Patrice McKinney, founder and CEO of Encore Salon Suites, is no stranger to the beauty industry and uses her business know-how to grow her brand through franchising. Growing up with a twin sister and mother who both worked in a salon, McKinney vividly remembers the salon’s energy and stylists’ creative freedom. By Brianna Bohn
Patrice McKinney, founder and CEO of Encore Salon Suites, is no stranger to the beauty industry and uses her business know-how to grow her brand through franchising. Growing up with a twin sister and mother who both worked in a salon, McKinney vividly remembers the salon’s energy and stylists’ creative freedom. Since then, she has used her years of experience to create a concept that clients and franchisees are flocking to.
After getting her master barber and stylist license in 2013 and opening her first salon in 2014, McKinney quickly recognized the lucrative salon suites business is a great fit. Encore Salon Suites breaks down spaces in the salon and leases them to experienced salon professionals to personalize their own space and be business owners. The brand’s newest location is 4,900 sf and has 26 suites that house a variety of beauty professionals, including hairstylists, barbers, teeth-whitening professionals, aestheticians, masseuses, and nail technicians.
This design results in a high-quality, multi-service salon that brings salon professionals and clients together.
“We have a shared area with shampoo bowls and dryers, and that creates a family environment,” explained McKinney, who turned down a professional basketball career and quit her well-paying corporate job to be an entrepreneur –and hasn’t looked back since. “You have your privacy in your suite, but you also have the option to go to the shared space, meet other beauty professionals and socialize, which is why our turnover rate is so low. Nobody wants to leave because we are truly a family.”
McKinney is a receptive and responsive franchisor who designed her salon suite model with stylists and franchisees in mind. After surveying thousands of beauty professionals in Atlanta and learning that almost 75% of them wanted to lease spaces they could make their own, McKinney created unfurnished suites to allow for client customization and flexibility, promoting creativity among the business owners leasing the spaces. It also lowers costs for franchisees who typically have to pay significant plumbing and furnishing fees at other salons.
The brand’s startup costs are inexpensive compared to competitors as well. The total investment to begin a franchise operation is $150,550 to $341,650, including $30,000 to $50,000 working capital for various expenses during the first three months of operating. There is a royalty fee of 6% for gross sales.
With all of this in mind, it comes as no surprise that within just four years, McKinney has opened two salon suites, is in the process of opening a third in October, and has locked in a three-unit franchise deal, one of which has already opened.
Entrepreneurs who want to invest in Encore Suite Salons don’t need hair or beauty experience, and they may be surprised by how little time is required once the business is up and running.
The semi-absentee business, which has no employees and selects one beauty professional at each salon suite to act as a liaison and manager, runs so efficiently that McKinney sometimes is surprised by how quiet it gets. “When people ask me how many hours a week I work, I always feel so weird saying it because most people don’t believe it. Some weeks I don’t spend any time, and some weeks I spend two hours because everything runs so smoothly. The only time I really have to spend a lot of time is if there is a vacant suite that I need to lease,” McKinney said.
If you want to invest in the newest concept taking the beauty and hair industry by storm, visit encoresalonsuites.com/become-a-franchise-owner-1 or call Patrice McKinney at 678-472-2292 for information about franchising opportunities.
– Brianna Bohn