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June 8, 2023

Memories and Lessons from the Man I Call Dad

Hair Saloon News
Twellman family on the beach
Twellman Family in 2020

By: Tom Twellman, Jr, President and CEO

Tempus Fugit. It’s latin for “Time Flies.

Or as I like to say, time is a thief.

I am the second oldest of 8 siblings, and the oldest son. Hence the namesake I carry. My dad’s running joke is “They’re all boys except for 5.” I can’t imagine raising 8 kids. I have two and it’s hard to keep up sometimes.

When I was a kid, we celebrated Father’s Day simply. We’d help mom make a big breakfast “for dad” which we’d all selfishly enjoy as well. We’d give dad a homemade card and a small gift. It was never a huge event, but always a day to celebrate our dad, Tom Twellman, Sr.

Something happens to memories as you age. The core remains, but you focus on different things. You start to understand and cherish the small moments and details. I guess I’ve reached that point, because all my childhood memories make me appreciate my dad for who he was and who he continues to be. They inspire me to try to fill his shoes as I work to define my relationship with my two wonderful sons.

This time of year brings memories of father/son golf tournaments. My dad, a good golfer, probably had to balance fun with frustration as 10-year-old me was still learning the ropes of the game. I’m certain it was a great test of his patience, but probably something he looks back on just as fondly as I do today.

Family vacations were always an adventure in the “T-bus”, a large conversion van with an extended roof, an 8” TV in the cubby, and a VCR. 6 of us would lay sardine-style in the back of the van on a 12-hour drive to the beach, arguing over which movie we should watch from the pile of VHS tapes we’d brought along. With 7 other siblings, it was rare to get to watch a movie you actually wanted to see.

Stopping for lunch was its own adventure. We’d pull up to the drive through at Mc Donald’s and watch employees’ jaw drop when dad ordered 22 hamburgers… and that was it. Experts in frugality, my parents would bring a cooler of drinks (which doubled as a seatbelt-less bench seat) and bags of chips so we wouldn’t have to spend extra on sides. My brother often says us kids didn’t know fries existed or cheese could go on a burger until we got to high school. Haha!

Tom Twellman Sr in team photo of the Astros
Tom Sr. was drafted by the Houston Astros organization and played second base.

Sports were also a big part of being my father’s son. He played both soccer and baseball at the collegiate level and was drafted to play both professionally. We’d play catch in the yard, pass the soccer ball back and forth, or even play a quick game. So much of his knowledge was passed on through these activities and I am certain it was integral to the success my siblings and I also had in athletics. He also coached us in little league, always eager to volunteer as a teacher and example of great leadership.

We also spent many early weekend mornings fishing with dad at a neighborhood lake or a golf course we snuck onto before the first tee time. Fishing has two parts- fishing and catching. We excelled at the first part!

Looking back at all my childhood memories, I realize one thing for certain: God made my dad, Tom Sr., for fatherhood. It is his ultimate vocation and one he continues to thrive at in this stage of his life. He’s also perfecting his grandfather skills, as he and my mom are preparing for their 34th grandchild later this summer.

Tom Twellman Jr and Tom Twellman Sr.
Me and my dad in our flagship location of Manchester, MO.

Everyone is biased about their dads, and we should be. Mine’s been happily married for almost 49 years. He’s raised a family of almost 50 that loves him and each other and enjoys spending time together often. He’s a man of conviction, passion, and dedication and loves unconditionally. It’s these same characteristics that he’s woven into the story of Hair Saloon as well.

As he hands me the leadership baton of this great company, I couldn’t be prouder of what he’s built. He’s been a great mentor and example, helping me to understand the discipline it takes to be a leader at work and, more importantly, at home. But Hair Saloon is bigger than him or me, and always will be. We have team members who have been with us all 26 years, sharing in the hard work and vision that’s gotten us to this point. Like a family, it takes more than one person to make a dream come true. Dad laid a strong and valuable foundation for our brand. I look forward to leading it into the next generation.

As we transition leadership, my goal is to continue to deliver on the values of our brand to create exceptional experiences for the men, young men, and families we serve in the communities where we operate. We remain steadfast in helping clients become the best versions of themselves in all aspects of life through the simple but powerful act of a comfortable barbershop experience. In a world looking for quick fixes and shortcuts, we still believe in traditions, standards, and integrity. We recognize the important role men play in society and at home, and we plan to double down on making Hair Saloon a place Where Men Feel Comfortable®.


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