Happy Friday, everyone! Congratulations! You made it through your first week back!! To celebrate, we wanted to launch a new blog series called Sponsor Spotlight. Over the years, SLOCA has had tremendous support through our Sponsorship program. Our sponsors are businesses committed to education.
“Every dollar of the money allocated for the sponsorship fund is earmarked for student development—preparing them for their role in our community.”
In exchange for their support, we provide them with different ways to promote their businesses. You can find our supporters through our SLOCA website, our weekly Bear Necessities and our daily blog. They are an integral part of our community and we wanted our readers to get to know them. And what better way to learn more about our supporters than right here!
This month’s Sponsor Spotlight is on Sport Clips owned by SLOCA parents, Jeremy LaDuque & Keshet Lavoux. The LaDuque’s are a long time SLOCA family, with Scarlett in her 7th year and Henry in his 4th.
Grab your favorite drink and let’s read about them…
With so many business opportunities out there, how did you end up buying a Sport Clips Franchise?
We’ve loved Sport Clips for a long time. I had worked with them as a client for many years before we bought the franchise. I really enjoyed working with them, really liked the owner, and the support team at their corporate office. I would always go to their annual convention and be amazed at how much the franchisees and stylists loved being a part of the company.
I always told Keshet that if the opportunity came up to buy a franchise, Sport Clips would be at the top of the list. And a few years ago that happened. The local franchisee here on the Central Coast needed to sell all three of her locations. We’ve started with the salon in SLO. We’ve been running that for over a year and a half now. There are two more, one in Pismo Beach and another in Santa Maria.
What is it about Sport Clips that made you fall in love with them?
I was fortunate that I knew the owner and a lot of the corporate team, so I knew they were good people. But what impressed me the most was the culture, and about being more than cutting hair. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of training and support to give a great haircut, and our stylists are amazing. But we’re part of a huge family who gives back, goes the extra mile for customers and helps other franchisees in need.
It’s all through the company. Our service is really a step above – we have what we call our championship haircut experience, where you get a haircut, hot steamed towel, massaging shampoo and relaxing neck and shoulder treatment. This isn’t your typical… walk in, walk out in ten minutes. This might be the most relaxing thing most of our clients do for themselves!
And our commitment to giving back is amazing. Last year we raised, I think just over $100k for our franchisees in TX, hit with hurricanes. With all the natural disasters, we continue to do things like that.
This year our goal for Veteran’s day was $1.5 million dollars across our network. We have free haircut days for veterans, local heroes like firefighters and police. And of course, we have a discount for SLOCA families. We love being a part of the community.
What made you want to buy a small business?
Well, Keshet and I were raised by entrepreneurs… so I think owning businesses is in our blood. Keshet’s father owned a photography studio. My father owned his own plumbing business and my parents also ran a hardware store.
I started a web development company in 1999, then a software company that specialized in software for franchise systems. When that company sold, I really missed being a business owner. I certainly didn’t miss having to make payroll every two weeks, for 14 years! Ha, ha, that comes with the territory, but still even though owning a business is challenging, we missed everything about it.
And Keshet and I wanted our kids to be raised in a family that owned businesses. So, the whole family is involved. We sponsor Cal Poly events, Blues Baseball, and we all help out. The kids love our staff, who truly are great. All of our stylists are amazing and we wouldn’t be able to this without our store manager, Marissa.
It sounds like it’s a family affair?
Very much so. I think Scarlett and Henry think they’ll be running the salon soon. Ha, ha… they’re our little CEO’s, but they’re busy with their own businesses. They started with lemonade stands and making products, like bows and arrows out of PVC.
Today, Scarlett does a lot of craft fairs. She does artwork on canvas and journals, makes soaps, salves, and all kinds of stuff. And Henry makes homemade dog biscuits and we’re helping him get into other things related to pets.
We use this as a learning experience for them. They’ve had to find things that they love to do and want to create, but they’ve also had to figure out how to merchandise and sell those things. And of course, they’ve had to see what expenses are, what costs the most to build, what sells and what doesn’t. And not keeping all the money, that’s always a big one. We split the money into save, give and keep. So they have to pick a charity to give to and they have savings accounts.
It sounds like entrepreneurship has become a part of your curriculum. What lessons has all of this taught your family?
It is a part of our home curriculum. That was definitely one of the goals. It’s all learning opportunities, life skills. It’s a lot of the same character traits we learn at SLOCA – like humility, responsibility, independence.
For me, I’m big on accountability and pride in your work. When I was about 14, I remember going out on a job with my father. He did some work for an elderly customer, and when we sat down to her kitchen table it wobbled. The leg was broken and before we could continue the conversation, he had us get up. He turned the table over and fixed the leg. He told me, ‘always leave something better than you found it.’ That’s always stayed with me.
Keshet is the creative one in our family and she helps the kids discover what they love to do. We try to teach our kids that the key to success in any business is passion. I know our school motto is Semper Discentes, always learning! I guess in our home we also say ‘love what you do’. I’ll have to ask the kids how to say that in Latin.
So, how can SLOCA families find all of these businesses?
Well, Sport Clips is in SLO in the Madonna Rd shopping plaza. We cater to men and boys primarily, but anyone is welcome. You can always check us out and if you say you’re with SLOCA and you’ll get $5 off.
And the kids are in craft fairs and do lemonade stands throughout the year, but mostly during the holidays. Keshet does a great job of posting all of their activities on Facebook.
Thank you, LaDuques, for joining us today! It is wonderful to hear your family’s story and the passion behind your business! We truly appreciate your continued support of SLOCA!!