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

What is looking for you?

As per usual, I sat down to to tell you all a tale of the newest addition to the Joico family of products, alas, it will have to be a tale for another time. It is Sunday morning in my corner of the world, the sun is shining, tulips from my garden are blooming on my kitchen table, a cool morning breeze is making the steam from my coffee glisten in the morning light and I am happy. I am…two words that I had, in all honesty, never appreciated their importance, until about a month ago.

I was surfing You Tube, after watching all the episodes (for the tenth time) of Comedians in cars getting coffee with Jerry Seinfeld, I started searching all the Oprah’s Master Class episodes and came across her Life Class with Joel Osteen. (Yes, I know it is Sunday, and no I am not gonna ask you if you have found Jesus…first – that is none of my business, and second…I didn’t know he was lost.). Back to the tale at hand. “Whatever follows “I am” will come looking for you”. Can you say “LIGHT BULB!”. (I would say AHA! …but Oprah kinda owns that one.). Something else Joel said was “If you want to know what your life will look like in 5 years…listen to how you are speaking today.”. Yikes…in a good way. In my minds eye I flashed back to 2008, to myself, sitting on my bathroom floor, giving over to whatever forces may be…god, the universe, the smurfs…to help me let go of my fears and my insecurities and get me back to me. Back to present day, I am back in the business I love, I actually believe I am pretty, I no longer feel fat nor base my identity on my looks, I am stronger in all senses of the word, I am a writer, I took the leap and started my blog, I met Tabatha Coffey. I am pretty awesome, if I do say so myself…and I often do.

At the shop and in the Salon, I hear so many women, and men say “I am old”, “I am ugly”, “I am useless” and many other sad, lonely phrases. I never quite paid attention until I heard Joel’s take on the matter. As you know, my tales are about educating and enlightening us all about the world of beauty. My tales may not always be about how to apply Root Boost (before blow drying, separate your hair at the roots, spray the root boost directly at scalp, rub into roots, then blow dry…couldn’t help myself). Some of my tales will be to help you find the beauty within yourself, your family, the world. Beauty is out there, it is right beside you, it is in you, if you choose to see it, hear it, speak it.

Remember …whatever follows “I am” is gonna come looking for you…so the question is this…what is looking for you?

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

If you don’t wanna play…get off the field

Today’s tale is for our beloved clients/customers. Most clients/customers are too afraid to speak up because, well, the stylist is holding the scissors. So, I will speak for them. This tale is also being told in hopes that stylists and salon owners everywhere may learn something. Don’t make me get Tabatha after you.

It happened again. I know, how many times am I going to begin my tale with those words? A question that haunts me daily. Another ghostly mental question I pose to myself daily is this “why do stylists do that to their clients?”. Everyday, I mean EVERYDAY, I have a customer wander into the shop either scowling, pouting, weeping or staring at the ground refusing to make eye contact. What is the reason for these emotions and actions you ask? Poor client consultations and poor client/customer service. Plain and simple. These ladies and gents (yes…you pout too…the jig is up boys) have just left their Salon of choice without any explanation of what was just done to their hair and no idea of how to keep the new look or any information about which products will help them keeping their new do looking as it does at that moment.

Stylists! Your client is paying for a service. They are also your advertising. Guess what? If you don’t help them by giving them the proper products and teach them how to style their hair at home, they will go home and end up hating their hair and will blame you. Yes, you. They may return to you someday, but believe you me, they will have told everyone from the bank teller to the bag boy at the grocery store about how much they hate their hair and how it was your fault because of the cut/color you gave them. Trust me, I know of what I speak…I hear it from them everyday. When you buy a new cell phone, you expect the sales person to teach you all you need to know about that phone because you are paying for a product and a service. I think your clients deserve the same courtesy you expect, don’t you?

