Alamo City Barber College was established in the Fall of 2009. The idea was born of Mr. Hondree Nance (Instructor – Co Owner) and a local investor in 2007, resulting from a conversation: which identified a preliminary need for a quality Barber College in the San Antonio metropolitan area. However, after much consideration the initial idea was abandoned. The idea abandonment occurred as the local investor was not convinced of the need for a Barber College or the ability of Mr. Nance and his, to meet the level of commitment required to manage a project of this magnitude if realized.
In an attempt to demonstrate his commitment to establishing a Barber College in the San Antonio metropolitan area, Mr. Nance enrolled in Williams Barber College for the purpose of acquiring his Barber Instructor license. Upon enrollment, Mr. Nance contacted his potential investor and notified him of such. As a result, an exhaustive Industry Analysis/Business Case study was executed for the purpose of validating the viability of a Barber College in the area. During this execution phase, an additional investor was approached and advised of the preliminary results regarding the Industry Analysis/Business Case. Based on the conversation and results of inquiries, he chose to participate bringing the ownership group to 3 members. Shortly thereafter, a decision was made to move forward with the development of Alamo City Barber College.
For the next 6 months, the ownership group would conduct strategy meetings on a weekly basis at the Holiday Inn Select at I-10 and Vance Jackson, as at that time we had no formal place to meet. Our ultimate goal was to have a functioning Barber College by November 2010. The first order of business was to establish our overall mission and organizational goals, as provided below.
Our mission at ACBC is to equip all students with the necessary barbering skills to become productive and self-sufficient barbers, barber technicians and/or barber instructors in San Antonio, Texas (or wherever their skill-sets will be deployed).
- To offer a barber curriculum consistent with the requirements outlined by the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration, to provide our students with the ability to successfully complete the Class A Barber, Barber Refresher and/or Instructor Examination upon graduating from ACBC.
- To develop relationships with local Barber establishments, for the purpose of facilitating the transition of graduating students to full time barbers.
- To partner with graduates to develop opportunities for college and/or barber shop ownership.
- To become a profitable entity at the conclusion of our first year of operation.
During those strategic meetings, we discussed business development related items to include the development of -, operational and administrative polices, the formal structure of the business and the licensing requirements to operate as a Barber College in the state of Texas. We also developed and executed a marketing strategy designed to specifically make the public aware of the pending opening and to recruit a robust student base for our first enrollment cycle. This effort proved to be both challenging and rewarding at the same time; as we visited approximately 250 Barber Shops between San Antonio and Austin. More importantly, we developed a list of 200 prospective students communicating their interest in the Barber Program; further validating our assessment of the need for an additional Barber College.
As part of the Barber College development process, we sought to secure a location. The area of choice was Northwest San Antonio, more specifically: the Highway 410 and Bandera Road area. The reasons behind the choice was because it was located on the opposite side of town from the existing Barber College (Williams Barber College) and we did not want to displace Mr. Nance from his active customer base in the area (as he was an active practicing Barber during this time). The first location decided upon was Crossway Plaza at the intersection of Bandera and Poss Roads. However, after the landlord backed out of his initial offering (which was a blessing); we negotiated a favorable lease for a first generation property better suited for the Barber College at French Creek Plaza located at 8910 Bandera Road – Suite 209.
As we moved through the development process, we quickly understood the demand for the college was greater than expected and would require more Instructional Staff. In June 2010, a decision was made to bring Mr. Ray Thompson (Instructor) on board to assist Mr. Nance with the delivery of the Barber Curriculum offered at Alamo City Barber College. However, with employing Mr. Thompson there was one catch. He was advised that he would not be paid until our enrollment projections were realized. Amazingly, Mr. Thompson (an active practicing Barber) agreed to join us based on his belief in the success of the Barber College and the Ownership Group.
In November 2010, we completed the successful build out of our 3,300 square foot state of the art facility with 24 operable Student Barber stations. In the same month, we conducted a Grand Opening event and with the help of our staff and the gentlemen of Proper Kutts Barber Shop, we played host to approximately 80 Barber Shop owners and a group of prospective students. On November 23, 2010 we opened our doors for enrollment and at the time of our first class on November 30, 2010, we had an initial enrollment base of 9 students. They were as follows:
1. Myong Bellitt
2. Gerald Castilleja
3. Samantha Gitiara (First Student to Graduate from Alamo City Barber College)
4. Miguel Gonzalez (First Student to Enroll at Alamo City Barber College)
5. Ryan Gonzalez
6. Patrick Hurt
7. Jose Lira
8. Tracy Simms
9. Ray Thompson (First Student to Graduate the Instructor Course at Alamo City Barber College)
From our initial enrollment base of 9 Students, in 2011 we grew to a student enrollment level as high as 70 students and added Ms. Emma Mathis (Instructor) to our staff. As a result of this success, Alamo City Barber College secured an additional 4,500 square feet of space, bringing the total facility size to 7,800 square feet of space. With the increase in facility size, we added an additional 28 Student Barber stations (totaling 52), 4 Student Manicure stations and 2 Student Pedicure stations as well as other designated areas.