When brothers Gary, 39, and Bill Crowley, 41, acquired their beauty salon in 1994, they never imagined they'd be models for Glamour Shots. Actually, they're not glamour models per se, but rather models for a new opportunity that puts Glamour Shots' Surroundings Studio into existing beauty salons.
The new concept allows salon owners to operate a Glamour Shots franchise, complete with 3-D sets and props, out of less expensive retail sites. By sharing payroll between the salon and the studio, entrepreneurs can lower payroll expenses from those of the studio-only franchises that are typically found in malls.
"Glamour Shots used to have the image of big hair, gaudy makeup and head shots until [the franchisor] put in the Surroundings Studio, which we absolutely love," says Gary, whose sales have grown from $165,000 in 1999 to expected sales of $230,000 this year, thanks in large part to the company's new image.
The Crowley brothers came up with the idea to combine their existing salon and a Glamour Shots franchise, and opened the first combined store in Pad-ucah, Kentucky, in November 1998. The new franchising concept was offered systemwide by the 8-year-old franchisor this past March-20 new stores are expected to open this year. The initial investment cost for existing salon owners is under $40,000, depending on location.