Episodes of The Sport Clips Haircuts Hall of Fame Podcast - Kirsten Buhr

Red Banner with HOF EpisodeIn this episode, we interview Kirsten Buhr. She manages HI102 and serves as Area Manager for Hawaii. Kirsten shocked the Sport Clips world in April of 2019 by setting the record for most MVP's on a single Client in a single visit (100!). In this podcast, we discuss her World Record, as well as her inspirational managerial style and "Hawaiian Style" approach to building Sport Clips culture in her stores.

Chad Jordan holding a microphone and Kirsten Buhr holding a championship heavyweight belt

Episode Air Date Guest Name Guest Title Topic(s)
July 8, 2019 Kirsten Buhr Manager Adapting to new environments and thriving in unfamiliar situations

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Transcription:

Chad Jordan: Hey, everybody. This is Chad Jordan from Sport Clips. This is another edition of our Hall of Fame podcast. Hey everybody, this is Chad Jordan, from Sport Clips. This is another edition of our Hall of Fame podcasts. First I should say Aloha to everybody out there because we are recording this in ... Is it Milani?

Kirsten Buhr: Mililani.

Chad Jordan: Mililani, Oahu near Honolulu is where we are. She's already spoken, I haven't even introduced her yet. I'll tell you what, here's what we're going to do. We're going to let you introduce yourself. Who are you and where do you work?

Kirsten Buhr: I am Kirsten Buhr, the manager for HI102 and our area manager out here on the island.

Chad Jordan: All right. By the way, you'll be able ... We are literally, and those watching on YouTube, hi. We are filming this in the equipment room at HI102. Most of the times, we record the podcast, we're in a podcast booth at headquarters or I'm on the road and we've reserved some ... We decided, "This is Hawaii. Let's do it Hawaiian style." We're right here in the thick of things. You're probably going to hear ... Managers and stylists that are listening to the podcast, they'll certainly recognize the vacuum that'll be going off. We've got delivery trucks behind us. We have all of that just to show how authentic our Hall of Fame podcast really are.
There's a number of things that I want to talk to Kirsten about today. The very first one will be ... By the way, if you're watching YouTube and maybe you saw the video that we recorded from her store, hanging proudly here is the championship belt that she and her store have claimed because Kirsten is currently, as of the recording of this podcast, it's subject to change any day now but she is the proud record holder of the most MVPs on a single client in a single visit.
I'm going to let you tell what that number is, how it all came about because I think we've got some competitive stylist and team members out there and other managers that might want to take aim at this record and they have their work cut out for them if they do want to. Why don't you give me the rundown? You're the record holder, you got the championship belt of the world, the new trophy that we put out for the Most MVPs on a Single Client and Single Visit. Give me the rundown. What is the current number and how did all this transpire? Give me the story.

Kirsten Buhr: All right. We did 100 MVPs in one sitting. It was with my client, Sergeant First Class Steven Jackson.

Chad Jordan: By the way, for those watching YouTube, we have the plaque. How did you get this trophy?

Kirsten Buhr: Dorian Curtis [crosstalk 00:02:46] she is our absolutely amazing coach. She's the best in ...

Chad Jordan: From Cali?

Kirsten Buhr: From Cali. She is so sweet and she made me a plaque. It has our picture. I don't know if we're holding ... We're not holding, we're seeing that one. We're doing [inaudible 00:02:59] and all that good stuff.

Chad Jordan: This is her post?

Kirsten Buhr: This is her post, of course, because you got to get that in there. She made this for basically the both of us. It sits on my station every day and it's a great conversation piece, especially for the rest of my staff. Everyone likes to look at it, you know, like, "What is that? What does that mean?" We have a lot of more clients that are now interested in possibly beating me down because everyone in my ... All my staff are very competitive.

Chad Jordan: This is probably a good conversation starter, too about getting an MVP and what it is and the fact that you're the record holder, of course. Having the plaque and now you're going to have this belt hanging at least for the next little bit of time. This guy, he's a, what do you say? He's an army?

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah, he's Army Sergeant First Class.

Chad Jordan: What's his name again?

Kirsten Buhr: Steven Jackson.

Chad Jordan: Steven. He comes in, he's a regular client? What's the story?

Kirsten Buhr: I've been doing his hair for a little over a year now. I think I started doing his at my first month here. He's an amazing guy, he's got some fun stories to tell you. He's a really interesting dude. The way that this came along is he came in one day with his girlfriend and I think it was three days after that 70 had been hit.

Chad Jordan: Lisa, in West Virginia, who started the trend and she's actually been on the podcast as well, one of my favorite managers. WV151, I believe is her store number. She set the national record at 70. There was all this buzz on social media. It's funny because some people are like, "Who wants to do that many? Why is it a record? Why is it a big deal?" Others are like, "Heck, no, I want to chase that. I want to go do it." You're obviously wired to be one of those, "Heck, no, I'm going to go do this thing." You see this trend going there. Someone set a record ...

Kirsten Buhr: The first time I heard about it was actually in Colorado. There is a stylist at their Castle Rock location that got 40, which at the time was huge. Then you hear all these other stylists breaking it. I remember two huddles ago, we had a group of managers and we were asking everyone we could, "Do you know who has the highest amount?"

Chad Jordan: It was like an unofficial record for the longest time. No one really had it nailed down yet.

Kirsten Buhr: The way she posted that 70, that caught my eye a little bit. Steven's in my chair and we were just making conversation. He's been coming to Sport Clips for a really long time. He's got his Sport Clips back home in Georgia and all that kind of stuff.

