jordan:                 Birds are the happiest noise in the world.

Brenda Long:                Because in my back days, you never [crosstalk 00:00:36:52], to this day, it resonates. They laugh at me, I wear earplugs camping.

Chad Jordan:                 Wow. I've never had that answer. Usually that's like a noise people love to hear. Okay. All right. When they do a movie based on the story of your life, which is going to happen, what actress do you want to play your role?

Brenda Long:                I've always heard I look like Meg Ryan.

Chad Jordan:                 Meg Ryan?

Brenda Long:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 Go for it. I mean, she might have to get her hair shorter, but a little longer hair. And then what is the title? What should we call the movie? What should the title the movie be?

Brenda Long:                Dreams do come true.

Chad Jordan:                 Dreams... Okay. I love it. Last question. If heaven indeed exists, what do you hope to hear from God when you enter the pearly gates?

Brenda Long:                That I did good. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 Yeah. You have done good. You've done very well. And I'm proud of you. I know we all are. Andrea, when I talked to her, your team leader about coming here, she said, "Oh, wait until you hear her story. It's going to knock your socks off." So my shoes and socks, you can't see it, they've been knocked off. You can't see it on the YouTube video, but yeah, I've been blown away and I know that other stylists that are listening to this are going to be encouraged by what you've shared.

Brenda Long:                Yeah, just don't give up. Don't give up. Sport Clips is more a family, it's so supportive. I'm serious. All my dreams have come true here and it's an amazing company. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                 Well we're lucky to have you and I want to make sure we will link to Cut It Out, the Cut It Out program. And if you need any help like what Brenda was discussing in today's episode, please do not hesitate to get yourself some help. And-

Brenda Long:                Reach out to me. I can help you, seriously.

Chad Jordan:                 Okay. Okay. I'll put your, how about your Facebook or something? We'll attach it.

Brenda Long:                Yeah, I'm a mamma bear in here. I take it all on.

Chad Jordan:                 Yeah, okay. We love-

Brenda Long:                Yeah, we have procedures in here for that too.

Chad Jordan:                 We love it. All right, thanks everybody for tuning in.

Brenda Long:                Thank you.

Chad Jordan:                 We'll have another episode next week. Thanks.