0

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.

 

 

3

…time flies when you are having fun

Today, March 8th 2016 is International Women’s Day. Today also marks my 4th year as That Girl in the Red Coat…coincidence? I think not. Today has become a significant day for my history books, for today, yours truly registered her business. Yep! It’s official. That Girl in the Red Coat, Retail Consultant is now a registered business.

 – a peek at my Business License…that’s all you get to see Beauties – privacy and all.

 

This morning around 6 a.m. as I was sipping my coffee while my loved ones were snuggled under their covers, I found myself smiling. Looking back at myself 4 years ago to where and who I am today made me smile. When I began my blogging journey I had no idea what would come of it. I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that it was something I had to do and that somehow, someway, something would come of it. …and did it ever. Over the past 4 years I have been published on http://www.salonmagazine.ca . I have been approached and wrote for http://www.hairstyle-blog.com and http://www.visualmakeover.com .  I was a featured blogger for http://www.justpencilmein.ca . My Salon Tales have been shared by Hollywood stars. My blog has been read in over 150 countries. Many of the products I have written about, the companies now follow me and share my Salon Tales. I have been invited to share a table with the beauties from Piidea Direct at many award shows and events. I have been asked to participate in a focus group closed to stylists and last but never least, I am officially a Retail Consultant.

12795559_1330081430350621_6914671737394889572_n Mirror Awards 2016 with my Joico/Piidea Beauties

My first official evening with That Girl in the Red Coat.

After I came home from my consultations, my hubby told me he was proud of me and that I had done this all on my own. At first I thought he meant that I found the locations without a nav. system (…blonde moment). The next day I realized he meant that I had started my blog four years ago and blogged, tweeted, Instagrammed, facebooked (may not be words but I think they fit) my ass off, and things started to happen. If I sound like I am tooting my own horn, I kind of am. All those familiar with me know that I don’t have a problem with that. Those familiar with me also know that I haven’t always been this comfortable with myself, my looks or my accomplishments. …and that is the purpose for today’s tale.

For anyone feeling overwhelmed with their life and their choices, for anyone who doesn’t like their reflection, for anyone who hates their hair, I am here to tell you, once you decide to live your life your way, good things start to happen. To be clear – living your life your way does not mean that you become a narcissist and believe the world owes you everything ‘cuz honey – the world doesn’t owe you one thing.  You gotta be kind and conscience of others. You gotta. What I mean by living the life you want is this – you know that little voice that tells you “go try that”, or that feeling of fluttering you get in your gut when you think of that certain something? It’s time to give it a try, and remember to be patient. Trust me, I know how difficult patience can be. I came across a great quote a few years ago that fit my perspective on patience “Why is patience a virtue? Why can’t hurry the F*!K UP be a virtue?”. Trust me, be patient and accepting. Embrace and cherish the little moments and soon the bigger moments will present themselves to you. I don’t know why or how, they just do. *Oh, when what you want doesn’t arrive when you want it to, DO NOT see this as a shortcoming and do not let it define you. EVER.

Thank you to all my followers, my friends and my loved ones for your support and honesty over these past four years. I wonder what year 5 is going to look like? From the look of the past four years, I got a feelin’ it’s gonna be FAB!

 

2

Long days in short years

Today marks my 3rd anniversary as That Girl in the Red Coat. I had to keep checking the date of my first blog. March 16 2012. Wow. 3 years. I remember the weeks leading up to my first post. I had no idea what I was doing. I was filled with fear and trepidation about what may or may not lay ahead. I was diving into the unknown. I began my blog in hopes of educating the masses about professional hair products, helping stylists and salon managers & owners increase their retail sales and client retention. I wanted to educate and enlighten. What I didn’t know then was how much I would be educated and enlightened, about myself.

Those familiar with my blog know that yours truly is no stranger to insecurities, on every level. I have a library of self help books. I know the “secret” and that I should harness “the power”. I know Jesus loves me. Oprah’s AHA! moments lasted for a moment or two. I tried to Martha and make everything “a good thing”. I was searching for answers and happiness everywhere but where it was, and always had been. In me. I have been the woman locked in the bathroom hating her hair. I have been the woman who had the hairstyle everyone told her she should have…and hating it. I have been the mother who worried too much about other’s opinions on my parenting. I have been the woman who after childbirth was unsure of her body and let it affect her life in the boudoir. I have been the young woman who did not like her reflection. I have been the young girl who listened to the wrong people and continued to listen to them into adulthood. I have been the young girl who thought having hips was awesome until some girl told me they made me look fat. I have also been the 5 year old girl who thought she could be anyone she wanted and do anything she wanted…and I am happy to say, at 42, I again believe this to be true. Letting go of my fear of the unknown and letting go of the fear of what people will think, I found happiness. I feel content. I am proud of my daughter and feel I am doing a good job being her mother. I look into the mirror and like what I see. I have the hairstyle that I like and that I want. I love and am in love with my husband of 20 years. I embrace my curves and from time to time can be caught shakin’ what my momma gave me.

