Interview with Debbie Bertie – President of Beaners Fun Cuts for Kids


Nov 04, 2009

Debbie joined Beaners Fun Cuts for Kids in 1996 as a franchisee and ran one of the most successful salons in the company's history. Not being a stylists she attributes her success for the ability to team build and set long term goals. After 2 years of running a successful store, she sold it and bought Beaners Enterprises Ltd, which is the Head Office of Beaners Fun Cuts for Kids. In 1999 she started her term as President as continues in that role today.

As President, she is responsible for: forming Strategic Alliances, Expansion and Market Saturation, Marketing/Advertising and Franchise Relations. Debbie brings over 16 years experience in Management and Training, 7 years experience dedicated exclusively to all aspects of children’s hair salons. She is skilled in defining, evaluating and developing mutually-beneficial alliances, problem solving, motivation and training. Debbie contributes a keen awareness to bottom-line issues and initiates a well thought out planning process to guide organizational growth.

Debbie’s passion lies in being involved with organizations such as: The Crisis Pregnancy Center and Make A Wish. Her other interests are in the area health/wellness

BeTheBoss - Tell us about the beginning of Beaners and how it got started?

Debbie Bertie - It was started by Saundra Shaprio after she took her young daughter for a haircut in an adult salon. The experience was terrible and the stylist asked Saundra never to bring Erika back, as she screamed and cried. Saundra said to herself that there must be a better way for a child to get a haircut in an environment conducive to children….. and Beaners was born months later.

BTB - What is your franchise opportunity all about?

DB - To provide an environment for children that is safe, caring, comfortable and fun! A place that provides great quality haircuts and services at reasonable prices. To build a strong national Brand and to dominate our market. Beaners shows you the must-have ingredients for a business' success and how this opportunity can provide you the means to achieve your goals in: lifestyle, income, wealth and learn how you can drive it to become a solid asset in the future.

BTB- What are the qualities you look for in your ideal franchisee?

DB - The following is a list of some of qualities we look for when considering an application:

  • A Strong Desire to Achieve Goals (both personally and in business)
  • Customer Focused
  • A Team Player
  • High Level of Integrity
  • Passionate
  • Attentive to Detail
  • The Willingness and Ability to Personally Devote the Necessary Time and Effort in the Day-To-Day Operations of the Business

BTB - What have some of the challenges been in growing your franchise?

DB - In business there is always challenges, one obstacle that we face is getting qualified franchisees who are in line with our Vision and our Mission. We want people who share our passion for this business.

BTB - Do you feel that franchising is a great way for individuals who wish to start their own business?

DB - Yes, Beaners gives a comprehensive guide to allow you the ability to operate a very successful business. You have access to effective marketing programs, a dedicated operations support team, and reporting that measures results! Beaners taps into a niche market in the service industry with a strong demand! There is no better time to start your business than right now! According to Entrepreneur Magazine, “Franchising trends may come and go, but kids’ specialty services remain constant”. It was the number 1 business in franchising for the 2nd year in a row.

BTB - What are some of the advantages in being a Beaners franchisee?

DB -

  • tried and true concept
  • Speciality aspect
  • Target Specific
  • A large amount of discretionary income for target market
  • A constantly growing market
  • Creative Marketing
  • Higher repeat business
  • Performance Improvement Resources

BTB - Any success stories that you’d like to share?

DB - Brenda Field is a success story that we’d love to share. Brenda started with Beaners in October 1991, as a manager of the very first Beaners location! She then became our franchisee for our Bow Trail (Calgary location) in Dec of 1999 . When that location closed in 2008 due to road expansion, she opened her current location the new suburb of Calgary, AB, West Springs. Brenda has seen much success over the years and still loves running her store! She is a true role model for many people in our system. There are many other success stories in our business, as we strive to ensure all franchisees have their own success story!

A quote from Brenda:

I started with Beaners in Oct/91 as a stylist, thinking I would give working with children a try. It is now 2009! I love working with kids, it is fun, challenging, and so much more. I still have an adult clientele so I am able to do colors, perms and trendy styles. I feel that I have the best of both worlds. In Dec/99 I bought the Bow Trail locations thinking if I love this so much why not invest in a store of my own. That was the best thing I could have ever done! I love being an owner even more....the staff, the environment and I can be my own boss. Debbie and Celeste are very good to work with. They are always there for me in any situation I have. Thanks to Debbie and Celeste for working very hard to maintain and build this company to the best of their ability.

Brenda Field
Franchisee - Calgary, AB

BTB - Do you belong to any associations or networking groups?

DB - We are members of the C.F.A. We also have credentials in the Journeyman certificate of Alberta and the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training board.

BTB - As a franchise executive, who has been your greatest inspiration?

DB - John Maxwell!

BTB - In your opinion, why do you think that Beaners would be a great opportunity for someone?

DB - With the hair care industry exploding at an estimated $40 billion a year in revenue, with the children’s sector of the market estimated at $5 billion annually and growing…literally! This business is recession proof as there are thousands of babies born every year, and they all grow hair…eventually!