President Obama, Oprah, and Complete Chaos

Tabatha tells us how she managed to stay sane while dealing with this week's disorganized and delusional salon.

I'm still gobsamacked! 

A salon that has a mortgage broker, travel agency, legal services, hideous clothes, shoes, bags, and, oh yes, they do hair too. Just beware of flying shampoo bottles. I had two owners, one that had given up because she felt overwhelmed and wanted to work behind the chair, and one that had no idea about the primary business he was running but was the consummate salesman. There was no management or leadership in the salon at all, and it was beyond clear how out of control things were. It's great to dream big, I'm all for that, but come on! With the behavior I saw in the salon, the complaints the clients had, the lack of respect and the fighting, I was amazed they were even still open.

Talking to the staff just reinforced the fact that if there is no leadership, the staff follow the lead and in this salon it resulted in chaos. All the staff said if it didn't turn around they would leave, and although I was annoyed with the behavior and lack of respect that some of the staff had for the salon and each other, I also understood that Frank and Shannon were setting the tone and that the staff were just following their poor example. When I saw the stylists' work, there were some really good hairdressers that knew what they were doing and a couple of young ones that needed more guidance. But Shannon was so closed off from helping them, that they weren't getting the education they needed. And Frank was just...

When I found out Breco was spending her day trying to contact President Obama, Oprah, and several other government officials and dignitaries, I truly thought Frank was making fun of me, but sadly I was wrong. He truly was delusional and thought that he was just "dreaming big." I was astounded that he believed they would come,and that he was putting all his energy into a crazy dream when his business was falling apart and his wife was at her breaking point. Sitting down with Frank and Shannon, it was so obvious that their problems were deeper than just their business. Their personal problems were affecting the business and their marriage, and Shannon was feeling suffocated by Frank and that she was carrying the burden. And in truth she was, because from what I saw and heard Frank was totally ineffectual at managing the salon, and although Shannon said she didn't want to manage the salon anymore, she needed support and he wasn't giving it to her.

I am not a therapist, but I felt like this couple needed help. That's why I brought in Dr. Karyn Stewart to see if a little therapy would get through to them and hopefully make them realize what they needed to work on personally, which I was hoping would help them professionally. The next task was the staff. The lack of respect and teamwork was astounding, and this bunch needed a wakeup call. Taking them to the desert was extreme (and let me tell you, hotter than hell), but it worked. It was the first time (after some of them stopped bitching) that they did work together. Frank actually acted like a grown up and was great at leading the staff, which surprised the the hell out of me. The renovation looked great, and Shannon and the staff were clearly happy with the new look, and the fact that the focus was hair not a mishmash of a million other businesses. I was happy that Shannon was ready to take the lead and did, and it was obvious Frank was feeling lost and not sure what to do with himself. I was amazed at the change in everyone, especially Shannon. It was great to see her passion, pride, and energy for her salon and to watch her step up and take charge.

I was happy to see that Shannon was still in charge on my return, and the staff were all doing great. I was disappointed that Ebony didn't step up, but I was glad to see that Shannon did what she needed for her business. There really was a total transformation in bQute, and I am happy to say they are keeping it going and doing well.

I actually saw Frank, Shannon, and several of the stylists yesterday at a Hair Show. I want to congratulate Frank and Shannon as they are expecting, so clearly the marriage is doing well and so is their business. I am happy for them all and so glad they could turn 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!