Chad Jordan: Which is crazy, right? These military guys, they're not going on post or on base to get their crew cuts. They want to look good. It's the 21st century. This isn't your father's military, they want to look really good so they're coming in. In fact, I've been here today and most of the men that I've seen come and get their haircuts are in uniform. Anyways, you're sitting down, you're talking?

Kirsten Buhr: He had his girlfriend there with him. This was right before the huddle as well. Yeah, so we were sitting in my chair and I was like, "It's crazy ..." because he always does an MVP or a double MVP. I was like, "You know what's crazy? Someone did 70 of these on one client." He's like, "No, they didn't." I was like, "They did." His girlfriend was sitting ... He said, he's like, "70." He's like, "What was the record before that?" I was like, "The only record that I know of is someone hit 40 in Colorado." He's like, "If someone's going to beat the 70, they should just go to 100." His girlfriend, she's sitting there and she's on her phone and she's like, "I can see you doing 100." He's sitting there, he's like, "I do 100." I'm like, "Do you want to do 100?"

Chad Jordan: Do you stop the haircut and everything you're doing [crosstalk 00:06:52]

Kirsten Buhr: I wasn't touching him anymore, I'm just like, "Do you want to do 100?" He's like, "Is that a thing? Is that possible?" I'm like, "We can do 100." We planned it for Easter weekend because the military had four days off. I knew I was going to be off that Friday.

Chad Jordan: You're going to have to block off some time to 100 MVPs.

Kirsten Buhr: I decided because when I'm here, I'm usually on the floor and I didn't want it to interrupt the rest of my day with my other stylist. The way that we did it is I was off that ... It was Good Friday and he was off. He came in and we had this plan. We exchanged numbers, we had a set date. I knew that we were going to do this before the huddle and I was very careful not to brag about it. My coach, Doreen, she was the only person that I told that I was going to do this because I was so worried that some other managers went over here and then they would me to the punchline.

Chad Jordan: It's a competitive workplace, Sport Clips, that's for sure.

Kirsten Buhr: I want it to be ... Even if someone passes my 100, I wanted to be at least the first stylist to do 100 because that's still a huge milestone. I was very careful not to tell too many people. Then I messaged her the day before because he confirmed with me that we were still on to do it.

Chad Jordan: He's aware you weren't going to do these for free. Obviously, he's in the military so you could do a military discount and all that kind of stuff but it's not like he was just sitting in the chair thinking, "That'd be cool. I'd be willing to be your guinea pig." It was legit.

Kirsten Buhr: He was all about it, which is so much fun.

Chad Jordan: I think that's key to break it. Whoever wants to break the record, you can't be given these suckers away. If they're in the military, you do military discount. If they're senior, there's senior discount or something. In terms of we're not looking for people to set this record just to do it. We're actually looking at the benefits of store as well and the stylist or the manager, whoever's going to end up doing it. The client who gets this great, most amazing experience of his life.

Kirsten Buhr: At the day that he came in, we had to break it up as we were doing it. Our first group that we did, we did 15, so we did [crosstalk 00:09:13] shampoos and we did 15 in the neck and shoulder massages. Then our second group, we got it to 40, and then we did 80, and then we did the last 20. That last 20 was so hard, like when we were done by the end of the day, my hands were just ... I got home and I was just shaking and my husband's like, "I'm going to make dinner. I will clean the house. You just sit there."

Chad Jordan: Whatever you want, honey. Are you rotating other team members who were helping you in each of those groups? How is this-

Kirsten Buhr: No. The only thing I had my teammates do was make me more steam towels. I did every single one of those MVPs, which was crazy. We thought about it for a while because I had a few stylists that were on the floor that day that were willing to jump in if I needed them to but I really wanted to do it for myself. I like to prove myself.

Chad Jordan: I think, for the record sake, I hate to say this way, I think that's what it has to be.

Kirsten Buhr: I completely agree.

Chad Jordan: Not that I want to de-legitimize anybody that request or has to sub out for part of it because ... I was in here talking to Kimberly, one of your other team members who say, "I can do three at the most at one time." To do 100, we know it's a feat but that's what a record is. Not everybody can do it.

Kirsten Buhr: It's important to take breaks. Even though it was not during the instant replay program that we're doing right now in July, because this was in Easter.

Chad Jordan: March, April?

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah, somewhere around there. We still were alternating hot and cold towels, which the cold towels for me was really, really nice because I could have my hands on the ice water and taking breaks was so key for both of us.

Chad Jordan: That's a good point to maybe do and obviously in July. By the way, full disclosure, I got an MVP today from Kirsten. I'm in Hawaii. We come here every summer with my family. We love it, always visit the stores here but to get a hot towel first and then a cold towel in Hawaii, I highly recommend it. The fact that you could do that even in March or April, and great tip though, that if you're going to try to set this record, maybe talk it out with the client ahead of time.

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah. Then the other thing was is when we had to slow down on doing the facial manipulation. I used a lot of pressure when I'm doing my massages. Even when we were going that long, I still use as much pressure as possible because I want him to get his money's worth, of course. We had a problem with ... I was rubbing so hard on his temples, he's trying to get, "You're rubbing on the ..."

Chad Jordan: He's bleeding from the scalp.

Kirsten Buhr: He's like, "You cannot do that to my face anymore." I'm like, "Okay. I'm sorry."

Chad Jordan: You need some skin to remain.

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah. You got to watch out for that because the skin is sensitive especially on the chilled towels because they tend not to be as soft as ... When they're in the steamers, it softens down the actual towel.

