When Jeff Kissling was working as a stockbroker for 20 years, he never dreamed of becoming chief executive cowboy for a chain of men’s salons. Turns out, that job was the perfect training ground.
“I never imagined myself in this line of business until the day I decided to do it,” explains Kissling. “I had been going to a local salon for a few years, but never felt comfortable. It was an upscale, high-priced shop that compared itself to a country club. It played a continuous loop of Sinatra music that was just not my flavor. Over the years, I requested they change the station to country music. My last visit there, I jokingly said, ‘If you don’t turn the station, I’m going to open my own salon.’ Well, they didn’t. So, I did!”
Today, the company has three Cowboy Up Men’s Salon locations in Texas—Dallas, Southlake and Frisco, where Cowboy Up is also headquartered. “Our country theme is fun, yet our ‘secret sauce’ is quality, cleanliness and customer service,” explains Kissling. “Keeping us close allows us to deliver what’s important.” He plans to continue expanding locally, venturing into new markets as his management team develops.
The cowboy/country-themed salons feature custom old-school Belmont barber chairs, a professional team of boot-wearing female stylists, good music and cold beer in a relaxing environment. The salon offers a full range of men’s grooming services, including the Lone Star cut, the Gully Washer facial, coloring services, shaves and an extensive product line.
Kissling rode a unique trail to the salon business. “I was a stockbroker for 20 years at Scottrade. I joined Scottrade (then Scottsdale Securities) very early on,” he says. “My office was a two-man shop above a chicken stand. We shared one computer and our printer sat on old boxes; it was as bare bones as you could get. Fast-forward and Scottrade is now a multi-billion-dollar company with more locations than any other online brokerage firm. That education I received was immeasurable in how it relates to this venture. For example, I experienced first-hand the effect that great customer service can have on a company. I learned how to deal with growing pains, expanding into new markets and listening to your employees. I use my past experiences daily to make Cowboy Up a better place for our customers and employees.”
Kissling is delighted to have joined ISBN. “ISBN has a great mix of pioneers and trailblazers. I am excited to meet them, hear their stories and learn from them, as we continue to expand our footprint,” he concludes.
Reach Jeff Kissling, founder/chief executive cowboy of Cowboy Up Men’s Salon, at email@example.com. Learn more at cowboyupcuts.com and facebook.com/CowboyUpCuts.