Stylist Julia Gomez gives a neck trim to Katrina Metcalf at Sport Clips in Biddeford. The store’s success has led to an expansion of the business across Maine and in New Hampshire. ED PIERCE/Journal Tribune

BIDDEFORD — Sport Clips in Biddeford is definitely not your father’s typical barber shop and its popularity has led to an expansion for the company across Maine and into New Hampshire.

Since opening in the Biddeford Shoppes at 508 Alfred St. across from Biddeford Crossing in September 2016, Sport Clips has become a go-to location for families and anyone seeking something different in hair care. What sets the business apart is its fun environment, featuring wall-to-wall sports televisions and personal attention including steamed towels and massaging shampoos.

“The Biddeford store has been so successful because we just never give up, we always work hard to create a fun place where people just want to come back to,” said Julia Gomez, Sport Clips Area Manager for Maine. “As stylists, we believe in Sport Clips as a company and its values so with that being said we will always put our best foot forward to ensure the success of Sport Clips as a whole.”

Gomez has been a hairstylist since 2003 and was hired as the manager of the Biddeford location prior to its opening three years ago by team leader and franchise owner Dennis Guerrette.

She said she always knew from a young age that she wanted to be a hairstylist, but becoming a young mother and bride at the age of 19 kept her from that dream until she was 30.

“I always loved the magic and glamour of the profession but it was not until I was about five years into the profession that I saw that it’s not all magic and glamour it was more and I was more,” Gomez said. “I realized that I was someone’s friend, mentor, mother, daughter, support system, aunt, counselor, I wore so many hats for so many men, woman and children. I have been told stories and secrets that most people would not dare to tell others and I was and still am a great keeper of those secrets. I have lost some of my most favorite customers young and old, their memories will always live on in my heart. I did hair for whole families. I’ve watched children grow from infants to high school and then home on college break. I make people look good and feel good about themselves.”

According to Gomez, the best aspect of being a hairstylist is that she gets to be herself, making people happy and feeling their best and each day she comes to work she never knows who she will meet.

Sport Clips is at 508 Alfred St. in the Biddeford Shoppes across from Biddeford Crossing. ED PIERCE/Journal Tribune

“I have had a handful of customers that I’ve walked their cancer journey with them shaving their hair with my eyes full of tears,” Gomez said. “I have laughed and cried with many of my customers throughout my career and at this point in my profession my body is at odds with the full-time arms above my head, standing on my feet for long hours, pain in my hands and shoulders, weakened eye sight, just a small list of the demands that it takes to be a successful stylist. My heart will always be in this profession and I am grateful to the many loyal friends and family that have taken me this far.”

She attributes a great deal of the success of the Biddeford Sport Clips to Guerrette, who also owns Sun Tan City with locations in Maine and New Hampshire and Guerrette Properties in Augusta.

“Dennis is an amazing business man and an even greater leader for Sport Clips as well as all the rest of his endeavors,” Gomez said. “I have never worked for a more supportive, kind human. Dennis believes in his people and treats all of us with the utmost respect and professionalism.”

Customers say each visit to Sport Clips is one they look forward to.

“When you sign in the waiting list is posted on a scoreboard and shows you the minutes until your stylist is ready,” said Mary Creighton of Biddeford, who had brought her son to Sport Clips for his back-to-school haircut. “Everyone here is so friendly and the prices are very reasonable.”

Ronald Leclaire of Dayton said he enjoys being entertained watching a game while waiting for a haircut.

“I wish I had one of these big-screen TVs at home,” he said. “It’s so much better than having to thumb through a pile of boring old magazines and the usual barber shop atmosphere.”

Walking into the Sport Clips shop is a sports fans’ dream.

There is a large TV in the waiting area that shows whatever games are currently being aired. Each stylist station also has a television to watch while having your hair cut and when games are not being shown, you’ll find American Ninja Warrior or similar programs playing. Decor includes black lockers and numerous sports and stadium posters.

Sport Clips also offers MVP service, with a hot steamed towel for your face while having a massaging shampoo and neck and shoulder massages. Free neck trims are available in between haircuts and no appointments are necessary. All new customers receive the MVP service for free on their first visit and anyone who downloads the Sport Clips app receives $5 off for the MVP service.

Stylists working for Sport Clips are trained in all the latest and classic haircuts and are state-certified.

“Sport Clips also is so successful because we do a lot with our communities, we are a huge supporter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and we provide vets with scholarships to go to college,” Gomez said. “We also partner with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation so we can help raise money to conquer childhood cancer. This year we have committed to $2 million.”

Gomez oversees Sports Clips locations in Bangor, Waterville, Topsham and Biddeford and said the company’s popularity and customer loyalty has resulted in other Maine locations opening soon in Portland and Scarborough and in Nashua, Dover and Concord in New Hampshire.

“I think for me the one thing I want people to take away from this is that anything is possible, all of your dreams not matter big or small can be achieved though hard work,” she said. “Always remember you matter to people who you think are not paying attention, you are a huge part of the process, being successful does not happen overnight. Companies like Sport Clips was just a dream for our founder Gordon Logan, a dream for our team leader Dennis Guerrette and the dream of that little girl who always knew she had a voice and the will power to achieve anything.”

— Executive Editor Ed Pierce can be reached at 282-1535 or by email at [email protected] 

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