2

Year End Review

As the end of 2014 creeps forward and the glimpse of 2015 is on the horizon, my Facebook news feed is flooded with everyone’s “year review” and my Twitter feed is flooded with everyone’s “New Years Resolutweet” …(my word…I like it.). I have women coming in the shop proclaiming their resolution to be a better friend, to be a better parent, to be a better wife, to make more time for others. I have yet to hear anyone tell me what they are going to do for themselves. Yeah, I said it, for themselves. It may seem like the above resolutions are for ourselves, depending on the intention, most of the time, they are not. Becoming a better friend for your friend’s sake, becoming a better parent like Susie’s mom or becoming a better wife – a wife you think your spouse wants is not making a resolution for yourself.  Ladies and Gents, if you do not make yourself priority #1, no matter what you may resolve to do in 2015 and the years there after, it will never seem like enough, you will always feel like you came up short. For those of you familiar with my Salon Tales, you know I know of what I speak. I was that woman. The woman who put everyone and everything ahead of herself. The woman who made everyone’s problems and woes her own – be it her husband’s issues with his boss to her child’s issues with the mean girls, if a problem arose, yours truly would swoop in, take it on and fix it…and I was empty and exhausted. 

Now, I am not an expert by any means. I am not a prophet nor the guru on the mount. I am  a woman who has struggled with self image and self esteem. I have been a woman who tried to live up to the Norman Rockwell images only to end up feeling like I had more in common with Norman Bates. I have been the woman who truly believed Martha Stewart, that if I had the right flatware that all would be right in the world. I was the woman who bought every exercise VHS tape and DVD proclaiming “I will be one of their success stories!” only to be sitting in front of the TV screen, winded and giving the chipper barbie instructor the finger. A few years ago, after getting the stupid cut out (hysterectomy) and removing my head from my ass, I realized that resolutions are stupid and instead of making a resolution, I would make a change.

Making a change can be scary, down right terrifying actually. I remember one early morning, my hubby and girl were still asleep. I was sipping my morning coffee and thinking of the petty remarks about my weight loss, like “Oh…trying to become a cougar?”, my blog “what a cute hobby for you” and my professional achievements “she’s just the manager” when I came across this quote “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal”. – Paulo Coelho.  I realized that all the changes I had made for myself – be it my weight loss, chasing my dream of blogging and consulting and taking pride in my position at the shop were the right changes to make. I realized that I was receiving more positive feed back and support than negative. I was surrounded by those who wanted to see me thrive and I them. I realized that those who made me feel selfish for making myself a priority were upset because they were no longer my first priority.

A little proof that making yourself a priority is worth it…since making myself a priority I have been featured on http://www.salonmagazine.ca  – my most viewed article to date

http://www.salonmagazine.ca/en/news/1282-3-salon-fails-sales-rep-sees-don-t-tell-you-about.html

and have been fortunate enough to be featured in their magazine

20140430_115847-1   IMG_20140917_112135

I have been featured in Piidea’s September/October buyers guide

 

20140827_143459    20140827_144009

 

I was invited to the Contessa’s once again by the Beauties at Piidea

Contessa 2014 8   Contessa 2014 4

My pictures have been featured on Joico’s Instagram feed

IMG_20140915_105303  20140924_110256-1

 

 

…not to mention some pretty FAB! connections and followers on Twitter – check it out @grlintheredcoat

 

 

Now, before you think that there is no way you can make yourself a priority and be a good mother, wife, friend, employee – take your pick…give your head a shake. It is possible. If you want it all RIGHT NOW! – give your head another shake. It’s going to take some time. The events mentioned above took over 2 years. Be patient. Make a plan and stick to it. Let your loved ones know, keep them in the loop – not doing so is mean and unthoughtful – plain and simple. Think about it – how can they support you if they do not know what they are supporting? Remember that others are trying to make themselves a priority too and, it is not all about you. Just because you didn’t get a text back 2 seconds after you sent it doesn’t mean you are unloved. Having dinner plans cancelled or altered doesn’t mean you are getting the brush off – sometimes life really does get in the way.

Be kind. Be thoughtful. Take a minute for yourself. Make a change.

 

 

0

Glimpse

This year marks my 25th holiday season in the customer service/retail world. Over the past 25 years I have grown a thick skin. Flying flat irons no longer scare me… not an invitation to call my bluff. Snide remarks, insulting my intelligence and telling me “to make myself useful and throw this out” as you pass me the trash from your purse no longer offends me. I no longer take it personally when I hear the sighs and see the pouts when your favorite polish is out of stock.

