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Tabatha and Kids Don't Mix

Tabatha was truly happy for Joy but worries whether the rest of the staff will stay motivated.

By Tabatha Coffey

Anyone that knows me knows that kids and I don't mix! But I truly wanted to take on the challenge as it is a specialized field and a big business. Children's salons can be extremely successful.

When I met Joy, I was struck by several things. First how emotional she was -- Joy truly was a mess. She was beaten down and told me she wanted to fire all her staff, yet she was so passive and detached...It was amazing. I was also struck at how smart she had been by opening a children's salon 32 years ago before it became the trend. Joy had gone through a very emotional time taking care of both of her ill parents, and it caused her to take time out of her business. The problem was that when she was away there was no control, no rules, and no responsibility. Her staff truly did run amok, and when she stepped back in to take control, things had gotten too far out of hand. Joy was too passive to stand up to her staff, and she had given up. The salon was bleeding her dry emotionally and financially. I have really never had anyone break down the way Joy did. She was embarrassed when she saw her staff's behavior, and when I did my inspection, she was mortified because it was filthy. A dirty salon is bad enough, but a dirty kids' salon is a petri dish. 

I was amazed from the moment I walked in at how resistant and full of excuses the staff were. It was clearly going to be a long week! Sitting with the staff, it became clear they all felt that Joy had abandoned them and the salon, yet they also didn't want to stand up and take responsibility for themselves or their behavior,and Monique was the worst offender. I wanted to show Joy and the staff that to expand their business they needed to compete with a lot of other kids' salons out there, and that doing parties, proms, tweens, and yes, pageant girls, was a way of staying true to their core business and would expand their clientele, which was dwindling. The salon was having an issue getting in older children and tweens, and I wanted them to get those clients in because it would increase their revenue.

Working in a kids' salon is hard. It is a specialty, but it doesn't give you a free pass to do crap work and not care about your profession or the clients. The staff seemed to not give a damn except surprisingly Rosa the youngest of the group. She wanted to learn and wanted help. I spent a lot of time talking to Joy about why she had a children's salon and found out that she not only had a lot of passion for kids, but also that she had previously done a lot of events in her salon but stopped because she wasn't supported. I found that her staff's resistance towards me never left. It seemed like they had all been there so long it was just a show up situation without caring about what it was they were doing or wanting to change. They truly were complacent. I don't give a s--- where you work, you need to be professional, care about what you're doing, care about your environment, and treat clients well. Even more so in a children's salon, because it isn't just about making the kids happy, it's about making the parents happy. If you can do that, the parents will talk about you and your business, because a happy child makes for a happy parent!

Reopening day was so anti-climactic for me, because most of the staff all seemed to hate it. At least Joy was thrilled and a truly different woman. She went from being a wreck to standing up to her staff and letting them know who was boss. I really like Joy. she loves what she does, she truly cares about her clients, and it was nice to see her change. I hope for her sake that the staff really have embraced the changes, are following her rules, and are giving her the support she deserves and needs.

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