As an aspiring entrepreneur and the father of a 4-year-old girl, Duc Quan realized that Seattle didn’t have enough indoor play spaces for the rainy winter months and set out to solve the conundrum himself.
Unfortunately, Quan soon found that real estate with the ample parking and the interior dimensions he needed just couldn’t be found in Seattle. A bit dejected, Quan searched for other kid-focused businesses and came across a children’s salon franchise called Snip-its.
Quan said Snip-its resonated with him as a parent; not only did it have a vibrantly colorful atmosphere with a bubbly cartoon scissors mascot, but Snip-its also offered haircuts and other spa services like manicures, pedicures, facials, and ear piercing services specifically aimed at young children.
“The next week as it were, we went down to California to visit my sister and there is a Snip-its in Palo Alto, so we stopped in and met the folks,” Quan said. “Actually, we had my daughter get her ears pierced there — she’d always wanted her ears pierced and we did it right there at the Snip-its — and it kind of just sealed the deal for me.”
As soon as Quan returned from his trip, he flew right back out again, this time to Snip-its headquarters in Minneapolis where he met the Snip-its corporate team and signed an agreement to open five Snip-its in the Seattle/Bellevue area.
Three weeks ago, Quan opened the first of those five locations inside Crossroads Bellevue and said he loves the salon’s location right next to the food court and community stage.
“So far it has been great,” he said. “The shopping center is more like a community center, people come (to Crossroads) just to hang out. There are always shows on the stage, musical performances — people have knitting clubs and chess down the hallway there — it has a real community atmosphere.”
In order to fulfill his franchise obligations, Quan has aspirations to expand quickly into other Eastside markets (and beyond), which have high concentrations of his target demographic — families with children under 10 years old. Issaquah, Bothell, Mill Creek, Lynnwood, and North Seattle are a few of the areas on Quan’s radar.
So far, much of the salon’s clientele have been due to foot traffic from that same Crossroads community atmosphere that Quan noticed when he first set up shop at Crossroads. He said children passing by are wooed by the shop’s bright colors and friendly mascots and ultimately stay to take advantage of the shop’s appointment-free, walk-in services.
“(A haircut) is probably not something a kid would ask to do,” Quan said. “It is probably a chore, probably an event that the parent keeps putting off and don’t want to have done because all the other (salons) are not necessarily equipped to work with kids.”
Additionally, walk-in hours can be a great benefit to families that have children with special needs, a portion of the population which Snip-its is equipped to cater to. Through a partnership with Autism Speaks, all stylists and employees are given specified training on interacting with, and cutting the hair of, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“If they want or need a time where we don’t have lots of lights on, and a lot of sound, or a lot of people, we can recommend a time before we open, or after we close, or maybe a slow time of day so we can give the kids that type of environment that would make them more comfortable,” Quan said.
Snip-its also offers special packages for first haircuts as well as a variety of party packages where children can dress up, get their hair styled, and pose for photos on the red carpet.
For more information about Snip-its, visit Snip-its’ website.