I may have grown a thick skin, yet one action still cuts me to the quick. The look of awe in my customer’s eye when I take a moment to listen to them, the look of surprise they have when I remember something about them and ask about their lives. The real kicker – when their eyes well up when they say “I can’t believe you remembered. Thank you so much for that.”. The latter happened this morning. An elderly customer of the shop comes in every year at Christmas. She comes  by to purchase gifts for her grand children’s Christmas socks (she refers to their Christmas Stockings as socks, something she called them when she was a girl). When we were walking up to the counter I said “this is a nice addition to your grandson’s Christmas sock.” to which she said “how did you know that?”. I told her I remembered her stories from last year, and it was nice to see her again. She leaned on the counter, her eyes started to glisten a little and she proceeded to tell me that she had lost her husband 2 years ago and was feeling lonesome and forgotten. We ended up chatting for 5 minutes about her hometown growing up and her Christmas memories as a girl. She wished me a Merry Christmas and left smiling and giggling about Christmas.

The moral of today’s tale  – be kind. A little kindness goes a long way. Your kindness may be the only glimpse of hope someone will see today, or this week, hell…this year. Someone may be feeling forgotten and your smile makes them feel whole. Someone may be taking their loved one to the hospital and you holding the door open for them gives them one less thing to have to do that day. Giving your spot  in the grocery line to the woman with the screaming toddler may give her the break she needs that day to get through until bedtime. Offering to help the elderly carry their packages to their car may give them hope that they are worth the bother. One of my favorite carols says it best…

“…and when you walk down the street, say hello to friends you know and everyone you meet.”

2

Tales of Truth – The Christmas Edition – Part 2

So it has been exactly 10 days since my last installment of my Tales of Truth – the Christmas edition. With all the goings on in the shop over the past 10 days, I haven’t decided if  Jolly ‘ol St. Nick has me on the nice list or the naughty list.

 

– We have Christmas displays throughout the shop. Some are mini evergreens, some are boxes wrapped in shiny paper and some are snowmen. A woman came into the shop and exclaimed “I LOVE YOUR SNOWMAN!”. I thanked her for the compliment. “Sell him to me! How much is he? Is he for sale?”. I explained that “he” was part of our Christmas decor and was not for sale. “…but I collect snowmen. I need him!”. Again, I apologized that he was not for sale and asked her what else I could help her with. We found her shampoo and hairspray. As she was leaving, she took one the candies I keep at the front desk for our customers, scowled at me and said “I can’t believe you won’t sell me your snowman!”. …then stood there and pouted, for over 2 minutes….even after I came from behind the counter to help another customer.

– We sell the Wet Brush at our shop. It is an awesome brush for anyone dealing with tangles, no ripping at the hair, no more dialing 911 with one hand as your other hand is stuck in your hair along with your brush, no more children running away from you screaming as they see you coming at them, brush in hand. I had a woman ask me why it was called the Wet Brush. I explained to her that is meant to be used in wet hair to help get through tough tangles. She asked if it can be used on dry hair, and I told her yes – it gets out tangles on dry hair too. “So why is it called the WET Brush? Not the WET/DRY brush?”. …I told her the company’s website was on the packaging if she wanted to ask them.

– On more than one occasion I have been asked the following questions;

“What’s the difference between a 1″ curling iron and a 1 1/4″ curling iron?”

“Can I use nail polish on my toe nails?”

“What’s the difference between medium hold hairspray and firm hold hairspray?”

“Can my husband use my gel even if it isn’t from a men’s line?”

“Can anyone use the hand lotion tester?”

– a woman came in the shop looking for wax for hair removal. I led her over to our selection and asked if she used hard wax (no strips) or cream wax (strips). She told me she used the strips, so I showed her our selection of cream waxes. As I was explaining the differences between each one, she asked me which ones won’t burn her skin. I told her none of them should burn her skin. If her skin is being burned, she has her wax pot temperature too high. “I was wondering why it was burning my lips” she said. I let her know that when she waxes her upper lip she should keep the wax away from her lips, to which she told me “those aren’t the lips I am talking about.”, just as her husband approached us. Seems she has taught her husband to wax her unmentionables and tends to burn her “down there”. ….I need a raise.

 

 

 

0

Fine and FAB! finds – That Girl in the Red Coat approved

As you know, yours truly has fine hair, lots of it, but fine none the less. For many years I thought I had thick hair, so I was buying products formulated for thick hair. No wonder my hair wouldn’t hold a style or why my curls were fabulous in the bathroom but the minute I stepped outside my curls would disappear, and the only volume I could achieve was via my Walkman. (children of the 80’s, you know what I am talking about – born after 1990 – Google it). Today’s tale is for my fine haired Beauties. I have found some FAB! products for fine hair, tested on yours truly and my daughter, who has her Mother’s tresses, by yours truly.

