Fort Myers, Florida

4/27/2018 to 5/16/2018

Grandkids and Michael's Sport Clips Grand Opening

Friday 4/27/2018     It took us close to four hours to travel from our campsite in Orlando to our campsite in Fort Myers. We reserved a site at Woodsmoke RV Resort which is about 11 miles from Michaels house. Woodsmoke's sign says RV Resort but there is also a lot of permanent trailers here. Looks like a lot of people live here for the winter. But this time of the year it's pretty empty. We got a very nice concrete site that is backed up to a small lake. The only problem was that the roads that run through the park are very narrow. I tried but could not maneuver the trailer into the site. The combination of the truck and trailer was just too long. One of the staff members saw how much trouble I was having and suggested that they put it in with their backhoe.  I disconnect the trailer on the road and they hooked it to the front of the backhoe and pushed it right in. 

Saturday 4/28/2018     We drove to Michael and Caline's house this morning.  Michael has a lot of work to do to get ready for his grand opening of Sport Clips on May 15.  He needed to load up boxes of materials he purchased for the opening and take them to the store.  We loaded up his van and went to the store to drop the boxes off and let me get a look at the store's progress.  He has a lot to do to get everything done before the 15th. The contractor was still busy working so we didn't stay too long.  Caline needed to do some grocery shopping so she took Liam with her and Rose stayed behind with Luca.  

When we returned to the house everyone went for a swim.  They have a very nice in-ground swimming pool and also a hot tub.  

After swimming, the kids took showers and had dinner.  While they were waiting for dinner, the boys beat up on Grandma.  This is a favorite past time of Liam and Luca's and Grandma managed to survive.  We decided to take turns with Leila and Liam spending the night in our trailer.  They both love to but don't always get along so we are letting them stay one at a time.  Tonight was Liam's turn and as we were getting in the truck to leave, Luca decided he wanted to drive. 

Sunday 4/29/2018    Today was Sunday and we all went to church.  After church, we headed back to Michael's house for lunch and the kids took a nap.  We went back to the trailer and later that evening everyone came over for a cookout.  It was an unplanned cookout, and we hadn't been to the grocery yet so Caline brought most of the food.  The kids discovered turtles in the lake right behind the trailer and tossed them some bread.  Then dozens of turtles appeared, climbing on top of each other hoping for some more food.  Later on, we toasted marshmallows for smores over our portable gas grill.  Open fires aren't allowed in most campgrounds in Florida, so we had to be creative.  It was a very nice ending to our day.

Monday 4/30/2018     Since today was a Monday Michael was working and the kids were in school. We took this opportunity to clean up the trailer, do some laundry and do a little shopping. Later in the day, we went over to Michael's house to visit and have dinner.

Tuesday 5/1/2018     Today was another work day for Michael and the kids were in school so Michael asked if we could do some shopping for the store. Sport Clips sent a list of startup supplies that he would need to open and it was a very long list. We ended up visiting three different Walmarts, a Target, Hobby Lobby, Staples, Office Depot, a dollar store, Home Depot and Lowe’s trying to gather everything he needed. Opening up a new business requires a lot of necessary items. He needed everything from paper clips to storage bins to garbage cans and everything in between. We spent the entire day purchasing things from the list. Also, the stylists had many requests for supplies they were used to. In the meantime, the contractor was back at the store cleaning up their construction mess from the last month’s work. It was amazing how much cleaning up they did during the day to get the store in opening shape.

Wednesday 5/2/2018     Again today was a work day for Michael and school for the kids.  We picked up a few more items for the store, dropped them off and took a few pictures.   At 3 pm we picked the kids up after school and went for a swim.

Thursday 5/3/2018     Michael had ordered a large supply of product to be sold at the store and a lot of it had arrived.  His manager, Noelle and his assistant manager, Kim came to the store and began unpacking the product and taking inventory.  Michael asked me to set up the main computer, printer, two point of sale kiosks, receipt printer, credit card machine, five TVs and the receiver for the television sound system.  There is also an online check-in wallboard that needed to be connected.  I had a huge mess of wires, USB hubs, power strips, HDMI cables and speaker wires. It took me most of the day and a few calls to the Sport Clips helpline before most everything was working.  For some reason, I couldn't get the online check-in wallboard to work. The store is really starting to look good!

Friday and Saturday 5/4/2018 and 5/5/2018     Today I went into the store and did some more work on the computer wiring. Yesterday I hooked everything up but now I had to make everything look neat. This meant routing the wires through holes in the counter, behind drawers and into different sections under the counter. Noel and Kim started putting all the product on the shelves. That night one of the kids spent the night in our trailer and got to feed the turtles and birds again.

