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Meet Tim Harris of Fredem Salon Studios

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tim Harris.

Hi Tim, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
My wife, Nina Harris, is a 20yr licensed stylist/barber/cosmetology instructor. I, Timothy Harris, am a Director in the Health IT industry and also do business as a Real Estate Investor. We recently married in October 2018, purchased our first home together in May of 2019, and were planning to open her own cosmetology school by Q2-2020. However, due to the pandemic, my wife became apprehensive of the unknown surrounding the cosmetology industry so we had to adjust those plans.

While I was traveling to Tampa, FL for work, my local barber advised me how he’d moved from the barbershop to a cosmetology studio and sent me his new location. This was the first I’d heard of a studio/suite setting so I was eager to see the new location. Upon my arrival for my scheduled appointment, I’m immediately intrigued by what his location has to offer. I walk in and there’s a virtual receptionist who greets and checks me in for my appointment. My barber comes to get me from the front foyer and we walk back to his studio.

As I’m walking through, I notice how this one location provides space for over 30 other salon professionals. My excitement leads me to FaceTime my wife for her to see as I’m giving her the details. Two weeks later, I fly my wife down to Tampa to allow her to see firsthand and that day we agreed that was the direction we need to take our cosmetology business plan. Once we returned home to Kansas City, we immediately rewrote the business plan and started searching for building locations.

Our strategy was to be in a shopping center that had recently completed renovations and currently did not have any salon businesses throughout. From there, we found Truman Corners/Grandview Gateway Shopping Center and we put our bid in. Signed our leasing agreement in August 2021, completing renovations and planning for our Grand Opening in early January 2022.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It seems like everything when dealing with entrepreneurship there’s always going to be obstacles and challenges. Initially, we had three contractors in a bid battle and then over one week all three contractors had lost workers and were not able to take on our project.

After finding another team and accepting their proposal, we then ran into challenges with receiving funding due to the nature of the business we were presenting to lenders. It was a new concept to most so we were viewed as high risk and with no collateral beyond the required twenty percent.

However, we remained persistent, landed the contractor we trusted the most, and received all plus some of the funding needed to complete renovations, purchase equipment, and cover operating expenses.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Our business is designed to provide salon professionals an opportunity to escape the traditional cosmetology structure of booth rent or commissions. At Fredem, we create space for professionals to be business owners and grow beyond the stylist chair. With us, owners have a storefront location without the responsibilities of managing utilities, equipment, and security.

With this, owners can personalize their studio to their liking with new paint, chandeliers, TV, mini-fridge, rugs, chairs, etc. What sets us apart from other Salon Suites is that we have the largest spaces in all of the KC metropolitan area. Plus, the amenities are included for each owner to take advantage of at no additional cost! We provide fully-furnished salon studios that include: Stylist/barber chair, anti-fatigue mat, workstation with oversized mirror and cabinets plus shampoo backwash stations.

Our amenities include in-ceiling Bluetooth speakers, FREE on-site laundry, a modern kitchenette with stainless steel appliances, high-tech hair dryer stations, an elaborate front foyer with a feature area to capture finished product images, a virtual receptionist, and massage chairs. Additionally, security for our owners is a top priority so we include video surveillance at all entry points plus an intercom system to control entry throughout the building for all clientele and visitors.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
We are the first within our Rolodex to complete a venture of this nature so we didn’t have anyone to lean on for advice or guidance. However, the thing that worked well for us was that due to the structure of our business we were able to network with other commercial real estate investors (apartment building owners) and cosmetology owners to marry their tactics for success.

Additionally, we have a strong faith in God and truly believe our prayers lead us to the right people at the right time.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Tinika Burns

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