It’s fitting that someone named “Sport” should own a business of the same name, even if it is a franchise. What may be a little more out of the ordinary is a machinist investing in a place that cuts hair. Such is the case with Sport Weddel, who along with his wife Karen, owns two Sport Clips Haircut stores in Amarillo, Texas. They work together in the business, just as they have as employees and later owners of Ace Machine Company for the past 40 years.
“There are not many opportunities for people in their late 50’s to have a career change,” Weddel tells of his investment in the Sport Clips franchise, the largest chain of men’s and boys' hair care providers. “I had worked with and alongside nothing but men for 40 years of my life, so this was a whole new ballgame for me.” He’s speaking of the more than three dozen female stylists who work in the stores located at 3240 Soncy Road and 2325 S. Georgia. Weddel spends about an hour or two a day at each store, that he says have high customer service standards. In fact, both stores have ranked as top performers for the last five years in the system of more than 950 stores.
Weddel became familiar with Sport Clips when he visited to have his hair cut. The Amarillo stores were originally co-owned by a friend’s son and a business partner. He says he didn’t seek out another business to own; rather the business opportunity came to him. “I thought it was an awesome concept, and I believe in things working out. Since my name is Sport, it was something that was meant to be,” he says.
The combination of a sports-themed interior and sports on televisions from the lobby to each stylist station was pioneered in the early 1990’s by Gordon Logan, an MIT and Wharton School of business graduate, CPA, and veteran, who is Sport Clips' founder and CEO. He recognized the underserved men's and boys’ market in what is now the $50 billion a year hair care industry.
Weddel recognizes the positive aspects of an owner/investor franchise such as Sport Clips, one being the freedom to do things he enjoys outside work. “Even with the machine shop and two Sport Clips stores, Karen and I still have time to travel to see our daughters and their families and to take vacations to the places we enjoy. I also travel quite a lot to referee high school and college volleyball matches.”
As far as the future, Weddel says he believes the Amarillo area can support another Sport Clips location, and he is looking to expand saying, “The business of haircutting is good because the great majority of people have hair that continues to grow!”