Chad Jordan: For the groupings, you did 15 and 14, blah, blah, blah and 20. I was still, there'd be no math on this podcast. Was it 15 hot towels or you go hot, cold, hot, cold? 40 hot, cold, hot, cold?

Kirsten Buhr: We went pretty ... I think we did three warm to one cold because he wanted a majority of it to be warm. Every now and then he would be like, "Can we do another cold one?" We were quiet pretty much most of the time and I'm pretty sure he was asleep for a good amount of time.

Chad Jordan: I bet. Did he get up, when you were doing your groups, 15 towels and then got up and then went back to the chair for the neck and shoulder massage?

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah.

Chad Jordan: Then came back and did ... Okay. All right. That's good enough.

Kirsten Buhr: It was a little bit easier to group it that way so that we weren't like ... I wanted him to be able to relax that I knew that if you're getting a massage or something, sometimes you'll doze off so I didn't want to keep making him stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down so many times. We just group to those two parts together and then hit that same number. I had a poster board and we were doing tally marks. I had the wash tally marks and I had the full MVP tally marks just to make sure everything lined up together. We were keeping track for everyone.

Chad Jordan: Being authentic. It's not like the Guinness Book of World Records people are out here watching and documenting but you do want it to be legitimate.

Kirsten Buhr: Absolutely.

Chad Jordan: My real question is how long? I mean, what time did you start? What time do you finish?

Kirsten Buhr: We started at 9:00 in the morning. It was, I believe, 3:30 by the time we were done.

Chad Jordan: Is that with a lunch break or anything?

Kirsten Buhr: We took like between the four groupings that we did, it was maybe like 15-minute breaks in between. It wasn't super long.

Chad Jordan: At any point, does he go, "Uncall. I can't do ... I'm in over my head."

Kirsten Buhr: Not during the process. My store is HI102. This is what happens. We finish up and all the clients we had, they started cheering. Everyone's cheering because we finally did it. Everyone was getting into this. All my stylists were like, "She's crazy. She's still doing it." By the time we finished, everyone was cheering for us. It was so fun. I checked him out and the minute we are done checking him out, one of my stylists says, "He should have done 102 because we're store HI102." I was sitting there and I was like, "Ugh." I looked at him for a minute and he's like, "No."

Chad Jordan: He hadn't even left yet, you could have technically just try to convince him. He say no. What he didn't tell you was the whole time, he had probably lost count at some point. He's just like wondering how much longer ...

Kirsten Buhr: I was keeping him up to date. We came up with a game plan, especially for getting snacks are getting a drink and everything. We're like, "That's this one. Let's push to this one." Then I let him know that, "We're at 35 right now." We had a lot of communication between the two of us because I wanted it to be as comfortable for him as possible. Really, he was bossing me. Whatever he wanted, I was going to do for him because he was [crosstalk 00:15:30].

Chad Jordan: That's why it's so good when you get these military clients. They're used to the pain and endurance and all this kind of stuff. Now that I think about it, I believe the record holder had been Lynn Rolf, who is our VFW Rep, he was the client, which was actually Kansas, I think.

Kirsten Buhr: He added me on Facebook and we've talked about it a little bit. We've talked about my husband and being in the army right now briefly, which was super cool. Super cool.

Chad Jordan: If the records going to get broken, it might be him as the client again because A, for his love for Sport Clips and B, his competitive nature.

Kirsten Buhr: Speaking of record breaking, like I said, my staff is extremely, extremely competitive with each other. Currently, right now, I have a stylist and it is rumored that one of Steven Jackson's co-workers is also a little bit competitive.

Chad Jordan: Oh, okay. I see. His buddies found out that he's a record holder for this big brand.

Kirsten Buhr: Because I have the plaque. He came in, he's like, "Why is there picture of Steven on her station?" My stylist, Sarah, who is absolutely amazing, she was telling him about it. He's like, "Actually, I work with this guy. I don't like that he's winning something. I want to win something and I want to be recognized for something." It's rumored that on the next four day, she may be beating my record. I'll be sad to let that go but it'll still be home here, HI102.

Chad Jordan: That's the catch. Those of you not watching on YouTube, we'll post a picture on our website. We have this now championship belt for the MVP record holding store. It's got shampoo on it and scissors and a hot towel and MVP and all this kind of stuff. This can only be held by one store at a time. If and when that record gets broken, and it's by another store, I'll have to give you guys instructions on how to ship this bad boy to them. That'd be great. Do me a favor, if she breaks it, have some sort of ceremony on social media. Do something where you put the belt on, you take the belt off, maybe raise her hand up like she's a champion or something. That'd be cool.

Kirsten Buhr: I really do hope she beats it. It's going to be bittersweet especially because we're doing this today and then Friday is just a couple of days.

Chad Jordan: Like you said, you broke the century mark. That was such a hard thing to do for this thing. Again, to go from ... People didn't even know what the actual record was. It was rumored. In fact, I was getting hit up like, "Dude, I don't know the record." We started throwing it out on social media. I think I did a poll at one point. Like, "What's the most you've ever done?" I think someone to come with 43 in Colorado or somewhere. For now, to be an official thing, well, yeah, some stylists may be like, "I'm never going to do that." Others are like, "Heck, no, that's in my sights. I'm going to make it happen." You're laying out the blueprint for what the things are that they need to think through to make it happen.

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah. It's so much fun. I always say, especially with my stylists and our stylists from our other stores, I love to compete with my staff. I love to compete with my team because it pushes me. It's a ton of fun. My biggest goal moving out to Hawaii was to find some way to put Hawaii on the map. Meeting Steven, he was totally there with me. It was so amazing. I could not have been more thankful for that, that he let me take an entire day.

