The Fantastic Sams Story
HOW FANTASTIC SAMS CREATED THE FIRST UNISEX SALON FRANCHISES, AND HOW WE CONTINUE TO LEAD THE WAY (STARTED HERE IN MEMPHIS!!!)
Barbershops have always had a lot of appeal and a loyal clientele, because customers can get what they need quickly and at a reasonable price. Fantastic Sams founder Sam Ross observed the barbershop phenomenon and thought, why not offer those services to the whole family?
So in July 1974, he opened one of the first unisex salons in MEMPHIS that offered everyone the barbershop formula of convenience, affordability and familiarity. In 1976, he began franchising his concept, making Fantastic Sams the first national unisex hair salon franchise.
As for the name, the story goes that as he finished up a particularly stylish cut, the client said, “That’s fantastic, Sam!” and a legacy was born. He realized his salons could be a place for kids to get their hair cut, where men could get barber-style service and women could get a whole range of basic salon services — cuts, color, waxing — at an affordable price. It would be a convenient, one-stop salon that would earn clients’ loyalty.
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