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The highly abbreviated history of Ross the Boss

In 1977, Ross R Badgett III was doing another late night drive in order to get home “early” so he could maximize his time with his family. The traveling shoe salesman was successful at selling shoes but realized that being away from his family all week made it quite difficult to be a successful father. With that in mind, Ross began the process of looking for another suitable job that would meet his criteria and allow him to be home more…and then it happened. While he was in Memphis, TN he decided to visit an old acquaintance of his who had turned a small two-chair salon into a large hair-care franchise. After hearing a quick summary of the situation, the franchise owner said he had two bankrupt salons in Knoxville, TN… and you can predict what happens next!

When Ross finally decided to load up the truck and move to Tennessee, he had a short list of goals (along with an endless to-do list). His priorities were simple: to glorify God, to take care of his staff, and to change the way the community, and industry, looked at hairdressers. In order to accomplish those goals, he deduced that the best thing he could do was to treat his staff like professionals. He would offer them things like 401k, health insurance, advanced education, and even paid vacations! These were things that were unheard of at the time in the industry (and are still highly unusual today)! His thought was “If I treat them as professionals, then they’ll act like professionals, and will be recognized as professionals!”

Well, within a short time it became apparent that the franchise had very different opinions about a long list of things (including how staff should be treated) that became more divisive with every conversation. While many other franchisors were suing to get out of the franchise, Ross simply agreed to pay to leave. Since he had been doing lots of radio ads as “Ross the Boss” it seemed that the salons would almost name themselves. So, in 1980, with a name that is easy to recognize and remember-the salons known as “Ross the Boss” appeared!

Fast forward over 40 years and you’ll find that the Ross the Boss salons are well known in the industry for their integrity, benefits, environments, and education.  They are considered a great place to work, a great place to grow, and are constantly striving to achieve their purpose: to create an environment where people can experience professional excellence and genuine love.

The original Ross the Boss sold the salons to his son in 2019, and now that the pandemic has settled down, the salons are making great steps towards achieving their purpose. Through it all, the original goals remain unchanged, and the company is working hard to create the best environment for hairdressers and clients. Come be a part of our progress, support your local, family-owned businesses, and look great doing it!