It is time to stop being lazy. Yeah, I said it, LAZY. Seriously, that is the reason why your clients are coming to my shop for hair advice.(well, and that I am pretty awesome if I do say so myself). If it takes 2 minutes or 20, I will take the time to listen and answer their questions. Sometimes they leave without a purchase, but they leave informed and feel like someone out there cares about them and how they look. Every stylist out there knows the right thing to do. They know they should have a consultation before each service, even if it is a client that they have had for 10 years. They know they should explain what products they are using and why and explain why professional salon products are better for their clients hair. It isn’t being done, I guess it is too much work…for them. These are usually the same stylists that complain they are having no shows and an empty chair.

We all want to be treated with courtesy and respect. We all want to look our best. None of us want to be left alone feeling stupid. None of us want to hate our hair. Stylists and Salon owners alike, take the extra few minutes and listen to your clients, take the extra few minutes and ask them if they need helpful hints on how to do their hair at home. Take a few minutes and ask them what products they have at home and if they don’t have the right products, show them which products are best and explain how to use them.

You never know, that client that you just rushed out the door with the new pixie cut and no product may be on the other side of the cell phone counter.

 

 

 

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

You don’t want ’em? I’ll take ’em.

Again, my intention for today’s tale was to tell you all about the awesome mousses out there, alas, I am in need of telling another tale. On twitter (yeah, I’m on twitter too….I am everywhere), I saw that Tabatha Coffey had tweeted whatever happened to professionalism and integrity, which is what I found myself thinking yesterday. You see, I am working this weekend, Saturday and Sunday – not my usual schedule. Yeah, working the weekend  at 40 is a bummer but my PTG (part time girl) is awesome and deserved a weekend away. (oh, to be 21. ).

Anywho, I am finding myself quite thankful for working this weekend. Yes, it helps that it is raining, I will admit. The reason for my gratitude is not just because of Mother Nature but that I have been present to help women in desperate need of help and advice, be it with beauty advice or just having someone listen to them for one minute.

One woman is in the midst of chemo for the second time and is afraid of losing the hair she has left and her stylist told her to get a wig. So I introduced her to the Nioxin hair care line. Once her chemo is completed it may be the answer for her. Nioxin is formulated to help stop hair loss in its tracks and in many circumstances the hair that has been lost grows back. I have seen it with my own eyes on many occasions – no worries my lovelies, I will tell the tale of Nioxin soon.

I have seen 3 women in two days that have had improper removal of their gel/shellac/acrylic nails and they have come into the shop with their heads hanging low and hardly able to open the door because their fingers are so red and their nails are as white as fresh fallen snow. The culprits? Soaking in a bowl of acetone and the ever evil dremel tool. (Dremel tools are great…for DIY’s and crafts ladies…not your fingernails.). The one woman was on anti-fungal medication because the tools at the nail place she went to were not cleaned and disinfected properly – so not only does she have sore hands and fingers, she has to get her liver function checked every two weeks. ( The oral medication you must take for fungal infections can damage your liver). Please…read my tale “put my hand where?”. Tell your friends. Thank you…and NEVER be ashamed! It was not your fault. Keep your chin up…if only to reduce the look of a double chin in pictures.

I met a woman who’s hair was meant to be blonde, but that was not her outcome. A stylist told her to buy a purple shampoo to get rid of the brassy tone left on her hair. Ladies and Gents – to be clear – purple/blue shampoo’s will remove brassy tones on blondes and people with grey/silver hair – the brassy tones caused by product/pollution/nicotine build up. If you color turns out brassy – no amount of purple/blue shampoo is going to diminish that brass. You need to go back to the stylist and you need a toner. * DO NOT try to do this yourself.

A woman came in to buy a flat iron and had been told by her stylist that if the cost isn’t over $200.00 (like at her Salon I was to find out) that the flat iron was “crap” , classy move, I know. So I explained the differences between all the flat irons and their features. I asked her if she travels alot, and low and behold she travels to Europe. So I explained Universal Voltage and why she needed her flat iron to have it (short explanation – so it won’t set on fire or short out). I let her know I was familiar with the flat iron her stylist had told her about and that it was not universal voltage. She ended up informed, happy and with the right product- universal voltage, auto shut off, up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and spent under $100.00.

