Gay Deer in Headlights

I Can Transform Ya

Reclaiming His Balls

Tabatha and Kids Don't Mix

President Obama, Oprah, and Complete Chaos

Getting Butterflies

Helping Avanti Grow a Pair

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Shtick

Salon Ven-don't

Twisted Sisters

On the Right Path

Exit Strategy

Dropping the Ball

Truly Disappointed

I Was Gobsmacked


Provoke, Annoy, and Antagonize

Grow a Set!

Radical Intervention

I'm A Beautician, Not A Magician

Lab Experiment Gone Wrong

Own It

Taking Control


Attitude Adjustment

Starting Fresh

Change Is Hard

Tabatha's Shear Genius!

Gay Deer in Headlights

"I think I might have scared the gay right out of these boys!"

When I walked in to Chicago Male they were like gay deer in headlights—in fact, I think I might have scared the gay right out of these boys! It was a good team but they had absolutely no leadership as Scott the owner was never there, and Ric wasn't an effective manager. Scott's 30 minute $30 men's only business model wasn't working especially when the salon was only booked to 25% capacity. The only way a biz can be successful is when you have butts in chairs and Scott was being a little too precious about his strategy. So I had to give him a wake up call.

The fact that Scott wanted to say that the staff eating, texting, gossiping and overall lack of professionalism was due to the laid-back-keep-it-casual-boys-in-boys-town was BS. Let's face it, who demands better service than "The Boys?" It was due to Scott being MIA and the drive thru business model. Scott claimed he wanted to give clients a high end experience but how can a stylist do that when they are rushing to meet the timer? Scott had no understanding of this because he is not a stylist and didn’t spend anytime in his business.

The thing that became clear to me was that all the staff felt that the quality of their work was being sacrificed by doing 30 minute haircuts. Their men’s buzz cuts were even a disaster. Despite the fact that Scott didn’t allow female clients in his business model, all the stylists were all open to doing female clients because they felt it would make them more money, offer better service to everyone in the community and stimulate them creatively. The only one I had a hard time convincing was Scott. I appreciated his idea but as he kept saying he wanted to service his community and improve thef inancial's of his business it made no sense. I think my sit down tough love conversation with him and the trip to Paul Mitchell finally helped him see the light because he really changed.

Everyone in the salon was experienced in doing both male and female clients and they all seemed to enjoy the challenge. The only one that was struggling was Drew and that was due to his lack of experience. A young stylist like Drew needs education and mentoring and Scott was not providing it. Paul Mitchell and my guidance helped Drew realize he needed to stop being babied and built up his confidence. Everyone seemed genuinely changed when I went back to visit. Scott has stepped up and is running his business everyday, Drew is getting education and feeling more confident, and the whole team is doing female clients and taking more than 30 minutes where needed. I am proud of my gay deer for stepping up and turning it around.

Reclaiming His Balls

Tabatha tells us how she helped Nik take back control from Sabina.

Concerto was taken over before I even got there by Sabina, a stylist at the salon. Nik, the owner, had handed over the reins and responsibility and had lost total control of his salon and his staff. The staff all disliked Sabina, because she was rude, disrespectful, and bossy. They all agreed that if Sabina was the boss they would all leave. They respected and liked Nik, but Sabina not so much!

The problem at Concerto was an amazingly passive owner and a group of stylists that weren't bad at their job, but had nobody leading them, holding them accountable, or managing them, so that they just did whatever they wanted. The staff also saw Nik not being active in the business, and they felt he didn't care so they followed his lead.

It was amazing how openly hostile and aggressive people were towards Sabina at the staff meeting. Equally amazing was how Sabina's unprofessional behavior and the way she spoke to not only Nik but the other stylists was affecting the staff and the business. Clients openly complained about her language and the way she acted and said they didn't want to return to the salon because of it.

Nik had told me running the salon had created a lot of stress in his marriage and that his wife wanted him to sell, but I knew he didn't want to do that. I figured sitting with them both and having a realtor explain to them what the salon was worth and what they would get would hopefully wake Nik up and let his wife see that it wasn't the best option and that her husband truly wanted to keep the salon. They both realized selling wasn't the best thing, but Nik was still so annoyingly passive. I needed to get him to wakeup and take charge.

Taking Nik to a martial arts expert was my way of trying to let him get some aggression out but also to help him feel empowered, so he would hopefully start taking charge. He was truly awful in the beginning, not wanting to raise his voice or participate, but he really started to get into it with the help of Master Shin. He even flipped me! Now that takes some balls! 

Seeing the aggression the other staff had pent up, I wanted them to get that out. I wasn't surprised when Nicole stepped up and said she wanted to take on Sabina. She had felt so mistreated by her for so long, I was glad to see her stand up for herself and say enough.

Reopening day went well. Nik seemed ready to take on the challenge of being a boss and Sabina was quiet! I just hoped that it would stay that way. She didn't strike me as the kind of person that could relinquish the control she had over Nik or the salon. Revisiting Concerto, all the staff agreed Nik was a changed man and was truly following through on enforcing rules and holding his staff accountable. Sabina was even taking a back seat! I just hope she keeps it up for the good of the salon!