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Multi-Unit Great Clips Franchisee Adds Three New Franchise Locations During Pandemic

California-based franchisee Juanita Kilambi now owns five Great Clips salons and has displayed serious growth in an unpredictable business landscape.

By Justin Wick1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 12:12PM 10/18/21

Great Clips has opened more than 4,000 hair salons since it was founded in 1982. The brand has established a strong base of loyal franchisees, and for multi-franchise owners like Juanita Kilambi, the model has led them to enviable multi-unit success.

Kilambi is different from many other franchisees, however, in that she more than doubled her franchise ownership amid COVID-19.

“My husband and I opened our first salon from scratch,” Kilambi said. “A few years later we bought another salon from another franchisee. Last year, during COVID, we took on three additional salons in the middle of the pandemic.”

Kilambi credits the long-standing Great Clips franchise model as one that showed both her and her husband that they could run their own business. “The help of a larger team laid out a foundation,” she said. Before joining the brand, Kilambi was searching for a different kind of business endeavor that would allow them to achieve their dreams of owning their own business.

“We examined three different businesses and their models, and we spoke to other franchisees within those brands. We landed on Great Clips because we loved the experience we were already having in early conversations, plus the business model they provide and promote” Kilambi said.

She added that, since her first days as a Great Clips franchisee, the data and insights that were needed for success were available right at her fingertips.

In time, she leveraged those insights to pursue multi-unit Great Clips ownership.

Great Clips has thrived in the last two years, ranking 13th on the 2021 Franchise 500 list. Kilambi’s success shows that Great Clips boasts a recession-resistant business model, one that is subject to growth even during unpredictable times.

Kilambi defines success in her business not through revenue figures alone, but through the impact she provides on people’s lives and the careers of her employees. "When I see employees growing and developing, while getting excited about what they do, that is success to me." Kilambi has been able to establish a business presence in her market, and her insistence on taking care of employees has helped her locations stay successful, even while taking over previous ownership.

“We’re just trying to grow and keep growing. In addition to trying to stay afloat amidst the pandemic, we are still interested in growing our business,” Kilambi said.

Steve Hockett, the CEO of Great Clips, Inc. says a spirit of growth is helping franchisees in a pursuit of success. “It doesn’t matter what age or background our franchisees are coming from,” Hockett said. “If there is a commitment to serving everyday people and giving great haircuts, a Great Clips franchise is on track to join a momentous franchise system with a proven track record.”

“We don’t operate corporate salons,” Hockett said. “Everything about us is focused on helping franchisees where they operate.” He added that the brand wants to continue growing existing salons and expand its market presence across the United States and Canada..

Kilambi credits the success of Great Clips to the generous and helpful support of the corporate team, along with the strong communication that exists between franchisees. “Everybody in this brand is passionate about their success,” Kilambi added, “and the success of our brand is really about helping our entire team grow.”

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.