A warm welcome goes a long way in growing success

Running a successful salon is tough, but being one of the best comes through passion born only from legacy.

Recently, locally owned My Father’s Mustache Salon (MFMS) was recognized as one of the best salons in the U.S., according to salontoday.com. Owned by sisters Debbie Fletcher and Brittany Fletcher Elmore, the salon honors their father, Wayne Fletcher, AKA Mr. Wayne. 

For Mr. Wayne, values were key: Excellence, Teamwork, Community and Family.

“We love our rich heritage, and it is so important to keep the legacy alive that our daddy began,” says the sisters.

Mister Wayne began his career as a barber in 1960 after serving in the U.S. Navy and attending Hassler Barber College in Nashville.

“He went into this profession because he loved people,” according to the sisters. “This is the same reason we are in our careers today.”

He soon looked to pass the torch with the opening of Wayne and Baretts’s School of Unisex Hair Design in 1979, later renamed Mister Wayne’s School of Unisex Hair Design in 1981.

“We both were blessed to be trained by our daddy in our family-owned business,” according to the sisters. “He taught us about not just cutting hair, but how to change lives through what we do every day. That is why we do what we do every single day. We love being a teaching salon, where students are welcome to come shadow and a place where young, licensed professionals can come to work and learn many generations of knowledge. By doing this, we feel we can offer our employees a career, instead of a job, and we cannot wait to see how long this legacy can live on, even past us.”

As a part of the consideration process for designation in the top 200, MFSM wrote two essays: One on successes and challenges and one on customer service.

Customer service is an aspect of success in any business. For a salon, the customer is the business.

“We want our guests to feel extraordinary each time they visit us, not just their first time,” said the salon, “Our guest experience isn’t a start and finish line for us, but rather it is who we are and what we stand for. We want them to relax and enjoy their time with us. The goal is to come in, take a deep breath, exhale, and get ready to leave feeling rejuvenated.”

A warm welcome goes a long way in growing success.

“… Every time they visit the salon,” according to an essay by the company. “As soon as our guests enter the building, we welcome them and offer them a drink. They have their choice of a light craft lager or a dark IPA beer made from one of Cookeville’s local breweries, red or white wine, mimosa or mini bottle of water.”

With customer service in mind, MFMS offers complimentary massages and gifts like Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses, a QR code to the Google page to “encourage positive reviews,” retail samples, a “swag” item such as a ChapStick or coozie and coupons valid for the first three visits for adults and activities for the young ones. 

Fingerpainting, mustache coloring sheets, tattoos and stickers are also “must for the littles,” according to the salon. 

“Once in the chair, we take the time to go over the digital consultation form filled out online by the client and make sure both stylist and guest are on the same page about the services being performed and in agreement with their beauty budget,” according to MFMS. “My Father’s Mustache Salon Company makes a point to communicate the entire time with the guest from arrival to check out to make sure they are comfortable and that all the guest’s needs are being met.”

Debbie Fletcher and Brittany Fletcher Elmore, owners My Fathers Mustache Salon

What’s next for the family business, facing challenges like navigating the ever-changing workforce. 

“The main challenge our salon company is facing going into the 2024 calendar year is learning to navigate the generational gaps in the workforce,” according to the company. 

With employees from nearly all age ranges, motivations differ.

“My Father’s Mustache Salon Company employs nearly every age range of stylist from “Boomers” to “Gen Z,” said MFMS. “This can be a challenge due to the different generations of barbers and stylists being motivated to work for different reasons. For example, we have our Gen Xers who are highly motivated to work more hours for more profit versus Gen Z who seemingly is not motivated by profit, but by benefits and more time off. The two different attitudes toward work and finances can sometimes clash and it is sometimes difficult as an employer to be able to cater to two different mindsets as a leader under one workplace environment.”

Generational learning to grow the business sounds on-brand. It’s all about legacy.

“It’s not just honoring those things that we have learned from the past, but it is also being mindful of what we will leave for the future,” reads the company website. “My Father’s Mustache is a legacy brand in every way. The memories, values and skills passed from Mister Wayne to his daughters Debbie and Brittany are at the core of what our salon company stands for.”

MFMS is located at 848 North Jefferson Avenue in Cookeville. For more information visit HERE, call 931-372-1350, or email myfathersmustache79@gmail.com.

Photo provided.

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Ron Moses is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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