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

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

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, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Beware of yoga pants & ponytails

The school year has begun and with it the drama has begun as well. “Why are you wearing that?”. “What did you do to your hair?”. “So…you didn’t go anywhere this summer?!?!”. By the way…these lovely phrases are not coming from the tots on the playground…they are coming from the mothers.

My daughter is now in high school, thankfully, so I am spared from the treachery of the playground. I am spared the monologues from women about how much they love their child and how their child is the center of their universe, all the while I am watching said king/queen playing chicken with the approaching school bus but she is too busy to notice because she must talk about her new yoga pants while she swings her ponytail and point out how horrible so and so’s dye job is.

You see, since the school year began, I am having the moms coming into the shop, either for an appointment in the salon or just to shop for a new hairspray without a child or ten clinging to her leg. Many of them have been coming in feeling horrible about themselves. Why you ask? Well, I asked them the same question and their answers were all the same…some “mom” on the playground said something to them about their hair…and it wasn’t complimentary. One woman was told her pixie cut made her look like a man…I told her she looked cute because she did. One woman was asked “why did you color your hair? Now you look awful!”. I told her she looked great because she did, a beautiful rich caramel blonde. Then I asked her how big the other woman’s ass was, to which she smirked and I said “there you go…you have a smaller ass than her so she had to pick on something” and then we laughed. Yeah, I said it…sure I always say to be nice…but come on…that was funny.

I have had a few women get a little mad at me because I asked them questions.I apologized if my questions bothered them and explained I was asking the questions so I could pin point exactly what they would need and what product they may like. After a while they warmed up to me and I found out the reason for their initial cold shoulder and shortness with me. Moms in the school yard. Enough said. I can’t stress this enough…ladies…be nice to each other. Just because you are in a school yard doesn’t mean you have to act like a child. Behave yourself, not just because it is the right thing to do, because there are lots of little ears listening to you and little eyes watching your every movement.

Oh…and while we are on the subject…if a woman has one child or twenty, she is a mother and has the same struggles that all mothers have and the same worries and concerns…BE NICE. If you are mad because your ass doesn’t look as nice in your yoga pants as Johnny’s mom’s looks in hers, get off her back and back on the treadmill. Envious of someone’s hair color? Ask what Salon she goes to and tell her how great she looks…maybe her husband didn’t notice and your compliment may save her a day held up in the bathroom with a box of tissue.

Seriously, life puts up enough road blocks…why add to the congestion?