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In His Shoes: Jereme

4-minute read

Day Job:

Founder and owner of Hedkandi, Butter, and Johnny’s Barbershop salons in Calgary.

What I'm Reading:

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight.

What I'm Listening To:

DJ Pump, R&B, and oldies — I always have music playing. For podcasts, I listen to Tools of Titans With Tim Ferriss.

Workout of Choice:


What I'm doing when I'm not at work:

Travelling with family. We recently got back from Tokyo, Singapore, Bali, Palm Springs.

Unpopular Opinion:

The current changes the government is making around small businesses.
Jereme in Poppy Barley's Vancouver Chukka

Wearing The Vancouver Chukka in Navy

What is your biggest motivator—personally and professionally?

Personally, I want to have a great work-life balance and spend quality time with my family. My children are 8, 9, and 17, and we make it a priority to have dinner together every night. Professionally, love seeing my teams grow. I love to see my teams advance within their lives and really grow to love their jobs. At my salons, we have a family like atmosphere. Like with my own career, I want to give everyone I work with that work-life balance. To me, a perfect schedule is 32-35 hours per week. I adjust schedules as needed for everyone and try to give a long weekend every second weekend. Also, building relationships internally with staff and externally with clients is very important to me.

You graduated from Marvel in Saskatoon, why did you choose Calgary to launch your career?

My mentor at the time moved to Calgary. Some of my extended family was moving to Vancouver and some were staying in Saskatoon, so Calgary kept me in the middle. It always just felt like home. It’s a good size too; not too big not to small. Jereme in Poppy Barley's Vancouver Chukka

Wearing The Vancouver Chukka in Navy

Hedkandi is an interesting name. How did you come up with it?

The name Hedkandi came from travelling through Europe. I found a record company by the same name and it just stuck with me. Music has always played a big role in my businesses, so it just seemed to fit.

After opening your first salon what motivated you to continue to grow with the expansion of the second and third business?

I guess you could say that I didn’t know any better. I wasn’t afraid of what might happen. I had the opportunity to grow and I took advantage of it. I took a chance. I also saw the need for a retail location and a blow out location, which is what butter became. I now have 7 businesses within 13 blocks of each other and 110 employees—which still feels small to me. We are in all aspects a family of salons. And I don’t feel the need to be the biggest at what we do, just the best. I strongly believe in only growing when we are ready. I have either opened or renovated a salon every year for 8 years, and my first salon will be 20 years old in 2019! Jereme in Poppy Barley's Vancouver Chukka

Wearing The Vancouver Chukka in Navy

I’ve read that you wanted to build a salon that focused on education and culture of inclusivity for both guests and employees. How do you implement this in your businesses?

I have always been passionate about education. I am hoping to one day open an educational facility where we can train our hair community to be the best stylists and also the best people that they can be. We also focused on establishing a baseline of respect and inclusivity within all of our salons. For example, in 2017, we introduced non-gender pricing. We want everyone who comes into our salons to feel respected.

What is the best career advice you have been given?

“If you’re not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room”

What is one thing about yourself that people will be surprised to hear?

“I cry at Olympic commercials”

One piece of advice you would give your younger self?

“Trust the process, have a process, and turn it over to whatever happens. Keep doing the best you can”

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