One thing Marines are known for is a pristine haircut, and Austyn Svehla is no different. After his service, the veteran went looking for the right spot for a trim. In 2016, Austyn discovered Scissors & Scotch, an upscale men’s barbershop franchise.

The Nebraska resident would drive 45 minutes from Lincoln to Omaha every two weeks to enjoy a quality haircut and a complimentary cold one. So, when he and his wife Stephanie began considering business opportunities, Austyn felt that Scissors & Scotch was the obvious choice. Now they’re preparing for their first location’s opening in Lincoln in just a few months.

Austyn’s experience with the franchise had run deeper than just those biweekly haircuts for the last seven years. He and his wife have both been with Aflac Insurance for 10 years, with Austyn working as a regional sales coordinator, and Stephanie, a district sales coordinator. Scissors & Scotch partnered with them for employee benefits for their corporate stores, leading Austyn to travel to other Scissors & Scotch locations in Oklahoma City and Denver. After a decade in the insurance industry, he and his wife decided Scissors and Scotch was just the right investment opportunity. It turns out they didn’t have to look far.

“The entire experience Scissors & Scotch provides hooked me,” Austyn admitted. “It’s not only about the high-quality haircuts and bar service they provide, but also the franchise training and support the corporate team has developed. I know I’ll never have to question whether we’re keeping up with the latest trends.”

Prior to his decade with Aflac, Austyn served four years in the U.S. Marines, something he knew he wanted to do for most of his life. He joined the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in his junior year of high school and then went to boot camp just weeks after graduating high school.  Austyn became a mechanic and eventually spent a year and a half in Japan for his first tour. After returning to the states for a short stay, he was deployed to Afghanistan for nine months.

“I never thought I’d find myself sweeping for mines, but there I was in a third-world country doing just that,” Austyn said as he reflected on his time in Afghanistan in 2011. “I did just about everything but my job as a diesel technician. I was thrown in a convoy, was a gunner one day, and then swept. The Marines taught me adaptability and to perform whatever job is necessary in order to ensure everything is done.”


Adaptability. This is just one of the three words that come to Austyn’s mind when he thinks about how his military skills will transfer to franchising. Being adaptable permits him to pivot when something isn’t going according to plan. The world is everchanging, so to ensure you’re staying relevant, Austyn explains that they’re prepared to adapt to whatever trends or business strategies to guarantee their business succeeds.

Dedication. Understanding that most duties in the military isn’t going to be easy, but you must work and go the extra mile to make it all happen is another trait Austyn took on from the Marines. Just like in Afghanistan, the proud veteran is prepared to dedicate his time and do whatever is necessary to guide his employees at Scissors & Scotch and ensure that the shop thrives.

Discipline. The Marine Corps instills discipline in its soldiers from day one. It’s also a quality that can make franchisees successful. By dedicating themselves to the brand and trusting in the processes put in place, franchisees can become highly successful.

“Franchising isn’t easy, or else everyone would do it,” admits Austyn, but, if you’re willing to put in the work and grow, you can succeed. I have faith that my years in the Marine Corps gave me experience that will make me much better as a franchisee and leader for the location.”

Scissors & Scotch is not a run-of-the-mill haircut joint. Instead, the franchise prides itself on the experience they offer. From talented stylists to a full-service bar and lounge, Scissors & Scotch is a step above other barbershops and hair salons. The young brand is prepared for massive growth and is looking for hungry entrepreneurs like Austyn Svehla to help them expand from coast to coast.

“Most franchise brands you consider have pluses and minuses, but with Scissors & Scotch, it’s hard to find the negatives,” Austyn continued. “The corporate team provides great guidance on starting the business. There’s an amazing camaraderie between corporate and the franchisees and I’m excited for the bright future ahead.”

Scissors & Scotch’s first location opened in Omaha, Nebraska, in 2015 by three friends, then began franchising in 2017. The franchise is now in nine states with 24 locations and 8 more in the development process.

Their services include haircuts, shaves, trims, waxing, and a full-service bar and lounge. In addition to the unique business opportunity the franchise provides entrepreneurs, it’s also in a recession-resistant industry. Scissors & Scotch locations also earn recurring revenue through their membership program.

The global men’s personal care market is rapidly growing. Grand View Research found that the industry was worth $9.1 billion in 2021. The research firm predicts the industry to experience a compound annual growth rate of 9.1% through 2030. Men’s increased interest in caring for their skin and hair is behind the growth. Also, more men are looking to go to their own salons or barbershops instead of their wife’s salons to receive a more catered experience, just like Austyn did, traveling nearly an hour to a Scissors & Scotch every two weeks.

Austyn is thrilled to begin this new business venture with his wife, Stephanie, by his side, as she’ll serve as the operating manager. Scissors & Scotch Lincoln is set to open on August 1 and is the first in the city. The Svehla’s hope to open at least one other location in the future.