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I Can Transform Ya

Tabatha reflects on the highs and lows of her trip down memory lane.

This is my favorite episode because even after the six week check in, I often wonder how the salons I've tried to help are doing. I'm often hopeful about some of them, because I feel like they have changed, and some of them I am truly concerned for, because I feel like they still haven't got it. So it was really exciting (and a little nerve racking) to go back and check in with some of my favorites and some of my problem children! I had the opportunity to visit Tantrum Salon, Chicago Male, Refuge for Hair, and Martino Cartier Salon, as well as Plush and Eclectic. And what I discovered surprised me.While we didn't have time to show all of these salons on the episode most of them are doing very well.

When I went back to Plush for the six week check in a year ago, Kimmie told me she had really changed and had not reinstated her credit cards or frivolous spending, but I wasn't sure if she could keep it up. Visiting Plush a year later I saw a salon owner that had totally turned around. Kimmie was responsible, she was putting her business over her friends, she wasn't spending frivolously, and she had paid down a lot of debt. Kimmie had made some great new additions to the salon adding a beautiful color bar, hiring some new stylists and a fabulous new esthetician, and there was a new education program in place. I was really proud of Kimmie and her staff for stepping up and taking the salon seriously, and I wish her continued success. I know she is on the right track.

Eclectic Salon had been a very emotional week for us all. Owner Jaqui had just declared personal bankruptcy without telling the staff, and Jaqui had totally checked out of her business. Visiting six weeks later I found an owner that was in a much better place emotionally but still had a lot of work to do to follow through with her dream and get the multicultural salon back on track. Visiting Eclectic a year later, I was amazed at how different Jaqui was. She was in charge and taking charge, and it was so great to see. It had been a rough year for Jaqui, because she had to make some difficult choices and let some staff go because they weren't following her new rules. Stephon had sadly passed away, and it devastated Jaqui. But she really kept her focus and drive and built a fabulous new team and was offering education. The salon looked amazing (as did Jaqui), and I was so happy to see Andre and Jazz still there helping the stylists and Jaqui. Eclectic is doing really well, and it was great to see them all again.

Two of my biggest success stories have been Tantrum Salon and Martino Cartier's Salon, because the owners really took my advice and ran with it. I was so surprised and delighted when I went back to Tantrum and found out that Jodi had recommitted to being an owner and was in the salon more and helping Robert. The salon was truly thriving, their numbers had increased dramatically, they were organized, roach free, and doing amazing things in the community. As for Martino, I was very proud of him for taking the success of his salon and parlaying it into other areas such as a product line and platform work. But one thing about Martino hasn't changed... he still likes to make a dramatic scene. My biggest surprise at Martino's salon was a marriage proposal! 

On the other hand, my biggest surprise at Refuge salon was that it wasn't there anymore. The doors were closed. Miriam claimed that she had moved on to bigger and better things and her staff did not want to follow, but when I tracked down Miriam's former staff they had a very different story to tell. They all claimed she was about to go under because she mismanaged the business and that she locked them out. At least Michelle, a stylist who really frustrated me with her poor time management, learned some big lessons from my time at Refuge. She has opened her own salon and seems much more professional and responsible, and I wish her and the rest of the Refuge staff the best of luck.

When I took over Chicago Male a year ago, Scott Neesham did my head in with his stubborn failing "men only" attitude. He was running a barber shop but calling it a high end salon, so I really hoped I would see big changes when I went back a year later. While Scott has improved some of his numbers, he still is not close to 100% capacity and he could be if he would really embrace change. So I decided to give Scott some more tough love. When I threatened to take over again, the look on his face said it all. While Scott may not enjoy my visits, hopefully he will heed my advice, because I really want him and his staff to do well.

Thank you all for watching Season 3! I hope you enjoyed the transformations as much as I did. And good luck to all the salon owners I have tried to help over the past few years. I love what I do, and I am looking forward to meeting more of you soon.

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