How did I get in the Lice business?
I have been in the commercial real estate industry with CBRE, HSM Pacific and now Commercial Realty Advisors for 32 years. My current clients include Ashley Furniture, Banfield Pet Hospital, Buffalo Wild Wings, Denny’s, Ethan Allen, Fat Heads, Lamps Plus, Lolli and Pops, Men’s Wearhouse, Natural Grocers, Panda Express, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Qdoba, Starbucks, Taco Bell and 5.11 Tactical. Other than 6 months as a Great Clips franchisee, commercial real estate has been my primary business activity.
Last summer, Pat, my real estate client of over 20 years who has owned hair salons and related businesses all over the United States and Canada, mentioned to me he was opening a lice removal clinic outside of Dallas, Texas. My reaction was “Are you kidding? That is disgusting. Why would you ever do that?” Pat happens to be one of the smartest people I know, so I listened intently to his response. He told me lice have been around for thousands of years. As a matter of fact, archeologists have even found lice on mummies from ancient Egypt. So, killing lice as a service business is not going away any time soon. He noted that the lice of today have become resistant to many of the shampoos and prescription drugs that use pesticides and neurotoxins. And further, Lice Clinic of America has developed proprietary heated air technology designed to dehydrate and kill the lice and nits so there is no need to use any unhealthy chemicals. The patented AirAllé device is FDA cleared and is currently the best method available for the lice eradication industry. The opportunity to help families with a serious, but not life-threatening problem, appealed to me. Pat pointed out that Oregon was the best territory in the country that was still available. I love that lice treatment is a service that you cannot buy on Amazon. With over 200 clinics around the world, the company has a solid record of success and is growing by leaps and bounds. I knew I could make a difference in the industry.
My next step was to find a partner who had experience running a similar business. I started looking for a partner and talked to several people. One morning on the way to spin class at the Multnomah Athletic Club, I ran into my friend Mark. I immediately thought he is the perfect partner. I told him about this business and after the usual look of disbelief, he said he wanted to hear more. After several weeks of due diligence, we decided to buy a territory from Eugene to the south, Vancouver, Washington to the north, west to the Oregon Coast and east to Bend. Our plan is to open six to eight lice specialty clinics in the region over the next several years.
We have now been open for two weeks. We are very proud of the clinic. It is light, bright and has a very clean modern design. We located in the Sylvan area just west of the Oregon Zoo because it is easily accessible to the entire Portland Metropolitan area.
To date, it has been very rewarding to see families come in the clinic frustrated with their attempts to self-treat their lice infestation or simply surprised that their family has been inundated with the bugs and not sure what to do next. After each treatment, our families leave happy and relieved to be lice free. I thoroughly enjoy the feeling of watching them leave lice free. We hope they won’t be back, but instead will tell their friends and colleagues about our service.
My friends, well every time I speak to them about my latest venture, they their scalp starts itching immediately.
I’m happy to give you a tour of our clinics and introduce you to the amazing AriAllé technology. Call me any time at 503-504-2957.