Chad Jordan: That's a good transition because I do want to get into ... You're not Hawaiian by birth.

Kirsten Buhr: No.

Chad Jordan: You did come here. Let's go through this. Your husband's in the military. What's your husband's name?

Kirsten Buhr: James.

Chad Jordan: James?

Kirsten Buhr: Yes.

Chad Jordan: You guys have been married how many years?

Kirsten Buhr: We are hitting three years in August.

Chad Jordan: Three years. By the way, she's a whopping 23 years old, ladies and gentlemen. She's been married a fifth of her life at three years of marriage. Her and her husband, you guys were stationed in Colorado before, which is technically where you're from. Right?

Kirsten Buhr: Yes.

Chad Jordan: You were in Colorado, working at a Sport Clips. Were you managing or were you assistant or key holder? What were you doing?

Kirsten Buhr: At the time, this was my second location, I was an assistant manager at the time when we met. We did not meet at Sport Clips however. We met at a King Supers on Valentine's Day. It works out.

Chad Jordan: There really are Valentine Days romances. You and your husband, you meet. You were already working for ... When did you become you a stylist? Did you become a stylist right out of high school? What's your story?

Kirsten Buhr: I went to cosmetology school while I was finishing up high school.

Chad Jordan: Colorado allows that, you could do both?

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah. You can start at 16 there.

Chad Jordan: Did you get a high school credits for cosmetology school?

Kirsten Buhr: No.

Chad Jordan: You have to double do.

Kirsten Buhr: Yes, I had to do it the second end of my senior year. I had all my credits ready to graduate high school by the end of my junior year but I'm from a very small town and they do not allow you to graduate early.

Chad Jordan: You're not used to go-getters in your town yet?

Kirsten Buhr: No, they're not used to it. What I did my senior year, I had three college courses in the morning at my high school. Then they allowed me from there to drive an hour to my beauty school, because I lived way out in the middle of nowhere. My last semester, I was finishing up three college classes in high school and then starting beauty school. It was crazy but we made it work. Then moving forward, I graduate cosmetology school and I had ... One of my instructors at my beauty school, Monica Valdez was with the company for 12 years and she was a coach in Colorado for a good amount of that time.

Chad Jordan: For Sport Clips?

Kirsten Buhr: For Sport Clips.

Chad Jordan: She was with Sport Clips all the time.

Kirsten Buhr: Yes.

Chad Jordan: In cosmetology school, you were already getting exposed to Sport Clips?

Kirsten Buhr: Yes. Yes.

Chad Jordan: Had you know you wanted to do guys hair yet or you're just kind of ...

Kirsten Buhr: No. I'm a third generation stylist. My grandma, my mom, my aunt, they all own a beauty salon in Colorado Springs and I-

Chad Jordan: You wanted to do color. Let's be honest.

Kirsten Buhr: I wanted to do color. I did.

Chad Jordan: Those not watching on YouTube don't know what I'm talking about. Your hair is a different color every time I see you.

Kirsten Buhr: I know. I change when I get bored.

Chad Jordan: Okay. You'd wanted to do women's hair basically.

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah. When I was in beauty school, I was terrified of men's cuts. Usually, if you're doing a full cosmetology program, they spend maybe one day teaching you how to do men's cuts usually. It's sad especially because this industry is booming so much. Back in 2015, they were saying that barbering was a dying profession. Then a year later is this huge thing again, which is awesome. What happened was, I wanted to do women's hair but I was a little nervous about trying to get a clientele, all that good stuff. I was listening to my instructor, Monica, and she was saying that there's no shame in going to work for a franchise to get your skill set up, to ...

Chad Jordan: Make some money?

Kirsten Buhr: Make some money, we just love money, build a clientele. She started talking about her relationship with Sport Clips, which I honestly had never heard of it before because I live three hours away from the nearest one.

Chad Jordan: An hour from your beauty school. Right.

Kirsten Buhr: I cannot stress how small my hometown is. It's nowhere. She started talking about Sport Clips. She started talking about how it's mainly men's haircuts. The thing that caught my eye was she said that she had never ... She'd worked for plenty of different places but she had never been so well treated by a company in her life and that's why she spent that 12 years there.

Chad Jordan: Did you give her a shout out already?

Kirsten Buhr: Yes. She's been tagged to every-

Chad Jordan: What's her name?

Kirsten Buhr: Monica Valdez.

Chad Jordan: Okay. All right, Monica.

Kirsten Buhr: Yes. She's amazing. I miss her so much. I moved to Denver, which is I was not expecting to do.

Chad Jordan: You were not in a small town anymore.

Kirsten Buhr: I was not and it was terrifying. I'm not going to lie. My first store that I worked at, it was in Lakewood, which is a suburb of Denver. It was on Union and Forth.

Chad Jordan: At [inaudible 00:24:01] store? Who was the team leader?

Kirsten Buhr: I don't know who has it now but at the time, it was Brad and Carla [inaudible 00:24:04]. I don't know who owns it right now though. I started there and the manager there, her name, it was Ashley [inaudible 00:24:15], now it's Ashley Cervera. She's now managing in Texas, I believe in San Antonio, if I'm correct. She was immediately just everything about her just screamed success. That was so big for me, I would not have the drive that I have today without her. I applied before I was licensed. I was in the process of testing with the state. I started as-

Chad Jordan: Were you coordinating or ...

