Beauty, communication, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

…out of Clay

Today’s tale offers yet another glimpse behind the curtain of That Girl in the Red Coat. Those familiar with me and my Salon Tales are well aware of my sass and my firm believe that a little pixie dust goes a long way. That with hard work, kindness and belief in yourself, sooner or later, what you need or desire will most certainly come to pass. Over the past few days, I, as well as many others around the globe, found themselves saying good bye. The world lost a great athlete, humanitarian and human being. I can still remembering asking my father “who’s that?” when I saw Muhammad Ali being sassy with Howard Cosell during an interview on ABC sports. I remember wondering how he could get away with it…and wondering if I could too. Safe to say, Mr. Ali had a fan in me from the start. I loved his sassy quips like “If you even dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize!”, “I’m so mean I make medicine sick” and of course when he went on about how pretty he was. He was pretty.

It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned about all Mr. Ali had won, then lost only to rise once again to the top. How he stayed true to himself and his beliefs, no matter what the cost. He spoke with an educated elegance that resonated in me, and continues to do so. He never gave up. Any time life knocked him down, he got back up. Something I try to do everyday.

Since I was about 12, I have been a collector of quotes. Some funny, some rude, some inspirational. Many of my favorite quotes have been Muhammad Ali’s. I remember when I was pondering starting my blog and later when I was pondering the idea of becoming an Independent Retail Consultant and my fears and doubts crept up… “what if no one reads it?”. “What if no one thinks I am qualified?”. “What if I fall flat on my face?”. Then Mr. Ali’s words popped into my head “It ain’t braggin’ if you can back it up!”. …and he was right. Slowly but surely my fears and doubts faded away because I could back it up. I had the knowledge, the experience and the know how. I also knew when to ask questions, to admit when I did not know something and then learn about it with  a vengeance.

In the infamous words of Mr. Ali himself “I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion”. So here’s the deal Beauties. If you want something, go for it. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Refuse to hear “you can’t do it” and listen for the whispers of “you can do it”. Be patient with yourself. Keep trying. Keep getting up. Always remember, Impossible is nothing.

 

Ali

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Painting a masterpiece

I have to do something I do not like to do. I have to sound like a mother. Yes, I know I am a mother, that doesn’t mean I like to sound like one. Today’s tale is more of a lesson, maybe a lesson you learned but have forgotten…I can only hope. Today’s lesson is this…when someone is speaking to you, listen to them. Shut your mouth and open your ears. You will get your turn to talk and believe it or not, what the other person is saying is just as important as all the little words aching to escape from your mouth.

Every day, and yes, I mean EVERYDAY, someone asks me a question about hair products and before I can finish a response, I am spoken over or get the all time no eye contact crossed arm toe tappin’ favorite “mm hmm” or “uh huh”. First of all, don’t do that, you look like an ass – may I remind you – you asked me a question. If you didn’t want me to speak to you maybe you shouldn’t have asked me a question. Second, just because some chick on YouTube said it was the “best product EVER!” doesn’t mean it is the best product EVER! for your hair. Third, do not select the words you like best that I have said and make up a whole new sentence – the telephone game has had it’s day and that day was in the third grade…last week if you are one of the ponytail yoga pant wearing women who’s turf is the school parking lot/drop off zone.

I understand that there is a lack of customer service out there and that we have all been led down the garden path a time or two, myself included…making your own candy molds kit – enough said. You need to remember something. There are those of us in the beauty biz that are professionals, that educate themselves on a daily basis, that have a passion for what we do, that will tell you the truth about products – not our truth – the truth – the facts that we have learned from our product knowledge classes and the answers we have been given. I can only speak for myself – by the end of every product knowledge class I have attended, the educator is exhausted by my questions. I ask what I know my customers/clients will want to know. If I am asking you to spend $15.00 on hairspray, I know that I better damn well know why. Trust me, I am far from perfect and make mistakes all the time. I also own up to my mistakes, say “I don’t know” when I don’t know and then find out as soon as I can. So, me being me, here is a little list for you. It can be used at your next Salon visit, dentist visit, even with your next coffee date with your bff.

