How did chop get started?
Chop actually got started 15 years before we even opened the doors. I have been a barber in Tallahassee since 1990. I would draw pictures and write out what I would do different if I could.
Fast forward to 2015 and my wife, Sarah got tired of me standing on the edge for years and finally pushed me off. We haven’t looked back since!
How has chop grown over the years?
Chop has definitely grown but it wasn’t easy. It’s definitely interesting seeing both sides of the coin. I look at businesses and business owners in a whole different light.
The busier you get, the harder the balance. I remember getting “one-star reviews” online because we were too busy. Not to mention the unhappy emails. Luckily we got through those. At our year anniversary, we opened our second shop in Railroad Square Art Park. By eighteen months, we opened our third shop in Killearn at the Four Oaks Church. After that we doubled our Midtown shop and then doubled our Railroad shop. At that point we were cooking!
By the fall of 2018 every shop was doing well, but as usual with business, there were storms brewing. In October 2018, Hurricane Michael tore the roof off the Railroad Square shop. This would be the beginning of real change. We squeezed every staff member into the two shops and it was great… for a few weeks. Once we decided to make this permanent, a lot of the staff and clients were not happy. I even cut back my own hours so all the barbers could get 35 plus hours.
We lost staff and clients after that. That was ok, but we stayed focused on the importance of streamlining and growing intellegently. Chop has always had a much larger mission. Our growth has never been fueled by profit, but people. We grow to share Chop with others who love it like we do. We provide benefits, like CHP health insurance, a 401k and paid vacation as well as growth within and we provide a way of life for frustrated budding entrepreneurs looking for a different way of doing life.
We are so proud to grow leaders in our midst and we are focused on that cause. Our longest staff member, from the beginning, Lindsay Fisher is now opening her own shop back in Railroad sq. Sarah and I wanted to create a place where everyone would feel safe and have fun in a cool, creative environment but grow personally and professionally and we have succeded.
We started franchising in 2018, and have had four new owners join the Chop family and numerous staff members. All of this during our newest challenge, the Covid pandemic.
How are you getting through these trying times?
In this current business environment, everyone is having their own battles and finding their way through these uncharted waters. Leaning from other business owners, prayers and podcasts are what gets me through. I think of it as a blessing and a curse. I know we will look back one day and wish we had a couple months to sit still, but without knowing what’s around the corner it’s scary period in Chop’s history.
I was on the phone the other day with Brad, one of the owners of Canopy Roads Cafe and he said it best “it’s like build a rocket and you put so much into it and finally ready to launch and the whole thing blows up” that’s life and you do your best to fix it and push forward.
What’s your capital city pedicab connection?
Our local business have been great, like Capital City Pedicab. I’ve been blessed to have met so many great people in this town, like Ron and son Mike. Mike has been planting a positive seed throughout social media and on his bike daily. When you have a down day and your scrolling through Facebook, he’s usually there lifting up another business owner.
I want to say thank you Mike for being that guy. I also want to thank our staff for going on this wild ride with us and our clients for trusting us. We are going over the top to keep everyone as safe as possible! Thank you Tallahassee and of course my wife Sarah. Without her I might not have ever jumped!