Kirsten Buhr: I was coordinating for two weeks. She was helping me because I was terrified. I was like this scared little puppy. She helped me study for my test, get my kit together. I didn't know how to use the feather razor because I know it's probably going to have it for one of my haircut so she taught me how to do that. The entire staff was just immediately welcoming. I was 18 or 19 at the time. I was instantly like the baby, super inexperienced. They just welcomed me with open arms and were so patient with me. Ashlie, she's tough on you when you're starting out. Depending on-

Chad Jordan: High standards you mean?

Kirsten Buhr: High standards. If there was ever a little bit of a more technical haircut, she would give it to me because that's the only way that you're going to learn, it's if you get through that.

Chad Jordan: Threw the baby in the bath water. Deep into the pool.

Kirsten Buhr: She always there though, she was always there for support and guidance. I mimic my management style off of her very much so because I know how she made me feel when I first started out. For me now, students that are fresh out of school, getting licensed and coming into this, they're my favorite. They're my favorite now because I fully understand starting from there and how scary that can be.

Chad Jordan: You can relate.

Kirsten Buhr: Absolutely. I worked with her for, I want to say as close to eight months-ish, I think it was somewhere around there. Then I ended up moving to Colorado Springs, where I worked at CO207 for two, three years. It was a while.

Chad Jordan: The school store? Who's the team leader?

Kirsten Buhr: That is Jay Gallagher. I worked there, started off as a coordinator and was promoted to an assistant manager within four months. Then we went through a couple different managers before I was promoted into that management bracket. It was so much fun. I met so many amazing people through that Colorado team and every time I'm at the Huddles, I always get to see them and hug everybody. It's [inaudible 00:26:44] that way.

Chad Jordan: At what point in that timeline did you get married?

Kirsten Buhr: I got married ...

Chad Jordan: Were you at the first or the second store?

Kirsten Buhr: Second store.

Chad Jordan: You're at the second store ... What I'm really interested in, you mentioned of Ashley, start in Colorado and then in Texas. I met Kirsten today, she is married to a military member and she's been all over well, the world but the country and every place that her husband's been stationed, she's worked at a Sport Clips. She's able to walk right into a job that she's familiar with and good at. I really want to get to the bottom of what happened in the process. James gets assigned to Hawaii, you win basically, the lottery in terms of tour duties for overseas tour duties. You get Hawaii. Here you are a successful manager assistant or whatever at your store in Colorado, what's the thought process? How do you do research? Are there any Hawaii stores? What happened?

Kirsten Buhr: We found out around seven to nine days before National Huddle in Vegas in 2016.

Chad Jordan: It's 2016.

Kirsten Buhr: '17, I'm so sorry.

Chad Jordan: Yeah, because it's '19 now. '17, we're in Vegas. A week ahead of time, you find out that Hawaii is where you guys are going?

Kirsten Buhr: Hawaii is where we are going. I knew that we had Sport Clips in all 50 states, but I do not know-

Chad Jordan: Barely, because I think we had one store here, right?

Kirsten Buhr: We had two because this store open up in 2014. I knew that they were in all 50 states but I still didn't fully know what island are we going to be on.

Chad Jordan: Or how far from ... Oahu, the island we're on right now, it's not huge.

Kirsten Buhr: No. It takes you 30 minutes to get to anywhere from here.

Chad Jordan: It's not Texas. There is traffic and there's other considerations. Not knowing the lay of the land, you start researching and figuring out.

Kirsten Buhr: My husband is in an aviation unit. He's an air traffic controller so I knew that we were going to be on Wheeler Army Airfield. Schofield Barracks is the actual army base.

Chad Jordan: Is it kind of the center of the island? Is it?

Kirsten Buhr: It's dead center.

Chad Jordan: Yeah, it is. Okay. All right.

Kirsten Buhr: It's best part to be in, in my opinion. I found out that we're going to be on Wheeler. Schofield and Wheeler are literally right next to each other. I Googled Sport Clips on Oahu. I found we had two stores. We had Waipahu and then we had Mililani. I originally called Mililani before the Huddle and spoke to Jen, who managed for a while and ended up stepping down just to spend some more time with her kiddos and stuff like that. She's now working at Sport Clips in Vegas now, too, which is super good for her.

Chad Jordan: See? I think that's the theme of this podcast. Once you're at Sport Clips, you could get a job anywhere in the country.

Kirsten Buhr: She's still with Sport Clips. It's so hard to leave. I called her and I told her, I was like, "I really like to meet you. We're going to be stationed out there. I think that's the closest location from what I can tell on Google." She's like, "I'll be there. I lost your phone number ..."

Chad Jordan: You mean be at Huddle?

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah.

Chad Jordan: Okay.

Kirsten Buhr: "I lost your phone number somewhere along the way."

Chad Jordan: Because you called her at the store?

Kirsten Buhr: I did. I felt so bad about that. That was my first Huddle, too. We're sitting for our first main session. I'm sitting with the Colorado group, all of a sudden, I see this little white sign for Hawaii pop up. I just got up and I sprinted as fast as I could before that sign went down. From there, I met Eddie Con, who was our team leader. I met Vivian dela Cruz, who was our manager for Waipahu at the time. Then Jen, who was managing this store at the time. I'm frantic, I'm like, "I'm moving out there in nine months." I told them, this is the story that I'm at, here's my phone number.
From that point, Eddie and I, we would talk for about an hour once every two weeks coming up to the point where I left. He was asking, "How's your store doing right now? Where are you improving? Where are you not seeing some improvements that you'd like to? What steps are you taking to do that?" Because he knew I was interested in coming out to manage again. I really got to communicate with him, my management style, what I expect from my team, what I'm about. It worked out really well. When the manager for this store step down, he told me about it, but this ... We were getting close to like two months without ... This store, HI102, without a manager. The original plan ...

