4

Arrival

“…and if I had to give you more, It’s only been a year, Now I got my foot through the door, And I ain’t goin nowhere, It took a while to get me here, And I’m gonna take my time, Don’t fight that bullshit in your ear, Now let me blow your mind.” – Let me blow ya mind – Eve featuring Gwen Stefani

Today’s tale is a personal one Beauties…more product reviews and tales of full moon adventures are on their way. Today, I feel this tale must be shared.

On November 10th, 2013, I attended the Contessa’s, the Academy Awards of hair if you will. As I described in my tale The Contessa and the castle,

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/11/13/the-contessa-and-the-castle/

it was a night I will always remember, from the gorgeous hair creations and all the beautiful creativity that surrounded me to feeling like I belonged, that people “got me” and appreciated what I had to offer. It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized something else that magical evening had bestowed on yours truly. It was the first time that I can remember I wasn’t worried about what I looked like or how much I weighed. I was truly present in every experience, in every conversation, in every moment.  When I came to this realization, my eyes welled up a bit….thank goodness no one was in the shop. When I got home that night, I went through my photos of that night and I liked every picture of myself. I actually drove down to my parents house and when I was telling them about that evening, my mother told me that I looked like I did when I was a little girl, smiling, eyes shining and having fun without a care in the world. I can hear some of you now “Why is she going on about this?”. Good question. Here’s the answer/reason for the glimpse. There was a time when yours truly wouldn’t go out with her friends because I thought I was too fat. There were party’s I didn’t attend because I didn’t think I was pretty enough to attend. There was a time I thought I was too ugly to go see Phantom of the Opera. My hubby (then my boyfriend…proof it is love) had to drive me to my parents house to calm me down. I got in the car and full on freak out began – my hair was wrong, my dress was wrong, my face was wrong. (yeah, yeah, I know…the phantom was burned and covered with a mask and I thought my face was wrong.). So, not giving my looks and weight a second thought and liking my picture…it’s kind of a big deal.

At first I thought this new found self love was because I am now in my forties. Then I thought it was because I have had a hysterectomy – having the stupid cut out as the women in my clan like to call it. It was driving home from the grocery store, rockin’ along to the song mentioned above that I got it. My new found self love is because I am following my passion. I am being true to myself and in turn, true to everything I do and everyone I love. In less than 2 years, that girl that thought she was too fat and too ugly has a beauty blog following, has been and is being  featured on http://www.salonmagazine.com and is a contributing author to http://www.hairstyle-blog.com., so yeah “I got my foot through the door and I ain’t goin’ nowhere”. Yeah, it took me a while…about 30 years…but I got here. You can get here too.

As women , for some insane reason, we think we can’t be self fulfilled and be a good wife, mother or friend – take your pick. I am here to tell you that you can. Actually, not being fulfilled, not following your passion or your drive is exactly what will have a negative impact on your marriage, your family and your relationships. Now, before you go and pack your bags and tell your family “See ya! the towels are in the dryer!”, calm down. Treat others how you want to be treated – their time is just as important as yours, their dreams and hopes are  just as important as your own.

Find what make you happy. YOU happy – not your mother, your spouse, your partner, your nosey neighbor, YOU. From getting that pixie cut you have always wanted to buying  that flat iron so you can finally have calm to your curls. Becoming the blonde you always felt you were to tinting your eyebrows. Becoming the owner of a shop you have always envisioned in your head and have the sketches of the floor plans tucked away in a box in the attic to becoming more present in your life, in the conversations with your loved ones, in the moments of your day. When you are living the life you are meant to live, slowly but surely, things will fall into place, and it’s gonna blow ya mind.

0

It’s time to be a little more social

Everywhere you look, you see someone with a cellphone. The majority of us, after our morning greeting and good morning smooch to our loved ones (…and I hope your loved ones come first), grab our coffee and our cell phone, find a comfy spot and sit down to see what’s going on in the world. Facebook – check. Twitter – check. Instagram – check. Pinterest – check….you get the idea. Social media is our morning paper and our evening news. It is. It is also a key ingredient to any successful Salon. It is. Today’s tale is for my beloved Salon owners and Stylists. It’s time to become a little more social.

