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How This Woman's Young Daughter Inspired Her to Change Careers Jill Raedels worked with Enterprise for 13 years before opening a kids' haircutting franchise.

By Carly Okyle

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Jill Raedels
Jill Raedels

Franchise: Snip-its Haircuts for Kids

Franchise Location(s): Charlotte, N.C.; Columbia, Greenville and Lexington, S.C.

Number of years in business/number of employees: 5 years / 5-6 employees per location, on average

Initial investment: Around $155,000 in total. This includes a $25,000 franchise fee; $40,000 for construction; $35,000 for the Millwork and Snipification package; $12,000 for the exterior sign and other expenses; $2,000 for supplies and retail inventor; $10,000 for recruiting and training; and $20,000 for marketing.

Related: The Grewal Family Franchises Together and Thrives Together

Jill Raedels wouldn't have her current franchise -- Snip-its, a haircutting place for kids -- if it weren't for her daughter Piper.

Piper was ready for her first haircut in 2010 when they were visiting family in Greenville, S.C. Raedels planned to take Piper, 2 at the time, to the Snip-its she'd driven past many times before, but the salon was closed that day.

"We ended up at an adult salon, later that week, in our home location of Lexington [S.C.]," Raedels explains. "After that less-than-fun experience, we (Raedels and her husband) discussed the need for a kid's salon in our area. The next day, it must've been fate, because there just happened to be a conference call for potential new franchisees, which we joined and thereby started our journey."

Although she was interested in joining the children's salon franchise, she wasn't yet ready to give up her steady job with Enterprise Holdings Inc. -- the company that owns rental car brands Alamo, Enterprise and National. She'd been with the company for 13 years and had no plans to leave.

"I enjoyed the competitive culture at Enterprise, and I loved my team," she says. "It was like my family after college, which made the thought of leaving exceptionally difficult."

Instead, in 2011, she chose the equally difficult option of doing both jobs at once -- Enterprise during working hours, Snip-its on nights and weekends. It was working, Raedels thought, until it wasn't. It was actually Piper who showed her mom the flaws in this system.

Related: This New Mom Never 'Expected' to Find the Perfect Business Model

About a week before Christmas in 2012, the girl, 4 years old at the time, got two cards the same night, both with money inside. In total, she got $400, but in the spirit of giving, she gave her parents $100 each. Later, after Raedels had shrugged off her daughter's requests to play (she had emails to answer and phone calls to make), Piper decided what she wanted to do with her holiday cash.

"She had asked her dad for his $100 back," Raedels recalls. "She walks up [to me], piercing me with her teary, beautiful, big, blue eyes and she hands me her $300 saying, "Mommy is this enough money for you to quit your job and spend more time with me?' I put in my two weeks' notice about a week later, and ended my 13-year Enterprise career on Piper's fifth birthday."

"It made me really think about what was truly important to me," says Raedels. "I couldn't balance family and two jobs. So I chose the one that meant I could be the mother and wife that I wanted to be, which was Snip-its."

Raedels hasn't looked back. She has a vision for how she wants to move forward. "I'd love to continue to grow the number of locations we have in the Carolinas and Georgia," she says. "Right now, I've taken on four businesses in five years, which still shocks me some days, and I know it's in our best interest to make sure they are running as efficiently as possible before I consider opening my fifth."

Related: Florida Woman Closes a Clothing Boutique to Open an Eco-Friendly Cleaning Business

Presumably, Piper approves of this plan.

For more information: Snip-its

Carly Okyle

Assistant Editor, Contributed Content

Carly Okyle is an assistant editor for contributed content at Entrepreneur.com.

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