As promised on my first entry, these tales will sometimes be product knowledge, tales from the customer’s perspective, tales from the stylist’s perspective and from my perspective…well… a lot from my perspective it seems. Today’s tale is to help wake up the stylists, nail techs, and Salon owners to educate yourselves, use the proper techniques and procedures, pay attention to your clients, listen to them. Also, inform yourselves about other products out there that you may not sell so that you can tell your clients about something comparable that you sell. Don’t get me wrong, I love selling products to your clients, I don’t understand why you don’t and your clients wonder the same thing, trust me, I hear it everyday.

 

 

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

There she is!

So here it is, the eve of the day before my 40th. birthday. In recent days every time I turn on the radio I hear an 80’s classic, I turn on the television and an 80’s movie is playing and I am constantly catapulted back in time with memories of ozone burning hairspray clouds in the girl’s bathroom, acid wash everything, loving a girls hair just to have her turn around and realize she is a he and then instantly asking “who did your perm?!?!”. I am also reminded of the person I really am. The fearless “Don’t like it? Don’t look” girl I was in my youth is coming back, and I am so happy to see her again. I lost her along the way, as we all have. I listened to the wrong people, believed the wrong hype. Today’s tale is more of a personal one.

The year was 1995. I was happily married (yes, I married at 22 and am still married to the same person and yes I still love him…I even like him, and I thank my lucky stars every day for him because he has always been there to kick my butt and give me a soft place to fall.). My mother had received a complimentary Mary Kay makeover and invited me along. It was terrific. The Mary Kay rep. wasn’t pushy, had lots of helpful hints and made my mother feel special. We laughed so much our mascara ran. It was a great afternoon. A few days later my phone rang and it was the Mary Kay rep.. She was calling because she said she loved my personality and thought I had such flare and a grasp of the products that she wanted to take me to a sales meeting and bring me on board. It was at this moment that I choked. I literally choked and couldn’t speak. It took me what felt like an eternity to compose myself and decline her offer. As I hung up the phone, I sank to the kitchen floor and sobbed. It was at this moment I was made to face the fact that I thought I wasn’t pretty enough to sell makeup, that I was too ugly and would be laughed at. Then I got angry. Angry at myself for letting the world get at me, for believing that a girl/woman had a certain role to fill, that having an opinion meant I was difficult, that my self confidence meant I had “too much pride” and was “too tough”.

At some point in the life of every woman, she feels inadequate, or stupid or even ugly. I am here to tell you what I tell my 15 year old daughter. We cannot stop what others may do or say to us, we can stop what we do or say to ourselves. I used to look back on myself with judgement and ridicule. Now I look back at that time and am grateful. It made me take a hard look at my life. It made me take a long hard look at who I had allowed into my head, rent free.

Long story short, I am proud to say that I have many an opinion and will share it whenever I choose, I am self confident and am over flowing with pride and I am tough. I am also kind and honest and truly believe that dreams can come true. A few little one’s  did…I am a Manager at a Salon/Retail shop, I met Tabatha Coffey, I am writing a blog about beauty and feeling pretty with every letter I type.

 

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, Uncategorized

Tales of truth….part 2

The sun was shining, a cool breeze was in the air, I was enjoying a moment of my life with my flavored coffee when I heard the chirp of the door chime. The customer makes a b – line to the front counter, I smile, greet her “good morning!” to which she replies “uh huh – sure it is.”  I bid adieu to my french vanilla daydream and focus on the moment at hand. “What can I help you with?” I ask (still smiling). “This P.O.S. flat iron stopped working! It’s not heating up! I couldn’t leave my house because of my hair!”. I look at the receipt, the date is under the year expiry of in store exchange, so I look up at her, smiling and tell her “no worries, the flat iron is still under warranty, please go choose a new one.”. This is where it gets good. You would think that service with a smile and getting a new product would be a good thing. Guess not. She was looking for a fight, and she was mad she wasn’t getting one. She proceeded to pout, tug at her hair, all the while exclaiming “Look at it! Look at my hair! What am I gonna do?”. Which I responded, smiling of course (that really drives ’em crazy) “You can choose a new one, a different model if you like, if there is a price difference you just pay the difference owing.”. Then the staring contest began. Ladies and gents – tell your friends…staring contests are meant for the schoolyard, they will not get you a better deal or a free product. Anyways, it is rude to stare. In the end, she stomped over to the shelf, chose her flat iron and refused to speak to me from there on out. Funny thing was – she thought she had one over on me – I was happy it was quiet.