Chad Jordan: Yeah. That's what I was going to. Because at HI103 is in the works around this time frame.

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah. It was quoted originally that HI103 was going in Kapolei, it was going to open up in December of 2017.

Chad Jordan: That's what? Maybe 20 minutes from here?

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah, 20, 30 minutes, depending on traffic. I was going to take it because it was ...

Chad Jordan: You were going to manage a GO.

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah. I was super excited about that opportunity. When this store did not have the manager for two months, he was saying, "Stylists are struggling a little bit. There's no leadership." He said, "Mililani is so much closer to ..." Because I have a five-minute drive to work.

Chad Jordan: The base is, the post is right around the corner.

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah. It's just right there. He's like, "If you can come out sooner, it's yours." I talked to my husband about it. I cannot tell you how crazy the ... I think we packed up in maybe two or three weeks. On the military side, there's a lot of paperwork that you have to do, a lot of screenings that you have to do, especially because they consider Hawaiian overseas move. There was so much that we had to get done in such a short amount of time. From then, we get me out here and we're packing everything, we're ready to go. This is the day before I'm getting ready to go. A few weeks before then, I had arrangements to sublease an apartment that's literally right across the street from my shop and they gave my room away 14 hours before my flight to Oahu.

Chad Jordan: Oh, gosh. You don't have enough stress in your life right now. Why don't we just [crosstalk 00:33:18].

Kirsten Buhr: I'm leaving my husband for two months. This my first move in my adult life. I've really ever outside of Colorado, away from my family.

Chad Jordan: This is not the middle of nowhere. It's certainly the middle of somewhere but it's so different than what we know on the mainland.

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah. It was a huge culture shock. It was not what I was expecting, really. I don't even really know what I was expecting but it was so different. I came out here and I literally got off my flight, took my bags to a hotel room and took an Uber and met Eddie for dinner that night. Immediately, in the next day, I was in my shop working.

Chad Jordan: That's what I'm really interested in. You came, you're not a rookie but you're new to them. You had spent not even 24 hours on the island and now you're here. Are you the manager right away?

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah. Right away.

Chad Jordan: Eddie introduces you, "Here's your new manager." Walk me through with what that's like.

Kirsten Buhr: That's why the biggest things that stood out to the team that I started with ... Sometimes when you come into a team, you've got your bad apples and that happens. The biggest thing that I noticed out here is I was the first stylist that Team Con has had that has worked for other Sport Clips off the island. That's the first one. It was very different. We don't have ...

Chad Jordan: Was there a lot of "That's not how we do it around here" attitudes?

Kirsten Buhr: Yes. My biggest thing is I took the handbook and I just, everything.

Chad Jordan: This is how we do it around here.

Kirsten Buhr: Actually, it is. You got to have that paper trail for everything. I lost three stylists my first day. Three quit on me.

Chad Jordan: Do you think they would have quit no matter what?

Kirsten Buhr: Yes.

Chad Jordan: Just the fact that ...

Kirsten Buhr: I think the biggest thing is they had that mentality that they were just here to show up, cut hair, and leave it, they didn't have a lot of standards.

Chad Jordan: I don't know, maybe if you had come in and been like, "Whatever."

Kirsten Buhr: That was not going to happen.

Chad Jordan: Knowing you, I can attest to that. They weren't going to make it and but then the others that did, how long before you felt like the respect started to come along?

Kirsten Buhr: I honestly think about three weeks, you saw a huge change. First, I knew it was overwhelming and we had our first pep rally. I'm like, "We're going to make a lot of changes. It's going to be a little drastic at first but you were going to see a huge improvement in everything once we do it."

Chad Jordan: Did you have to like put the carrot out there like, "The way you'll make more money this way"?

Kirsten Buhr: Yes. I literally had to sit down one-on-one with every single stylist and rake down like, "How can you bonus? Why do we focus on back bar? Why is it good for you? Why is it good for me? Why is it good for Eddie? Why is it good for everybody?" I literally had to break it down a good handful of times. It took a few months for it to super click with them because even going over those numbers, there wasn't a lot of training that had been done to show them how to do that.
Every stylist is different. They all have their different ways of pushing retail or back bar or what-have-you. I'm really listening to each stylist in exactly like, "What is going to work for you, it's probably not going to work for this other person. How can I get this working for you?" What happened was, two weeks after I started, I hired who is now my assistant manager, Kim.

Chad Jordan: One of the three Kims, by the way.

Kirsten Buhr: One of the three Kims in my store. She is a firecracker. She is here to work. She was the first one that was just knocking it out of the ballpark. People saw how much money she was making and how she was doing so well for herself. They're like, "Oh."

Chad Jordan: Maybe she followed the five point play, "Do what Kirsten was telling to do."

Kirsten Buhr: That was a huge difference right there. She was my first person that was really helping me push it. Then fast forward, a couple months later, even more so, I have Kirsten come who we all call Naomi because she ... I'm Kirsten, she's Kirsten, it's spelled the same way and it's super confusing. She's been with the company for nine, 10 years now. She has managed. She's been in multiple different stores and she's been in my shoes before. She's like, "I'm going to be your easiest stylist." I hired her the day that ... She came into the store and I was like, "[inaudible 00:37:57]." She's like, "I'm going to be your easiest stylist." She's like, "I don't want any of the added responsibility but I'm going to do my best to help you with everything." That's exactly what she does.
We are probably running at, like she was saying this morning, about 30% of what we needed to be doing, because we were just working, I didn't want to overwhelm my staff so we were just getting there. She comes in and a month later, we're probably running at like 80, everyone's hitting like 80% of the five point play, everyone's numbers are jumping up like crazy because they're finally seeing that I'm not saying all these things for nothing because there's another person that's experienced these things on the mainland.