Sunday 5/6/2018     Sunday was a busy day with church and spending time with the kids. Later in the evening Michael and I went to the store to clean up and make sure everything was ready for Monday morning, the first day of training. He wanted everything to look perfect for his team.

Monday to Friday 4/7/2018 to 4/11/2018     This whole week, Monday through Friday, was training for the stylists.  They needed to be there from about 9 am to 5 pm.  Michael treated the entire team to lunch every day, sometimes ordered in and sometimes we went out.  Sport Clips has two corporate employees that they send to each new store about a week before Grand Opening to train hair cutting the Sport Clips way.  They train them not only in hair styling but also shampooing, hot towel massage, and beard, and mustache trimming.  They did role-playing exercises and practiced cutting on a mannequin and practiced the MVP treatment on me and Michael.  The MVP is the deluxe package which includes the cut, shampoo, hot facial towel and a shoulder massage.  They also had to be trained on the computer program, product knowledge, and selling techniques.  There were also Powerpoint presentations and videos to help them learn.  The Sport Clips corporate employees were very knowledgeable and thorough in their training.  

Michael had a marketing event scheduled for Saturday at a kid's soccer tournament and he wanted to practice setting up his new Sport Clips canopy.  He also planned to set a free haircut coupon and pen on fellow Chico employee's desks so he asked Rose to assemble them.  She spent a good part of one day assembling over 300 packets for him to put on their desks.  Michael had name tags made for all his stylists and special ones made for every member of his family.

Friday night was Leila and Liam's end of the school year's musical concert.  They needed to be dressed as trees and needed to be dressed in green shirts with foliage and khaki pants.  Caline did a great job creating the foliage for their shirts.  The eighth-grade graduating class had speaking roles and one of their teachers performed a funny skit.  Afterwards, we picked them up in their classrooms and went to the cafeteria for cookies and drinks.  Tonight was Leila's turn to sleep in the trailer.

Saturday 5/12/2018     Michael feels strongly that marketing is the key to his success. He was permitted to set up his tent during a soccer tournament where he passed out the free haircut coupons, frisbees, and sunglasses. It was only a few days before Grand Opening and he wanted to let people know where the store was. So, Michael, Leila, Liam and I spent several hours at the soccer field. Rose took Luca to a nice park near Michael’s house called Lakes Park where Luca had fun playing on the playground. Later everyone enjoyed a swim in their pool and since tonight was our last weekend night in Fort Myers, both Leila and Liam spent the night in the trailer.

Monday 5/14/2018     Today was the day before the grand opening and it was “Friends and Family Night”. All the stylists and Michael and Caline invited their friends and family for a free haircut. It was a trial run for the big day tomorrow. All of us except Caline had their haircut. It was quite a busy, fun night. The stylists were excited to practice for tomorrow and Michael was finally going to see all his hard work start to pay off.

Tuesday 5/15/2018     At last the big day has arrived! We all gathered at the store early to set up the canopy and table with crescents, muffins and orange juice. We also put up yard signs and advertising flags to draw attention to the store. Several people from the local Chamber of Commerce were attending as well as the trainers from Sport Clips corporate offices. At 9 am was the ribbon cutting ceremony with Michael getting the honor. The guests chatted for awhile and then it was time to get to work. Clients began showing up for haircuts and we began trying to attract people from the busy street in front of the store. Bob from the corporate office was the first to step into the “Sporty” blow up suit. It was very hot and humid but Bob was a real trooper. I took a turn in Sporty later in the day. Michael and family were all taking turns holding up signs on the street. Rose and I drove across the street to Walmart and bought a couple hula hoops which the stylists took turns hula-hooping on the sidewalk. Michael had hired a professional sign spinner for the week. He stood at the busy intersection on the next corner and energetically spun the day away. The stylists were kept very busy with a steady stream of clients through the door. Many were taking advantage of free haircut coupons but there were also many that did not use a coupon. The store was open until 8 pm and the grand opening day was considered a huge success.

Wednesday 5/16/2018     Today was our last day in Fort Myers. We spent most of the day promoting the store. I stepped into Sporty again and everyone else took turns holding up signs on the street. It was another busy day. Later in the evening, we went out with Michael, Caline and the kids to a bowling alley/entertainment complex called Headpins to celebrate Liam’s sixth birthday which was in two days on May nineteenth. We first had a piece of cake and sang Happy Birthday and then the fun began. Liam and I took the overhead rope challenge and then Michael, Leila, Liam and I played laser tag. It wasn’t busy so it was just the four of us running around like crazy shooting at each other. Caline, Rose and Luca were allowed to be in the laser tag arena and were able to watch the action. Then it was back to Michael’s with three extremely tired kids where we had to say our goodbyes until our next visit.

Thursday 5/17/2018     Today we packed up the trailer and left Fort Myers for our long drive across the country.

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