I realized that over the past 3 years the days have been long and the years have been short. I learned some hard lessons, personally and professionally. I have suffered losses and gains. I have had to stand by and witness health issues and mental health issues of my loved ones – and all I could do was offer a soft place to fall. I have learned that it is not all about me – let me tell ya…that was a biggie. I am continuing to learn patience. I have accepted that I can’t control anything or anyone but myself…another biggie for yours truly…huge. I have learned that this too shall pass…in it’s own time.

The most important lesson I have learned is to go for it. Plain and simple. Go for it. The worse thing that can happen is nothing happens and you begin again.  I have come to embrace a line from one of my favorite tunes from the Rolling Stones “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just  might find, you get what you need” and it is serving me well. By staying true to myself, letting the chips fall where they may and taking a chance on myself and putting myself and my Salon Tales out there, in 3 years some amazing things have happened and are continuing to happen;

– a 6 time contributor for http://www.salonmagazine.ca

– a contributing author for http://www.hairstlye-blog.com and http://www.visualmakeover.com

– a featured blogger for http://www.justpencilmein.ca

– featured on http://www.girlbodypride.com

– featured in Piidea’s Sept/Oct 2014 Buyers Guide

– featured in ViBrant Magazine

– featured on many professional hair care websites

I am proud of the above accomplishments. What I am most proud of are the personal lessons I have learned and the accomplishments in my relationships that followed – from my marriage, to my friendships, to my family, to my relationship with my lovely daughter. I have also learned to like myself. Ladies and Gents – if you can like and love yourself – everything else slowly falls into place. My anniversary gift for myself and for you is this;

Remember, in this life,

– the days are long and the years are short.

– You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just might find, you get what you need. – The Rolling Stones

– have the hair style/color YOU want

– You are enough. Plain and simple.

– Always shake what your momma gave you

 

1

Believe

believe – accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of

Those familiar with my Salon Tales, you know I am a believer that all things are possible. I am 42 and I still think a little pixie dust goes a long way. Today’s tale is a personal one – it’s going to be short, sweet and sassy – like yours truly.

Some great things have happened for me over the past weeks. Yours truly has been invited by sarynaKey to blog about their fabulous products and I will be a featured blogger on http://www.justpencilmein.ca .

IMG_20150112_140505      IMG_20150115_072508

Actually, some pretty fantastic things have been happening for me since I began my blog, from being published on websites like http://www.salonmagazine.ca to being invited to some pretty spectacular events, like the Contessa’s and Joico’s Spring Trend Show. Two of  the best things happened just last week. The first, as I was having coffee with an old friend. She told me that I looked fabulous – from the inside out. I agreed with her. I look in the mirror and I love what I see. I feel the spring in my step when I walk down the street or the grocery aisle.  I no longer fear the change room or trying on a new outfit. The second, my daughter told me I am laughing more. She is right, I am. I gotta admit it, once you start living the life you imagine for yourself and start believing in yourself, good things begin to happen. Not to get all “the Secret” on you, but, thoughts become things and what you focus on does become stronger….oh, and eating well and getting off your ass helps…who knew?!

To be clear, I still have melt down moments. I still lay in bed after shutting off my alarm whining that “I don’t wanna get up!”. I still get pissed off that things aren’t happening fast enough – as you all know – my patience is a work in process. I still look at my exercise bicycle and tell it “to stop mocking me”…and yes, I still venture through the drive thru. I am not as social as I once was – for now. You see, I married young and started a family and now I am focusing on my career, so my free time is precious and my daughter is about to be 18 and still likes to spend time with me and my hubby is still the cutest, sexiest and funniest guy I know – so they get first dibs.

May today’s tale give you that extra nudge you may need to go after what ever it is you want. It can happen. It can.

 

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.

 

 

3

Telling Tales

It was two years ago today, after circling my dining room table a few dozen times while looking at my home computer out of the corner of my eye, that yours truly sat down at our home computer, typed “wordpress” into my Google search engine and hit enter. I selected the link to the wordpress site. My mouse hovered over the “sign up and start publishing now” icon. I had to keep taking my shaking  hand off the mouse, I was terrified I would click and start publishing before I was ready. I was terrified to begin, what if no one reads it? What if they all think this is stupid? What if I am not a writer? What if this is all a waste of time? After what seemed like an eternity, I decided to stop listening to the shouting voice of fear in my mind and to listen to the ever present whisper of hope. I took a deep breath and began. I am so happy that I did.

