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Neither Jim nor Janon Otto had a background in beauty and hair care.
The finance and accounting professionals were just looking for a business to diversify their income when they found Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids, a salon with a 13-year history in Kansas City.
Seven years later, the couple and the salon’s founder, Paula Thurman, have grown Shear Madness into a fast-growing franchise with 13 stores in seven states.
Shear Madness salons not only offer haircuts and host parties at the La De Da Diva Lounge, each also doubles as a toy store, offering the latest in toys, games and hair products.
“No one carries the amount of retail that we do, our model is both a service … and a merchandising model,” Jim said. “We carry lots of great hair products games and toys in the front of our salons.”
Jim and Janon, a former accounting professor, are planning to open another four to eight stores in 2018.
Two stores just opened in in Amherst and Orchard Park in upstate New York in late 2017. The franchise is also in Texas, Iowa, Kansas, California, Missouri and New Mexico.
Klee Naturals’ hair care products and kids’ natural makeup are sold at some Shear Madness stores.
Young parents today want more natural and organic products for their children, Jim said.
“I am the father of three millennials and a grandfather, and they only want to use organic, chemical-free products on their children's hair, he said.