After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma leveled communities across Texas and the southeast coast, Great Clips franchisees worked together with the brand’s corporate team to help stylists get back on their feet.
Several natural disasters have brought devastation to different regions across the U.S. this year. From hurricanes to the wildfires currently raging in California, communities are struggling to find ways to rebuild after disaster strikes. In the midst of this large-scale devastation, brands like Great Clips are stepping up to help.
The idea for Great Clips’ initiative to give back was first sparked after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. After the hurricane hit, franchisees in the area were communicating with one another to see if people were staying safe. It quickly became apparent that stylists from multiple Great Clips salons were facing a long road to recovery after their homes were destroyed. That’s when Great Clips franchisees started stepping up to the plate. Franchisee Diane Sinclair, who owns 20 salons with her husband in the San Antonio area, started talking with members of the brand’s Women in a Nurturing Environment (WINE) Group to see how they could give back. Steve Hockett, who transitioned from the role of Great Clips’ President to CEO on January 1, 2018, saw the note and offered for the franchisor to lend a hand.
Hockett suggested holding a fundraising event to support impacted Great Clips stylists. Great Clips franchisees, corporate team, and a non-profit partner – Helping Hands Ministry – worked together to build out this idea. The result was a permanent fundraising program called Great Clips Stylist Assistance Fund.
As word of the fund spread, franchisees from across the country donated what they could to help stylists in Texas get back on their feet.
“It comes down to the fact that we really wanted to help the stylist community,” said Sinclair. “Nobody wants to see salons close, and we knew that there would be a lot of people facing serious challenges after the Hurricane, especially if they couldn’t get back to work. And our efforts have really gone a long way—we’ve received letters from people explaining how much the (Great Clips) Stylist Assistance Fund meant to them and how it helped them get their lives back together.”
“Franchisees employee around 40,000 stylists across the Great Clips system. The Great Clips Stylist Assistance Fund was established to provide a small measure of financial relief to impacted stylists,” added Hockett. “Franchisees have their own channels to seek assistance for personal or business, so the intent from the origination of the fund was to make it stylist centered. With our scale and our presence in markets coast to coast, having an ongoing fund dedicated to assisting the stylists of our franchisees is the right structure to offer aid in the wake of natural disasters.”
The framework behind Great Clips’ Stylist Assistance Fund stipulates that grants are limited to covering the loss or damage of physical items such as furniture, owned housing, clothes and cars. To request assistance from the fund, stylists must work with their franchisee to complete an application process. The process includes a small committee to review applications, assess eligibility for funds, and determine the size of the grant (up to $2,000 per individual).
“We did put a deadline on submissions—stylists had 90 days after our storm hit in August to submit applications in order to be eligible for assistance,” said Eusebio Rivera, a Great Clips franchisee who owns five locations in Houston, Texas. “Of course, we hope that we don’t need to use this fund a lot in the future. But with 4,000-plus salons across the country, Great Clips salons and stylists will likely be hit by natural disasters again. Now that the playbook has been developed, there’s a system in place that’s ready to spring into action as soon as people need help rebuilding.”
As natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma or the California wildfires strike, the Great Clips Stylist Assistance Fund is ready to receive donations in order to help those in need. As franchisees and corporate employees continue to show their support for stylists across the country, the brand is proving that no matter where disaster strikes, the largest salon franchise in the world is able to come together to make a difference.
Hockett says, “Now that we have a couple hurricanes worth of experience, we have decided to make the GC Stylist Assistance Fund (working with Helping Hands Ministries) a permanent aspect of the fabric of Great Clips. It truly is family helping family, in times of disaster or destruction, solely focused on stylists employed by franchisees. GCI will continue to contribute to the Stylist Assistance Fund, and we will encourage franchisee to contribute as well. The larger the presence of the SAF across the system is in the minds of franchisees and stylists, the more we can leverage the platform to assist impacted stylists whenever or wherever natural disaster may strike.”
Sinclair is confident that franchisees will continue to support the Great Clips Stylist Assistance Fund alongside the corporate team, adding, “For me, the Stylist Assistance Fund shows just how much Great Clips cares. We care about our people, our customers and every member of our salon families,” said Sinclair. “It’s amazing the way that everybody came together. There wasn’t one person who suggested the idea—different people in a wide variety of roles all made their own suggestions and it mushroomed into the fund that exists today, showing you that giving back was on a lot of people’s minds. And now that the fund has been established, it’s nice to know that stylists who experience devastation after future natural disasters will have somewhere to turn for help.”
How to donate to the Great Clips Stylist Assistance Fund
If you'd like to contribute to the Great Clips Stylist Assistance Fund, the fund is always accepting donations for future grants to stylists experiencing property loss from a large-scale natural disaster. Feel free to share this link, as anyone can DONATE NOW at https://www.greatclips.com/donate.