Twisted Sisters

Tabatha tells us how she made the Phun sisters's salon a fun place to work for everyone.

When I sat down and showed Cindy and Marjorie the undercover footage, I felt for Cindy. She truly was stressed about her business and her sisters, because she had a strong sense of family obligation from her upbringing. Marjorie was the "good sister" and peacemaker -- basically she had no balls! Cindy felt overwhelmed and that she had no support, and in many ways she didn't. Marjorie swayed whatever way the wind blew. And to make matters worse, her two younger sisters, Janet and Karen, had no respect for Cindy or the salon and all the other staff followed suit.

The Phun sisters were bringing the family drama into the salon, and it was ruining their business. The staff had a "Who cares?" attitude because they felt that Janet and Karen got away with anything they wanted. And the staff felt they were not respected by Cindy; she spoke down to them and didn't give constructive feedback or education, just orders. There was no education, no rules, and no pride. When I walked into Mia Bella salon, I literally wanted to walk out. It was FILTHY!

As soon as I figured out the problems, it was time to put the staff to work, including Femi (even if it was her birthday!) and get the salon clean before my models and special guests arrived. Mia Bella was a struggling family business, so I asked my Friend Anthony Mascolo and his brother Bruno, two of the founding brothers of the very successful Toni and Guy hair care company, to come and give Cindy and Marjorie advice. I hoped it would help the girls understand that business is business, and that there had to be rules, boundaries, and expectations even when family is involved.

I still wasn't sure the girls understood that they needed to leave their family drama at home and not bring it into work. So I decided  that a surprise visit to the girls' house would help me get to the bottom of the family dynamic. I'm not sure who was more shocked: the Phun  sisters at my impromptu sleepover or me by what I found in their house! It became very clear that the dirt and chaos in the salon also carried into the house, and Cindy truly was overwhelmed and out of control. The basement was a mess. I have never seen so much stuff and some of it had never even been used. I was gobsmacked.

It was a long night! Trying to get through to each of the sisters as we hung out, ate dinner, and even changed into our PJs was a challenge. But I felt like spending the night with the sisters helped me get through to them, and they realized that they needed to start taking responsibility for themselves and their business. Karen and Janet finally realized that they needed to grow up and stop expecting Cindy to be the mother hen. And Cindy realized that she needed to take a different approach in how she spoke to her sisters and staff. The next job to tackle was getting them to work together and and to get control of their lives, so I made them clean out that damn basement!

I really saw a huge change in the sisters and I wanted to give Cindy, Marjorie, and the whole team the salon of their dreams. The makeover was amazing and everyone was really inspired on reopening day. All the staff really stepped up and did great work except for Melissa. She truly struggled with her work and needed a lot more education to be behind the chair. I was truly proud of them all especially, Karen and Janet, who really grew up in the week I was there.

I was so happy to go back and revisit my honorary sisters and see how they were doing. They have truly changed and embraced the recommendations I made and are doing a wonderful job in the salon. I know they will be a big success.

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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! 

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