RUSK Anti Frizz Spray

20141202_085419  The newest addition to the RUSK family, the Styling Collection, features this lovely hairspray. It offers all day humidity resistance, a strong hold that is workable and weightless and offers color protection with a light, fresh scent. Check out their other FAB! products at http://www.rusk1.com

20141206_150731 Sexy hair. Not familiar with this line? Well, let me introduce you. My new favorite is from their style sexy hair line. Meet 450 Headset. A thermal setting spray that locks in curls all day or keeps your flat ironed strands sleek all day. Adds shine and thermal protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a waterless formula that offers all day humidity resistance. *it kept my girl’s curls in for 2 days. sexy hair offers products for all hair types, from straight and sleek to curly. If you are looking for volume – sexy hair may be your new best friend. Check ’em out at http://www.sexyhair.com

IMG_20140915_105303 One of the newest members of the Joico family – HEATSET. This truly is a blowout perfecting creme. It is formulated for all hair types, yet light enough for the finest of strands. Using HEATSET while using your blow dryer can reduce breakage up to 25%. It reduces drying time, detangles, defrizzes and offers heat protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. *it layers well with other products, such as mousses and root boosts. It won’t get too sticky or weigh down your hair or your style.

IMG_20140910_161242 Another new addition to the Joico family – IRONCLAD. A thermal protection spray. Use IRONCLAD *on dry hair, with your flat iron or curling iron to protect your hair from the heat of the appliance. IRONCLAD helps reduce frizz and static for up to 72 hours, adds shine and has a soft, weightless hold.

IMG_20141008_205924 I have to admit, this gem is my new best friend. The latest addition to the Joico hairspray family. FLIPTURN offers a very strong hold factor that is still workable – you can brush through it and keep your desired style or begin again. It is a volumizing hairspray that adds shine and volume for up to 72 hours as well as thermal protection. A cool feature of this hairspray is it can be sprayed upside down, side ways or right side up without clogging the nozzle = any style can be achieved. * It smells heavenly! For more information about these FAB! Joico finds, check out http://www.joico.com

 

IMG_20140925_104646 Okay…this gem doesn’t add any hold or volume, but it is sparkly, and there is always room for a little sparkle. Joico’s GOLDDUST, a glitter/shine spray.  A perfect end to a perfect style. Heading out to a holiday party or just want to jazz up your grocery store attire – use Joico’s GOLDDUST and turn some heads.

 

 

 

0

Tales of Truth – the Christmas edition

Gather ’round Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time for the annual Christmas edition of That girl in the red coat’s Tales of Truth. It is only the 2nd day of December and some strange happenings have been going on. I know there is such a thing as Christmas spirit…I do believe that it has more to do with too much consumption of Christmas spirit.   …wait for it….there you go.

– The phone rings. I answer with my standard greeting only to hear “Yeah, Hi. Do you have my favorite Shampoo in stock?”. I ask “Which Shampoo are you looking for?”. “Oh, come on! You know which one! I am in there all the time. You know me and I know you remember. Just put one aside and I will see you later.” then she hung up. …I am still wondering if she came in….

– This year, many of the Christmas packs come with  a free hairspray or styling product. I had a very irate woman demand why the Christmas pack she wanted didn’t come with the hairspray she prefers. When I explained I didn’t know why the company chose that specific hairspray, she told me that if I was a better manager, I would find out. …I can honestly say, I just stared at her for a minute.

– We have a return policy at Christmas that as long as the package is not opened, the product may be returned/exchanged for another product after Christmas. I spent 15 minutes explaining why I cannot take back a hairbrush after it has been used, to which my customer answered “How am I to know if it’s no good if I can’t try it?”. So, again,  I explained about health codes, etc. and asked her if she would want to buy a used brush to which she said “No, I wouldn’t, but maybe someone else would.”. ….sigh

– During the Christmas season (and all year through), when a customer or client spends more than $75.00 we offer a free product with their purchase. I do not advertise I do this. I think it’s a nice surprise for them. I had a woman refuse her free retail size bottle of styling product because it wasn’t advertised and she didn’t want anyone thinking she stole it.

– I have had to remove the complimentary product from a Christmas pack because a woman thought her friend didn’t deserve a free hairspray since getting a shampoo and conditioner is enough. …the only thought that went through my head… “paging Dr. Seuss”

– At our shop, every month we have a monthly draw. Anyone can enter, no purchase necessary. During the month of December, we have weekly draws. As I was ringing through a customer’s purchase, one of my regular customers came in to fill out a ballot – she was in the neighborhood and knew our weekly draws had begun. After she left, as I handed my customer her purchase and her receipt, she told me that she should be allowed to fill out two ballots since she bought something. She didn’t think it was fair “that other lady” got to fill out a ballot and didn’t buy a damn thing. …I found myself wondering if she was related to the lady mentioned above.

 

Well my Beauties, it is the 2nd. of December and a full moon is on it’s way, so I am pretty sure I can promise some more Tales of Truth are on their way.