Terrell Ford and his wife Kannice have lived in Lee’s Summit for 10 years, so they have seen a growing shift in the population.
Part of that shift is why the Fords decided to jump out on faith as they call it, and open a barbershop/beauty salon in the city the call home.
Klassic Transformations Beauty and Barbershop opened in early March at 300 S.W. Noel, just off Third St, and the Fords couldn’t be happier.
For Terrell, a barber who previously cut hair in Kansas City, the shop is another step in his dream of one day running a barber school. For Kannice, the business is the latest step for her in a career makeover that has turned the one-time corporate administrative assistant of 15 years into a hair stylist over the last three.
Together, the husband-and-wife team hopes the best is yet to come.
“To be honest with you, five years ago if somebody would have told me I could open up a black barbershop in Lee’s Summit, I would have told them, ‘you’re kidding me,’” Terrell Ford said during a recent afternoon between clients. “It’s just one of those things where I saw a need. The population was growing out here and there is only one predominately African-American barbershop here. I was cutting hair in Kansas City, but 90 percent of my clients were coming from Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Raytown, in that corridor. It just made sense.”
Klassic Transformations is divided into two separate areas for each Ford to conduct business with their respective clients. Kannice offers services in hair coloring, styling, nail care, hair removal and hair cuts for men, women and children. Terrell specializes in haircuts for men, women and children.
“I think in the beginning it’s scary, but I think the overall the outcome is so much greater, the pay off is,” Kannice Ford said of business ownership. “To have something of our own, that we can pass on to our children as they get older is really why we wanted to do it. We’re excited, but nervous.”
Terrell Ford added: “That’s the American dream, ownership.”
The couple hopes to set their business apart from most barber and beauty shops by offering amenities and services Terrell believes are lacking from such establishments.
“I’ve been barbering now for 10 years,” he said. “After doing this for so long, I just felt that I had a model that would work. I felt that we could do some things differently by being a little bit more upscale. Setting everything by appointments and doing a barber and beauty concept that would be new out here.
“Being in a barbershop waiting four and five hours for a haircut, I think those days are gone. With us, people can go online and set appointments and they can go online and pay. Everything with us is interactive and that’s a different concept.”
One of Terrell Ford’s clients, Anita McKinley of Blue Springs, said she has been receiving hair cuts from Ford for at least a year and she is excited that she doesn’t have to drive to Kansas City anymore for services. That and Ford’s skills with a set of clippers are the drawing card for her, she said.
“I think it’s phenomenal,” McKinley said of the Ford’s new locale. “I think it’s awesome. He’s closer than he was before.”
The Fords have three children all enrolled in Lee’s Summit schools. The oldest, Jalen, is a senior at Lee’s Summit North High School headed to Washburn University in the fall on a football scholarship. Much as the Division II school in Topeka, Kan. recruited Jalen for his talents on the field, the elder Ford has turned the table on his son, requesting his recruiting skills on several of the younger Ford’s classmates.
“I told him, I said, ‘listen, when I get this business open all those guys I need them to come over here,’” Terrell Ford said with a laugh. “He’s my number one recruiter and he’s doing it. He’s helping out.”
For more information on Klassic Transformations, or to book an appointment with Terrell or Kannice Ford, call 816-525-6400.