I know of what I speak. I see the results of using social media everyday. It works, plain and simple. Everyday I see the results of making sure our shop’s Facebook page is updated. (Twitter is an awesome tool as well, but more people tend to use Facebook, in my experience). I hear you now “what results could she possibly see?”. Well, how about an increase in our retail sales and revenue, and more client retention because of the tips about products shared on our Facebook page. Every day, at least 100 people see our posts. Some days my posts on the shop’s Facebook page have reached over 500 people. Yep…500 potential customers and clients. On any given day, I will receive a message from a customer or client about a product I have posted to our Facebook page. Many times the message ends with “hold one for me – I will be there after work!”. I have sold many products from hairspray to flat irons to holiday packs this way. Using social media has helped me acquire new customers and in turn new “likes” to our Facebook page. (psssst…more likes = more views and shares of your page and your posts = more clients and customers).

*It’s a great tool to introduce a new stylist to your customers and clients. Also, to alert your clients when a stylist has returned from a maternity leave.

*Changing your hours to Holiday Hours? Post ’em on your page

*Having a monthly draw? Post the picture on your page

*Follow the pages of the products you sell & share their tips and tricks – a HUGE retail aid!

*Bringing in a new line? Post it on your page

Something I hear far too often from Salon owners, Managers and Stylists is “I don’t have the time to do that.”. Okay, if you don’t have time to do it, get someone in your Salon to do it for you. I’m sure you have someone in your Salon that has their cell phone in arms reach. The owner at our shop is also our head stylist, and is booked 2 months ahead, all the time. She really doesn’t have the time, so that is why I was given administration rights to our Facebook page and I take care of the Facebook page, because I do have the time. Honestly, it takes 10 – 30 minutes of your day. I add it into my daily duties, so it isn’t missed. Orders made – check. Inventory counted – check. Schedule done – check. Facebook page updated – check. It really is that easy.

Social media can be a great marketing tool for your Salon, if used properly. I stress the word properly. We have all seen the sassy limericks – save those for your personal pages, this is a business and needs to be seen as such. Watch the language and the content. Put it this way – if you wouldn’t want your clients and customers hearing those words coming out of your mouth…then don’t put it on your Facebook page.

Social media works and can be a huge addition to your Salon’s client retention and retail revenue. It’s time to make it work for you.

1

The Contessa and the Castle

Today’s tale is one of a personal nature. Today’s tale is for all the Beauties who are chasing their dreams and feeling like they are on a treadmill. Today’s tale is to reassure you all that when you follow your passion and listen to your own voice, the path towards your dreams will reveal itself  to you. On November 10th. 2013, yours truly had a moment. Actually, more like 100 moments. The powers that be and my lovely rep. Melodie from Piidea Direct shone a light my way and invited me to attend the Contessa’s. – for those of you not blessed to be in the Beauty Biz – being invited to the Contessa’s, in my eyes, is like being invited to the Academy Awards.

gala-contessa

First of all…HELLO! I was invited to the Contessa’s! Second…I was to stay at the Westin Harbour Castle….Hair, Beauty, Contessa’s and a castle…oh my! It was also my chance to meet the online editor of  www.salonmagazine.com –  Jillian Wood – a woman for whom I will be forever grateful, for she noticed my blog and in turn asked if I would share my Salon tales on their website – a day I will always remember and cherish. (little did she know that I every time I read Salon magazine I would say to whomever would listen “one day maybe my blog will be a part of this magazine”.). Jillian – Thank you.