As I was finishing my ‘do for the day with Joico’s Power Spray (my new FAV!), I found myself thinking of that morning two years ago, and began to say thank you to my reflection. I actually welled up a bit. Yep, there I was talking to my reflection, can of hairspray in one hand, tissue in the other. No need to call the white coats, I was having a moment. A realization of how far I have come since that morning. I like my reflection. I think I am pretty. I feel beautiful both inside and out. I am proud of myself and am confident in my abilities. Now when I have an idea or want to try something new, hope shouts and fear whispers.

If I had listened to fear that morning, I would not be a guest blogger for http://www.salonmagazine.ca , I wouldn’t be a contributing author for http://www.hairstyle-blog.com , I never would have been invited to the Contessa’s. If I had let my fear make my decision I wouldn’t have all the fabulous connections on Twitter, many who inspire me or make me laugh on a daily basis. I wouldn’t have my lovely laptop on which I tell my tales – a beautiful birthday gift from my husband and daughter, because they believed in what I was doing. I wouldn’t have had all those evenings of bursting through the back door exclaiming to my husband and daughter about the retweet or follow I received from some pretty snazzy people, or the utter excitement to share a published article with them. If I had listened to fear, I wouldn’t have been able to show my daughter that her mom was published on not one, but four websites. I wouldn’t have been able to prove to her…and myself, that hard work, taking a chance or two and faith in yourself pays off. If I had let fear control my decision I never would have found people like myself – people that celebrate each other, people that want to raise each other up and help each other out.

In celebration of my 2nd Anniversary, I have a wish. A wish that you will find your passion, that you will chase your dream, that what was once lost will be found, that your shouts of fear will be silenced and your whispers of hope become the song you sing in your mind and in your heart. More tales are on their way Beauties. Thank you for your support. Thank you for sticking around when tales were few and far between. Thank you for the love.

2

Wishes for a Happy New Year…and for years to come

So here it is, New Years Eve 2013 and I am calm. I am hopeful. I am…content.

In past years, this day was either filled with anxiety over not having plans or having too many plans, freaking out that my dress was too tight, hating my hair or my mind was filled with shoulda’s, coulda’s and woulda’s. This year…not so much. For the first time in I don’t know how long, a New Year approaching doesn’t seem as daunting. You see, I finally got it. I finally became accountable for myself and my actions. I finally admitted my shortcomings and moments of malcontent were down to me. Yep. Me. …trust me, ask my hubby or anyone who knows me for that matter…this was not an easy thing for me to admit. I had been known in the past to blame retailers and  Mother Nature herself for my ass not fitting into my jeans…between the store not having the exact shade of grey yoga pants I so desired that would match the treadmill and well… with the cold winds and rain I couldn’t go outside for a walk. …oh come on, like you haven’t blamed the Keebler Elves for your pant size. Back to the tale at hand.

I have a glorious truth to share…once you stop blaming others for your unhappiness and malcontent, let go of your fear and take your emotions, decisions and dreams into your own hands, great things begin to happen. They do. Take a look at yours truly.(well, it is my blog, so yeah, I’m gonna talk about me once and a while.). I took a leap of faith and let go of my fears and put that energy into believing in myself and within 18 months I have the blog I dreamed of doing, a twitter following filled with people who inspire me on a daily basis (and are pretty cool), I was invited to attend the Contessa’s.  I am a contributor to http://www.salonmagazine.ca. I am a contributing author to http://www.hairstyle-blog.com and http://www.visual-makeover.com. I am a contributor to http://www.girlbodypride.com. On a daily basis at my shop, I am helping women and men to love their hair, to find the beauty that they thought they lost, or never had. I am helping Salon owners and stylists improve their customer service skills and helping them to realize that retail is a vital part of their Salon’s experience. I no longer hold back my confidence in myself, or hold back my knowledge of product or service. *the biggest perk…since I am happier, so are my loved ones.

Hence today’s New Year’s wish for you. May the coming days and the coming years bring you peace. May serenity find its way to your door and into your hearts. May you find the courage to attempt what ever it is you want to do – from opening up your own Salon to finally being able to quit smoking. May you find the confidence to ask for that raise or to tell that special someone that you love them, or to be able to let your loved one know that they need help and that you will have their back. May you begin to find the beauty that is in your life, right now.

Wishing you a Happy New Year

With Love and Gratitude,

That girl in the red coat