– If you don’t want someone to speak to you, it is a good idea not to strike up a conversation. This tends to make the other person think you want to have a conversation.

– After you have asked someone a question, let them finish their answer – until their mouth stops moving yours should not.

– A conversation is not a game of beat the clock. If you can get your next question out before the other person has finished their answer, there isn’t a prize waiting for you behind door #1.

– If you don’t understand what the other person is talking about, tell them, nicely. “I’m sorry, I don’t follow what you are saying” is always better than “what the hell are you talking about asshole”.

– If you don’t know the answer, say you don’t know. Never pretend you know something you don’t. You will be found out and any respect you may have had will disappear.

– Listen. I don’t mean acknowledge that the other person is speaking. I mean listen to them. Don’t just nod your head silently repeating to yourself the next sentence you are going to say. Hey – you want attention. So do they.

– When someone tells you an answer other than the one you have, don’t assume they are lying. Maybe they have the proper facts and you do not – remember – just because someone is a Doctor doesn’t mean they graduated top of the class.

– As Muhammad Ali said “If you can back it up it ain’t braggin'”. If you can’t back it up – stop braggin’ and check your facts.

So there you have it. Listen. Pay attention. Be patient. Do not assume you know best and everyone else doesn’t know what they are talking about. It is best not to paint everyone with the same brush, if you aren’t careful, you will become a part of your own masterpiece.

 

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

No, I don’t want to tend the rabbits

Ahhh, that all too familiar chirp of the door chime of my shop. A woman comes in and I ask her if I can give her a hand finding what she needs. She tells me “I am looking for a good conditioning treatment.”. So, I show her the Joico Kpak Revitaluxe. I admit that it is one of my favorites and tell her that everyone that has tried a sample has come back to buy it and I offer her a free sample. After explaining how it restores the porosity of the hair, she asks me “So, are you a stylist?”. “No, I am the manager and I have…” this is when I am spoken over with the all too familiar “Hmmppt…well if you are not a stylist, how can you know anything?” What I want to say is “well…hooked on phonics done worked for me and I done taught meself to read!”. Alas, that doesn’t happen. What happens is I smile, take a breath and explain that I have been in the beauty biz for over 10 years and in customer service for over 20 years. I explain that I have been to every product knowledge class and that I run the store, so I make sure I know everything about what I sell. She still looks at me like I am Forrest Gump or seems to wait for me to start talking about “tending the rabbits”.

Yes, it’s true. I am not a stylist. I am not an aesthetician. I am not a university graduate. What I am is intelligent, articulate, kind and one hell of a sales person and manager. Yeah, I said it. Muhammad Ali said it best “It ain’t braggin’ if you can back it up”, and I can back it up. Don’t get me wrong. I am  a firm believer of furthering one’s education. Some times life gets in the way and some of us aren’t able to go to college or university. That doesn’t mean that we are any less intelligent or capable as our post secondary peers. That being said, I also believe in educating yourself, about yourself. Finding out who you are and what you like, not what everyone expects you to be or what you “should” be and what you are supposed to like.

People tend to judge quickly. Yes, I am a girl standing in a shop, that does not mean I have always been a girl standing in a shop. Also, I have chosen to be where I am today. Yes, its true. Believe it or not…some of us actually enjoy what we do for  a living. Shocking, I know. I have had many experiences, corporately trained and such…a tale for another time.

You cannot teach passion, you either have it or you don’t. If you have passion for what you do as I do, you will become an expert because you will soak up all the knowledge and facts you can like a sponge. You will be excited and in turn make others excited. I have yet to hear of a course anywhere that can teach that.

I may not be a hair stylist,  but I can still teach you a thing or two.