Shaun & Jason Olsen on Moving From the Brink of Bankruptcy to High-Powered Franchisors

Free Agent Podcast

Franchises are extremely powerful financial engines. When built properly, franchised salon systems are a potent business model leveraging community, industry training and support.

Becoming part of a franchise is a path many investors choose for diversification, to enhance financial freedom. But for some entrepreneurs, becoming The Franchisor is an opportunity to leverage past business success to create something that aligns with a future vision: systematic financial reward for all, in any economic or pandemic climate.

Here we learn how to build an invincible system for stylists to invest in themselves, to grow a stable income, get advanced training, all with proven leadership, and to support qualified free agents to thrive and grow beyond their wildest expectations. Listen in!

My guests today are brothers who took a hard look at their struggling car dealerships to then pivot and build a franchise system of salon suites. They jumped into this business at the height of the recession and now they have built a thriving empire.

What is the story of Image Studios, and what makes this franchise such a great model? How do they build value in their franchise, deliver exceptional initial and ongoing support, and help their franchisees build stable businesses?

In this episode, Shaun and Jason Olsen share their free agency journey and what they have learned about building super successful franchise business owners.

Watch the Full Episode:

There’s 2 kinds of fear, the fear of doing something and the fear of never doing anything. I didn’t want to live with the fear of never doing anything.

Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode

  • The power of the franchisor path
    Becoming a franchisor is one of the best ways to grow our vision and also bring people along on the journey. We can create a community of people moving in the same direction as us, and we can help them get to the next level and provide them with not just business support, but emotional support too.


  • How to provide value in a beauty suite franchise system
    In the beauty industry, people don’t just need technical skills training, they also need ongoing training on new techniques and skills to help them build and grow a business. The problem in the beauty industry is that most education is skills based. As a franchisor in the industry, we need to provide business and technical training to help solve our clients changing expectations.


  • Why we need to lean into fear
    It’s natural to feel fearful about starting a business and going out on our own. Instead of
    letting it stop us, we can use fear as leverage to guide us. There are two kinds of fear – the fear of taking a leap into free agency and the fear of staying in the same place and not achieving anything. If we lean into the fear that comes with going after what we want, we won’t live with regret.

Guest Bio

Shaun is the Vice President/Co-Founder of Image Studios. In 2004, Shaun joined Corey and Jason Olsen, as co-owner and Purchasing Director for Prestman Auto, and now serves as company president. Through their success at Prestman Auto, and their mutual desire to create and innovate, Jason and Shaun developed their salon suite concept, Image Studios 360. Image Studios 360 has grown from five corporate locations to 50+ franchised units nationwide. 

As Vice President, Shaun drives company image and culture as he partners with the leadership team on onboarding support and resources for franchisees. Shaun Olsen is a member of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and has been recognized for his work with Prestman by the INC 5000 “Fastest Growing Companies in America” two years running, as well as the top 100 growing companies in Utah by the Mountain West Capital Network.

Jason is the President and Co-Founder of Image Studios. He started his first business at the age of 16, launching a specialty automotive parts and accessories website under the name As the company grew he began selling products all over the world, eventually importing and private labeling his own line of automotive lighting under the name “VisualFX”. He sold the company seven years later in 2004 and made the move from his hometown in Atlanta, GA to Salt Lake City, Utah. 

In 2009, he and his brother Shaun put their heads together to create an upscale salon suite business model, and in June 2010 IMAGE Studios® was born. Today they oversee the growth and expansion of the brand across the country with plans to open 300 locations nationwide by 2023 – eventually, they’ll take the company into international markets that are ready for the IMAGE business model. 

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