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We arrived mid afternoon to a warm welcome from our valet. (I highly recommend valet service – for $10.00 more your vehicle is taken care of and you don’t have to walk a Toronto city block in stilletto’s.). Check in was a breeze and all the hotel staff were very professional and helpful. Warm welcomes and smiling faces at every turn. Fast forward to 5:30 p.m.. As I rode the elevator down to the lobby I couldn’t help myself and contain my giggles. As the elevator doors opened, the smell of cologne, perfume and hairspray filled the air…I was in heaven. At every turn I could see great shoes, beautiful dresses and ensembles and the most awesome hair styles. It was living and moving art in motion. I had arrived. I was surrounded by men and women who got me, who loved hair, who got giddy over a new curl or styling technique. I was surrounded by men and women who saw the beauty in the abilities of their fellow stylists, managers and educator’s, and celebrated it. I was honored to be seated at the ISO table, right up front with a perfect view of the main stage. (moment number 55…but who’s counting).

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The award ceremony was filled with cheers, music and great stage shows, my words cannot do it justice. Check out http://www.salonmagazine.com to see the webcast brought to us by CND Vinylux. After the celebrations ended at “The Castle” as I like to call it, a new celebration began at Brassaii night club for the after party. As for the after party…well…what happens at the after party stays at the after party.

5

Be the star you wish upon

Over the past weeks I have met many women who have all said the same thing “Oh, I could never do that!” – from leaving their resented career to follow their dream to coloring their hair red, like they always dreamed. One woman stands out the most. She came in the shop looking at the demo display of flat irons. I went over to her and asked if she wanted to try one, to which she answered “Oh no! I am just looking. I am too stupid to work one of these things. I am looking for my daughter. I’m too old to care about such things.”. I just stood there for a moment, feeling so sad for her. I think I actually frowned. Being me, I had to say something. So I took a breath (said a silent prayer to the powers that be the flat iron would stay on the table) and asked her why she thought she was too old to care about her hair. I told her I thought she had lovely hair and if she straightened it, it would look even better. She just stared at me. I asked her if she ironed shirts at home. She did. So I told her “Honey, if you can iron a shirt, you can flat iron your hair”, to which she laughed. I asked her if I could show her how, she nodded and smiled. After I finished one side of her head, I gave her the iron to do the other side. When she was done, she stared at her reflection and said “I haven’t looked like this in a long time.”. We got to chatting and I came to find out she left University to get married and have a family. She had always wanted to have a shop of her own, but thought she had missed her time, that all she knew was how to be a mom, that it was too late.

As women, we’ve all been there. So have the Gents. We have all had the moment when we realize that 15 years have passed and not much has changed and for some reason, at that exact same moment, we think that  it is too late to do what we always wanted to do. We have been going through the motions, changing diapers, balancing cheque books, cleaning the gutters, keeping our son’s out of jail and our daughter’s off the pole (yeah, I said it) and forgotten about ourselves, from our dreams to our roots. – back to the tale at hand. I smiled at my customer and told her it was never too late to which she responded “easy for you to say, you are young”. I told her I was 41 to which she responded “So am I.”. I smiled again and handed her my card. (it’s a lovely card…my That girl in the Red Coat card. Check out my Facebook page to see it). I let her know That girl in the red coat is my blog. I let her know that I had wanted to write a blog for years but was too afraid of what people would think, too afraid it was too late. I let her know that once I let go of the fear and allowed myself to focus on myself that a whole new world opened up to me. (….now you have the  Aladdin theme in your head…sorry).  I let her know that all those slogans plastered all over Facebook and Pinterest are true – follow your passion, thoughts become things, that good things happen when you work your ass off and never give up. I let her know that I may be a girl standing in a shop, but I am also a woman who has been published on http://www.salonmagazine.com (A HUGE deal for yours truly), that I am a woman who is a contributing author to http://www.hairstyle-blog.com and http://www.visual-makeover.com and that it all happened within 18 months of deciding I was worth the risk.  I told her that she was worth the risk too.

Here’s the deal. Life is short. It is never too late. Those who say it is…well it is too late, for them. Do what you want. If you want to be a blonde, go for it! (SOMA Blonde/Silver Shampoo…’nuf said).  Always wanted that cute pixie cut? Go for it! (…KMS Molding Paste will be your new best friend). Always loved hair and wanted to be a stylist? Go back to school – there are awesome programs that accommodate all schedules and lifestyles. Wishes do come true…with hard work, they do come true. When you are wishing upon a star, make sure that star is you.