Nicole Eicks named FAB! award winner
By Dirk Webb
Photo by Dale Pickett
Nicole Eicks is a Madison County native moving from Anderson to Alexandria 20 years ago. The founder of ClipZone (1996), Salon Professional Academy (2006) and part owner of Summit Salon Business Center in Minneapolis (2000), Nicole is married to Anderson City Councilman David Eicks and is the mother of Caden (12) and Carli (9).
Stylist, businesswoman, teacher, mentor, consultant and counselor are all hats Nicole wears on a daily basis. She spends much of her time on the road spreading the entrepreneurial gospel to current and potential salon owners including workshops and classes on business plans, financial strategies, and leadership development. Eicks is rapidly becoming a business force in both the United States and Canada.
Owning a salon was never enough for Nicole Eicks. For her, there is a bigger calling. “A lot of our people are the breadwinners in their family. It has been pivotal for our industry that we have discovered how successful our people can be. I love teaching others to achieve from the ground up and that success gives them the opportunity to make better decisions.”
What are your goals for 2015? “Expanding locations for the salon locally, working with Flagship on other expansion projects, continued growth, and diving into different aspects of the industry. We want to grow the company, grow jobs, place students, and set them up for success. We understand that each of our businesses closely ties with the other entities we lead. One naturally effects the other. We want to continue growing people into leadership and shareholder positions.
Why here in Madison County? “Our relationships here, both personally and professionally are very strong. As I travel I’m not sure I see that same degree of closeness in the bigger communities.”
Why are you in this business? “It happened by accident. As a form of young rebellion, my parents were a bit irritated that I decided to go to cosmetology school. I ended up loving it, and now my mom (Jean Rice) and my sister are actually two of my partners in the academy today. I love the time spent with guests, I love the relationships with my partners and my team, and I love that I can be very successful yet have flexibility to have a life outside of work.”
Who do you consider the most courageous person in history and why? “Martin Luther King. His brief time in the spotlight was life changing for our country. My favorite quote from him is ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’ We always try to empower others through caring. Every month we have meetings with every single employee and work to build a respectful relationship with them. We care enough about our team to help them grow. I try to teach my kids the same thing.”
If you were to take that person on a tour of your business, what one thing would you want them to see? “That we have tried to help people become successful no matter their backgrounds or orientations. We love nice people, we all care about each other and we do care about our clients. I would want Dr. King to see our relationships, as well as an environment where people feel good about coming to work, about learning and about each other.”
What was the defining moment when you knew your business was making a difference? “When we reached a level of success where we are able to freely donate our time, talent and treasure to help others and not have to think about if it will take money from alternatives. We could donate products and services; almost anyone who asks can receive a product or service donation for their cause. Also, I remember hearing many times how people would make poor relationship decisions based on finances or insurance. I wanted more for our industry and our community. I was raised by a single Mom and her strength made me specifically want to support women to always be financially independent. Our goal is teach them not to catch the fish, but how to fish…not just to work for today’s pay, but to plan for tomorrow’s future.”
Nicole Eicks will receive the FAB! Award at the 2015 Annual Awards Gala.