From time to time, you may come into a store and the product you are looking for is out of stock. I know how irritating that is, I am a consumer too. A word of advice – unless you are under the age of five, you should not start to cry because the product is not there. Nor should you yell or stomp or pout. Ladies, please, I know how important hair spray is and I know how much we love our products and we all have our favorites – keep it together ok? At least once a week I have a women over the age of thirty pitching a fit over missing product. Even when I reassure her it is coming the next day and show them the order to prove it – tearfest 2012 ensues.

In my years in this biz, I have come to realize and am in total agreement with Tabatha Coffey – It’s not really about the hair. The anger, the pouts, the tears….always something else going on and the only power the client feels they have that day is being able to pick a fight with a salesperson. So for all you out there in customer service – try not to take it personally. For those of you that are the consumer – try be polite and mind your manners…and quit staring.

Beauty, Business, Hair Care

My morning Coffey

The following is a personal salon tale, it is about how I came to be that girl in the red coat. A few years ago, I found myself loathing my job. I had wandered off the beauty biz path and into another industry. I knew something was wrong when I found myself hoping the next phone call would be my daughter’s school stating she was sick, so I could go home for the day. I have always been known for my strong opinions, to tell it like it is. I am a firm believer in leading by example and not painting everyone with the same brush. That being said, my manager’s and I didn’t always see eye to eye.

I remember the day I came home, feeling like maybe it was me that was the problem. I was the only one speaking up and more or less being told to shut it. Working my butt off without a thank you while others texted and stood around looking busy and got a coffee “on the boss”.  After homework was checked and dishes were done I flopped into the couch, put on my best pout, turned on the television and there she was. Tabatha. Tabatha Coffey.  She wasn’t afraid to speak the truth, to lead by example, to show her integrity all while in the most awesome heels and great clothes. As I watched the first of many “Salon Takeovers” I felt the little flame ignite again. It was then and there I quietly promised myself somehow, someway I would get back to my beloved industry, I would return to the beauty biz, to my home away from home – and that I would meet Tabatha.

Now, remember, I am not a stylist nor an aesthetician.  In the past I had managed a Beauty Supply and Salon. I know, you are wondering how will she get back in the biz? Well, here’s how. I always kept in touch with my contacts from the biz, kept in contact with my old employer and stylists, kept up with all the newest products (thank you In Style ,Google and Tabatha.). I never stopped believing, as a child believes in the tooth fairy, that one day I would be back in the biz.

It happened. The powers that be, the universe, the Smurfs – take your pick – opened a door and I ran through it. My previous employer was selling her Beauty Supply/Salon. The new owner/head stylist and I met in passing one day as I went into the store to buy my hairspray. Long story short, the new owner offered me my old management position. I will be forever grateful to her. I was finally coming home. Oh yes, and I got to meet  Tabatha. Yes I did!!  I had bought her book – “It’s not really about the hair” and when I bought it I told my daughter I would meet her one day and she would sign my book. In 2011, Tabatha was at the ABA in Toronto and my new boss bought me a ticket to the show. I heard Tabatha speak, waited in line, and had my picture taken and book signed. I thanked her for inspiring me to get back in the biz, and she told me she loved the hue of my red coat.

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This past year I had the privilege of hearing her speak at the 2012 ABA in Toronto. Once again, she reinforced the fire in me and my belief in true customer service, professionalism, educating yourself and keeping your head in the game.

Tabatha Coffey is a true professional. She has poise, intelligence, creativity and above all else, balls. Yes ladies and gentlemen and feminists alike, I said it. Balls. She reminded me that it’s okay to have an educated opinion, to have pride in yourself and your work and not to care what people think. Tabatha helped me to be brave once more and to stop hiding my abilities.

Thank you Tabatha Coffey.

Yours truly, That girl in the red coat.