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From Military Service to Becoming Their Own Bosses: Two Veterans Share Their Experiences as Great Clips Franchisees

Jacksonville, Florida’s Art Grimaldi and Norfolk, Virginia’s Charles Bovey are established franchisees after a rich military service.

By Justin Wick1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:10AM 11/04/21

The Great Clips brand has a strong tradition of supporting military service members, active and veteran, and that extends to franchisees. And for Charles Daniel Bovey III and Art Grimaldi, two franchisees in the brand’s system, their successes as business owners have grown due to their military experience. Both of their stories are marked through refined professional skills and a spirit of helping others grow and succeed

Charles Daniel Bovey III: Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant ??Colonel

After a career with the U.S. Army that led him on international tours around the world, Charles Daniel Bovey III developed his franchising business through the passions of his wife — and through the story of how they both met.

Bovey’s wife Loan came to the United States on July 6, 1987, after escaping from Vietnam by boat and spending four years in refugee camps. She obtained her cosmetology license in 1996, and from there worked as a stylist in a number of salons, including Great Clips salons, until she decided to start her own full-service salons in Washington state.

Bovey’s father was one of Loan’s clients. “[My father] ended up introducing us while I was home on an education tour,” Bovey said. “We started dating towards the end of my time there, and we continued after I moved away to Fort Hood, Texas,” he added. As their relationship progressed, Loan made the difficult decision to sell her salons to move to Fort Hood.

The two have been married since January 15, 2015 and, just when they believed that Fort Hood would be their long-term home, Bovey was sent on an unaccompanied tour to the United Arab Emirates to work in air and missile defense. Loan decided to go back to work cutting hair at the local Great Clips salon in order to continue pursuing her cosmetology passions.

“I promised Loan that upon my retirement, we would get back her salons,” Bovey said. “But I wanted a model that I could understand, and we did not wish to recreate an entire business model from scratch again.” 

In 2017, Bovey and his wife realized the answer was right in front of them, and they joined a franchise model they were already familiar with: Great Clips! Now, as franchisees, they can own a business and pursue their other passion: serving others.

Both praise the Great Clips commitment to giving back, caring about every stylist and customer and helping others through countless programs and initiatives. With programs like Clips of Kindness, Wigs for Kids, an annual Children's Miracle Network fundraising campaign and especially efforts to help veterans, Great Clips has helped Bovey and his wife grow their own business through a brand commitment that was fostered as soon as the two first met.

Art Grimaldi: Retired Lieutenant Colonel

Art Grimaldi spent more than 30 years serving in the military as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, National Guard and Army. And as he’s grown his business as a Great Clips franchisee, he believes that experience has helped lead him to success.

Grimaldi graduated from college in 1978 and was commissioned into the Marine Corps shortly after, taking on four years of active duty. His military duties then transitioned into the reserves, from there, and a business career in management ensued.

His path into franchising was unconventional. When he turned 50, he had his corporate career in management, but had reached the end of his military career. “I got two sets of orders, retirement orders and Iraq orders,” Grimaldi said. “I talked to my wife, and she let me take Iraq orders over the retirement orders. While I was there, I had a two-week leave period, but I was hesitant to come home just to return back in a quick timeframe — so I met up with my wife in Rome, and we enjoyed a two-week cruise.”

It was on that cruise that Grimaldi and his wife were introduced to the Great Clips franchise model. “We met people who were involved with the brand, and we developed a lasting friendship that ultimately inspired us to take a leap into business.”

Grimaldi said that he was looking for a new business opportunity at that point in his professional career, and after receiving his MBA and education benefits, he began to look at franchising. “Great Clips was one of the franchise opportunities we looked at, and in 2011, the operation finally became a reality,” he said.

“When I talk to prospective franchisees or mentor existing franchisees, I tell them it all comes down to leadership and taking care of your people,” Grimaldi said. “That's what’s been successful for us.”

He believes the people skills he developed in the military have come into play as he now lives out the Great Clips brand.

“We keep our salons in a cluster to where our salons can be mutually supportive of each other,” Grimaldi said. “We focus on the entire organization.

He and his wife hope to turn over their franchise ownership to their youngest daughter someday, and their brand presence and number of Florida-based locations continue to grow.

Great Clips Is Honoring Veterans This November

On Veterans Day, November 11, veterans and active service members can go into any U.S. Great Clips salon and get a free haircut or a free haircut card for a future visit. In addition, non-military customers who get a haircut on Veterans Day at Great Clips salons can pay it forward. They will receive a free haircut card they can give to an active service member or veteran as a way of saying thank you. The cards can be redeemed for a free haircut from November 12 through December 10, 2021. Customers in Canada can check with their local Great Clips salon for Remembrance Day participation.

Since the inception of this important program, Great Clips salons have provided over 1.7 million free haircuts to active and retired military service members, adding up to more than $23 million in complimentary haircuts.

The total investment to open a Great Clips salon ranges from $146,750 to $302,400. For more information, visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.