Chad Jordan: She's got your back.

Kirsten Buhr: Exactly. Hawaii, it's great out here but you know we only get our coach out here once every 13 weeks and she's only here for one week. For however many stores that we have out here, getting everyone in the-

Chad Jordan: You have an artistic team member as your coach though.

Kirsten Buhr: She is amazing though.

Chad Jordan: You do have a rock star.

Kirsten Buhr: We do. We are so lucky.

Chad Jordan: In demand. The fact that you get her every 13 weeks is pretty cool.

Kirsten Buhr: I tried to kidnap her every time, like, "I'm going to chain you up back here and you're never going to leave."

Chad Jordan: You get her. You have now ... This is true. We talked this morning. First thing I usually do when I come to a store is I go back and I'll take a look at your performance board and see what that's all looking like. The leap that you guys have made in one year. Not that it's all you or all Kirsten but it's this combination.

Kirsten Buhr: No. It's everyone.

Chad Jordan: Everyone is totally bought in and you are leading this really great team now. What was the most challenging coming from Colorado to Hawaii? Was it the culture shock? Was it the lack of organizational systems? What do you think was your biggest hurdle that you had to get over?

Kirsten Buhr: I like a good challenge. The biggest thing was, like I said, this is the first time I moved away from my family. I'm in that family were if one person's moving, everybody goes with it. I was the exception though because no one wants to be moving every three years. They were done with that. That was really hard for me. I have a lot of younger siblings that are growing up and I'm missing a lot of milestones with them, which was really tough on me. Still is. The first two months, I think were the hardest thing I've ever gone through as a person.

Chad Jordan: Especially without James around.

Kirsten Buhr: Yeah, my husband wasn't here yet. Figuring out housing because technically, I was homeless for a few days. Sleeping in the break room. It took a minute to get that to balance out but at the same time, I was out here. When I came out early, I wasn't out here to Hawaii, I was out here to Sport Clips. I feel like my first three days, I was here until midnight cleaning because it was interesting, I want to say it that way. I clean the entire store and then my first three full weeks here, I worked open to close every single day. I wasn't taking any days off. Then one day, my stylist, Sarah, she's like, "You need a day off. I'm taking you to the beach." I took a four-hour nap on the beach that first day and I was like, "Okay. I need this."

Chad Jordan: You passed out, essentially, is what happened. You collapsed.

Kirsten Buhr: Pretty much. I'm going to say it was the stress of not having anyone that I really know. It took my truck two weeks to get shipped out here, after I got here. The day that my truck got here, I worked an eight-hour shift, I think, that day, a closing shift. I got my truck that morning. I was sitting in the parking lot. I got off work, I sat at my car, and it was the first thing that kind of just felt like home, it was something that was familiar. I fell asleep in my truck. In Hawaii, you cannot sleep in your vehicle. At three in the morning, our security guard came tapping on my window. I was like, "I am so sorry."

Chad Jordan: Did he make you take any sort of tests or anything?

Kirsten Buhr: No, because I was in uniform and everything. I was just like, "I am so sorry." I was trying to explain it to him. He's like, "You're fine. It's okay." Even now when I see him every now and then, it's just like I'm still a little mortified from it. I think there's just being in a new place by yourself is a little intimidating. At this point, we have our Hawaii ohana now. All the stylists that I have, I can say we honestly, truly all love each other, we're all there for each other. I know Kim was trying to get me to live with her for forever. She's trying really hard but I still didn't super know her that well so I'm just like, "I don't know. I'm fine."

Chad Jordan: If you had to go back, you probably would-

Kirsten Buhr: I'm going to take that in a minute.

Chad Jordan: It's going to leave me ... I got two questions for you then we'll get to the fun questions with you. It leads into that. The first question is, what do you know now that you wish you would have known when you step foot here taken over the store? Not a regret but something that would have made your life easier?

Kirsten Buhr: Goodness, that's a hard question.

Chad Jordan: Not to stall so you can think longer. I'm thinking about any managers or anybody that steps into management who maybe hasn't done it before is facing an unfamiliar situation like you coming from Colorado to Hawaii, what would make it easier for them now that you've been in this for a year and a half, two years or whatever, here? How would you answer it?

Kirsten Buhr: The biggest thing, or I'll say it more of like a piece of advice, I guess, it that's all right. You have to walk the walk. I'm very young, I've consistently been the youngest person in my shop. I know the biggest challenge that my original staff had was they see a child basically coming into their store and making all these changes but when I got on the floor and they saw me doing that five point play and they saw the quality of my haircuts and my speed as well, because the haircuts were very, very high, they're like, "She's serious."
They knew that right away, I mean business. Any changes that you make, you have to do it. You have to be the first person to make that step and if you're not doing consistent the first time that someone sees you not doing it consistently, they're going to point that out so fast. So fast, they're going to point that out.

Chad Jordan: Then hang it over your head and all that.

Kirsten Buhr: It just makes it so much harder because in the beginning, these stylists don't trust you. They don't know you. If you show them immediately that you know what you're doing, that they can trust you, you have to show them the signs that you're fully there for them, that you care about them, that's a big thing.

Chad Jordan: I love it. The next question before I get to the 10 fun ones. Now that you are where you are, looking back, what in the last, since you got here, what are you most proud of? The one thing that you're like, "I can't believe I did it but I did it and we're successful. I'm glad I did that thing." What is it?

