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A little retail therapy

When you hear the phrase “retail therapy” the most common picture that comes to mind is a woman or a group of women strolling down the street with many a bag in hand from their favorite shops and boutiques…or Wilma and Betty shouting “Charge it” as they run into the mall. Yes, retail therapy can brighten the darkest of days for us. It can also brighten the darkest of days in the Salon as well. Understanding the importance and the impact of retail sales in the Salon can seem overwhelming for many stylists, Salon Managers and Salon Owners…until now.

 

I have written many Salon Tales covering retail. Today, I am sharing some links for you to make it that much easier to see just how simple adding retail to your Salon’s revenue can be.

salon_mag_logo   A few articles by yours truly featured on http://www.salonmagazine.ca ;

http://salonmagazine.ca/en/news/1146-why-fear-holds-back-the-best-stylists.html

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

http://salonmagazine.ca/en/business-retailing/2122-salon-holiday-retailing-tips.html

 

Piidea Buyers Guide ….and my most popular blog on retail to date, featured in the Piidea Buyer’s Guide;

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2014/05/20/if-you-are-a-stylist-you-are-a-sales-person/

Retailing product in your Salon is a win/win. Your clients will be able to protect their investment in themselves, will be able to achieve their new style in between Salon visits, your client retention and your Salon revenue will increase. Plain and Simple.

 

 

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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

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

 

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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

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…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.

 

 

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Hiding out

We’ve all been that person. You know the one. The one who has the answer in Math class but won’t raise their hand in the off chance the answer is incorrect. The one who knows what needs to be said but is afraid of the possible judgement that may follow. The one who knows they could rock a pixie cut but are worried their husband will find them unattractive. The one who knows who they are but stays tucked in the closet because that is where they are safe from judgement. The one who has a dream but cannot begin to chase it in fear of ridicule. The one who knows where their passion lies yet will not pursue it because the financial risk is too great. The one who has one too many at the party to fit in. The one who at one time knew she was pretty but listened to the wrong people and began to believe in them instead of herself. The one who was hiding out.

In a few days, I will be 42 and as you know, 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything (Douglas Adams – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)…I am quite excited! Those familiar with my Salon Tales, it is no secret that yours truly has had issues with self esteem and my reflection. In the past, if you were lucky enough to have me stand still for a picture, I never wanted to look at it. I was also the woman who blamed everything but herself for her weight gain…yes, my daughter was 10 and I still said I was trying to lose my “baby weight” and yes, I was the woman who couldn’t workout because I didn’t own the “right” cross trainers. I was also the woman who kept her hair short for over 12 years because everyone told me how good it looked on me and it “slimmed down my face”. Fast forward to present day. Thanks to getting the stupid cut out (hysterectomy), learning to embrace patience – that was a toughie, entering my forties, my hubby’s health issues that made me take a hard look at my diet and how I was feeding my family and, quite honestly, removing my head from my ass and finally allowing myself to be the person I always knew I was. Everything began to fall into place, from my career to my family to my weight and self image issues. Don’t get me wrong, there has been many a tear shed out of fear and frustration. There have been bumps in the road and hurdles to leap over…they just aren’t as ominous.

Proof that patience, believing in yourself, believing that you are worth it, speaking your truth and healthy eating and exercise pays off – posting some pictures because I gotta practice what I preach.

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With my birthday approaching I wanted to bestow a gift unto you. The gift of permission to be whatever and whomever you want to be. Permission to get your hair colored & styled how you want it styled. To be the person you always knew you were but were too afraid to be. Over the past 4 years I have learned that when you dare to dream and follow that dream, when you allow yourself to follow your passion and are willing to work your ass off, life begins to get pretty good. Another lesson I had to learn, it is not all about you – another toughie for yours truly. Everyone is on their own journey and they have their own road map to follow. Their paths may not be the same as yours. Maybe your paths will cross, maybe they won’t. Their journey is just as important as yours and their hopes and fears should not be belittled. I know I put my foot in it a few times and have since apologized. Last but never least, you must be kind, not only to others, but to yourself.

Be kind. Be patient. Love yourself and know your worth. Love others and show them their worth. …it’s time to stop hiding out.

 

*UPDATE! Proof that when you are true to yourself, it keeps on getting better and better. Yours Truly at the Contessa’s November 2014, courtesy of the Beauties at Piidea & Joico. Dress courtesy of Netty Vintage.

Contessa 2014 8

 

 

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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.

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Mission accomplished

Last night I had the privilege to attend a seminar. Yes, you read that right, I said privilege. I know, most people see seminars as a chore. With over 20 years in the customer service/sales game I know why most see seminars as a chore – some times you have to play a game, some times you have to role play scenario’s (that are never true to life), and most disappointing of all is when the speaker literally repeats the newest sales book word for word and tries to pass the words off as his own.(Plagiarism anyone?). From lingerie to automobiles, I have heard and seen it all. Literally. (Trust me, selling lingerie isn’t as elegant as it seems – I still can’t look at a garter belt without shuddering. As for being a woman in car sales…that is another tale for another time).

Back to the tale at hand. Last night I was invited to attend a business seminar by one of my reps, Melodie from Piidea. The speaker was eloquent, funny, informative and real. He was honest, to the point, put things in perspective, raised up his audience. His words were his own and when they weren’t, he quoted whose words they were. The gentleman I am speaking of is Kevin Agar.

What made last night’s seminar stand out above others I have attended in the past was this – it wasn’t just about making the sale or keeping the client. It was about living up to your potential, being accountable for your actions with your staff and your customers and yourself. One of the greatest aspects was that the tips he gave worked for our industry, business tips that aren’t the least bit awkward and are easy to implement. Most of all, it was about building a relationship with your clientele/customers – something I strive to do everyday. At our shop, I want everyone who crosses our threshold to feel beautiful, informed and educated. From looking around the room last night, if Mr. Agar’s mission was to do the same – mission accomplished.