Today, Traci Carter is known among her colleagues for bringing her passion for Sport Clips Haircuts and the cosmetology industry to work every day, providing her clients and those who report to her with a recipe for success. But Carter’s enthusiasm for cosmetology started long before she became one of Sport Clips’ Team Leaders, or franchisees.
Carter has been in the salon and hair care industry for more than 30 years. She first started her career as a cosmetologist, but she’s now found her home with Sport Clips, one of the largest hair care franchises in North America that boasts nearly 1,800 locations across the U.S. and Canada. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina and is both a Team Leader and the Director of Training and Operations for all Sport Clips salons in the state.
“I have a passion for the hair industry. I love working with my clients and making them look great and feel better,” Carter passionately explained.
Carter has been working within the Sport Clips franchise system for about 11 years. She said, “I got in touch with the area developer for North Carolina. The brand wanted me to come on as a director focusing on training the team leaders and North Carolina team members.”
At the time, the state’s area developer needed help in growing the store numbers, as well as training and retaining the team members at each location while also raising the standards of their services. Carter was a perfect piece to that previously incomplete puzzle.
“When I came aboard, there were only 25 to 26 stores in the state. Now, I oversee 66 stores and counting,” she said.
While the role of Director of Training and Operations suited Carter’s personality and passion for the cosmetology industry at the time, she also had another goal in mind. Carter wanted to become a franchisee within the system she had grown to know very well.
“A few years ago, it hit me. I wanted to own my own store. If I can train the 5-point play, then I should be able to do this as well,” explained Carter.
After realizing what she wanted her next move to be, Carter approached the brand’s support team about her idea, and they loved it. In January of 2018, Carter purchased the store in Matthews, North Carolina, a previously existing location, and joined the Sport Clips system as a franchisee. She said, “It was a great decision and I haven’t looked back.”
Carter believes there are specific actions franchisees take within the Sport Clips’ system which make them great, prosperous leaders. One of those actions is staying consistent. “We stress that our franchisees need to follow the system. They need to buy into the brand’s mission statement and values, meaning the franchisees should understand and take them to heart,” Carter said.
Additionally, Carter states that it is the Sport Clips values that she holds dear to her heart: do what’s right, do your best, and treat others the way they want to be treated. At Sport Clips, it is called the Heart of a Champion and with each interaction, the following key questions are asked: Can I trust you? Are you committed to excellence? Do you care about me? She added, “One of my personal mantras is to practice what you preach. That lead me to purchasing a store of my own.”
Both as a Team Leader and as the Director of Training and Operations for Sport Clips in North Carolina, Carter flows the lead the set by the Sport Clips brand and stresses the importance of getting involved with the local community. She said, “Whether it is a big or small action, getting involved within our community is so important.”
Each year, Sport Clips partners with the American Red Cross for a national blood drive promotion in which anyone who donates during September gets a free haircut coupon. Carter puts in the extra effort to host a blood drive at her location, giving clients the opportunity to donate onsite. She also works to support the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program, another annual campaign that raises funds in-store to provide scholarships for veterans.
“At the time I started with the brand, it was extremely difficult and costly for soldiers to stay in touch with their families. Sport Clips decided to provide funds to help pay for the phones calls keeping families connected during difficult times,” said Carter. “In 2013, the Help A Hero program transitioned to provide scholarships for veterans looking to continue their education and so far, we’ve awarded almost $5 million in scholarships.”
Carter’s passion for the Sport Clips brand and everyone surrounding it has been paving the way for its continued success across North Carolina. Her implementation of the brand’s values in addition to her love for the industry shows that her role as a Team Leader extends far beyond her salon.