Kirsten Buhr: Honestly, I mean, it's so hard to just put that into one thing. When you're a young stylist, fresh out of school, every little milestone feels huge. Your first skin [inaudible 00:45:43], it's not an easy haircut. Your first flat top. The first time that you hit your numbers, that was huge in the beginning. Obviously for me, right now, I'm very thankful about doing the 100 MVPs because it was never been done before. Getting that recognition, just not from my staff but from everybody, that was huge. I got so many phone calls and emails and I honestly was not expecting it to be that way.

Chad Jordan: I loved when you interacted with when we post it on social media and you commented back to people that were saying stuff.

Kirsten Buhr: I was being feisty with the people that like, "Who cares?"

Chad Jordan: We got some people who like, "Who would ever want to do that?" You're like, "That's my record so back off." I did appreciate the fact that also that people were like they had genuine questions and you took the time to answer, "Here's how I did it. Here's what you could do." That was cool. I love it. All right. Look, today is your day off so I am taking up your precious time with the ... James is going to get mad at me here. Let's go through my fun 10 questions at the end and then we'll let you get on to ... By the way, for those who ... I don't think we said earlier, we're recording this during the July 4th holiday so you've got some big firework plans to go attend to on the on the island of Oahu. Number one, which superpower would you most like to have?

Kirsten Buhr: To teleport anywhere.

Chad Jordan: Okay. You can get to Colorado and to your family and then get back to your shift. What is your personal motto?

Kirsten Buhr: My personal motto? Gosh. I've always had this little slogan, "Making the world a beautiful place one haircut at a time."

Chad Jordan: Okay. That's good. Not one I've heard before, I like it. Other than where you live now, which is funny because ... Who was I just interviewed? It was the team leaders of the year, they picked Hawaii as the place that they would like to live if I remember right. Other than where you live right now, where else in the world would you most like to live?

Kirsten Buhr: Oh my gosh, I'd love to see Wales. I just recently find out that I'm Welsh and I don't know a whole lot about it. I'd love to experience that, I think.

Chad Jordan: You got to go, make it happen.

Kirsten Buhr: I know. It's on my bucket list.

Chad Jordan: Who was the celebrity you most like to meet one day?

Kirsten Buhr: Oh my gosh. It's a heavy question. It's going to sound weird, Jack Black. I love Jack Black.

Chad Jordan: Jack Black? Okay, yeah. Of course. He's hilarious. Jumanji?

Kirsten Buhr: Yes.

Chad Jordan: That's one of my kid's favorite movies. He's hilarious in that. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Kirsten Buhr: Words or phrases I most overuse? Time is money, probably. That's a big one that-

Chad Jordan: Your team members hear that all the time? Time is money. You get your time as money. Sure. What sound or noise do you love?

Kirsten Buhr: I'm from a part of Colorado that's very Midwestern so it's the "Oop." Anytime that you ...

Chad Jordan: What? What is that?

Kirsten Buhr: It's a thing that ...

Chad Jordan: When somebody does something good or when you make a mistake like, "Oop."

Kirsten Buhr: Like when you almost run into somebody, you go, "Oop. I'm sorry." Or you [crosstalkI 00:49:06] I love it.

Chad Jordan: "My bad. Oop." All right. What sound or noise do you hate?

Kirsten Buhr: People chewing with their mouth open.

Chad Jordan: I'm so glad I split my gum out before we did this because I totally would ... What profession other than your own would you have been good at or least have wanted to try?

Kirsten Buhr: I wanted to either ... If I wasn't going to do hair, I was going to be a band teacher.

Chad Jordan: Is there a certain instrument or ...

Kirsten Buhr: I could play at a college level with the clarinet by the time I was in seventh grade. I also play the violin.

Chad Jordan: Okay, wow. That sounds like you should be playing as clients walk in. Do something ... Have a little tip jar out there. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Kirsten Buhr: My greatest achievement?

Chad Jordan: That's pretty remarkable. 100 MVPs and a championship. By the way, for those listening to the podcast, you couldn't hear her point to the championship belt that she's got. That's a pretty good one. I mean, the whole career so far, obviously, being as young as you are, you still have the whole world ahead of you here at Sport Clips but for you to come from Colorado to here two months ahead of your husband, find a way to live and find a place to live and all that kind of stuff and take a store that you're the very first manager probably who hadn't ever been on the island before and for you to come in and do all that you've done and turn it around is a lot of achievements in there to choose from. Last but not least, if heaven indeed exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Kirsten Buhr: Oh man.

Chad Jordan: That's what you want to hear him say?

Kirsten Buhr: No.

Chad Jordan: We got an issue there.

Kirsten Buhr: I think just ...

Chad Jordan: As long it's not "Oop."

Kirsten Buhr: [inaudible 00:51:13] What are you doing in there? I'm just kidding. I think it would be along the lines of having validation that I did something to change at least one person's life for the better because that's all I want to do, it's just help people.

Chad Jordan: Let's go back to your motto, "Making the world a beautiful place one haircut at a time," but changing people's lives one person at a time. I love that. Your story is amazing. Like I said just a second ago, it's just the beginning. What you've already accomplished at your age, this is just the start for you. I had to get ... I mean I was coming to a Oahu anyways but I wasn't planning just to come see anybody on Oahu. I had to make sure to get out here and see you because what you're doing here is next level. I love it. Love what you guys are all about. We'll see how long this championship belt can stay at HI102 before somebody else out there challenges your record. Thank you so much. Appreciate your time.

Kirsten Buhr: Thank you.

Chad Jordan: Thanks, everybody for listening. We'll have another episode for you next week.