I met Nick and his new business, and life, partner Chynna Longo to discuss the move and to learn what’s next for Bat ‘N Rouge, as well as the rest of his growing portfolio. He said Riverside has gotten to a good place, “a sense of balance.” There are seven full-time artists, including Nick. He said most have moved to Knoxville in the last few years, in some cases, to work at the shop. He said, as their reputation has grown, any openings prompt applications from across the country. He said they love it, and the shop has great management, which he’s passed off.
Local Collective has gotten off to a good start, with four of the seven stalls occupied, all by hair stylists. He said they had other kinds of businesses apply, but those didn’t work out. One issue was a non-compete agreement they had signed with Bat ‘N Rouge, agreeing not to offer competing services. One way to solve that issue was to purchase the business, negating any conflicts. They closed March 31. He’s open to anyone who is interested and would be a good fit for one of the remaining stalls.
Chynna is a stylist at The Wild Side, and will help manage Bat ‘N Rouge. She’s from Morristown, but has lived in Knoxville for about ten years. She’s worked with hair for almost eight years and she’s managed social media for the Wild Side. She’s also had some experience in management and hiring. She’ll bring her experience in the beauty industry to bear on the business. She’ll be instrumental in branding, hiring, and social media/marketing. Nick felt like she knew things about that industry that he didn’t and she’d be a good fit while he learns.
They are working through the takeover, meeting employees and converting software. They’ve meet with all the employees as a group and with most of them individually and think they are all staying. He said they were interested in hearing their ideas and directions they would like to see the business go. He said the employees are working on a list of services they would like to add, like spa services.
Chynna said she would like to work to make the strong brand stronger. They want to add some character to the business and make it an even more inviting feel. Nick said, “We want to give it more of a hometown, welcoming feel.” Employees had been wearing scrubs, for example, and now they’ll dress more casually.
Nick likened his accumulation of businesses to people getting tattoos. “When you’re getting one, you swear that it’s going to be your last one, but as soon as it’s done and you realize how much you love it, you’re ready for another. That’s how I feel about business. As soon as one’s running smoothly, I’m ready to raise my blood pressure, again.” He says after this one, he’ll likely slow down, but, in keeping with the tattoo analogy, he added “no promises.”
Nick said that over the next few months they will be offering discounts through their email list. You can sign up by booking an appointment. Watch their social media pages for discounts for first-time customers. You can follow them, learn more, and contact them at their website, but their primary outlet for information will be Facebook and Instagram.
They are currently hiring estheticians, makeup artists, and lash/brow artists and if you are interested, they’d love to hear from you via social media or in person — just drop in.