Service is Service. A conversation with Tammy Cosper
Chris: When he’s ready to go, and then we’ll go so we’re waiting. There’s the clap so its sounds like it’s time to start the podcast, John.
John: We’re pretty excited.
Chris: Fantastic, so welcome to the Shop Talk podcast brought to you by 124Go. I’m Chris Sulimay and I’m here with my good buddy.
John: John Palmieri.
Chris: Fantastic and we have [laughter].
John: [laughter]. I’m going to change my name [crosstalk].
Chris: And we-and of course we have Andy with us who is recording. And we have with us a super special guest today. She’s actually the COO of the company that we work in. Her name is Tammy Cosper. Tammy, thank you for joining us-
Tammy: Thank you so much. Glad to be here.Continue Reading
Chris: Yup, fantastic. And basically just to set a little bit of the tone of the conversation today, we just walk out of a meeting with our group that works in a call center, so, for those of you listening we have nine ladies [00:01:00] at the moment, that work in a call center and all they do is field calls. So they don’t actually work inside of the salons. You know they have an office and they’re constantly fielding incoming calls and as we were listening to the conversation today we were kind of just talking about elevating the customer experience and customer service through that phone. We got in a little bit of more conversation about customer service in general. And making great first impressions. And Tammy, [00:01:30] is the person that I looked to-you know I love to listen to you talk Tammy, about stuff like this because you really are the demographic that a lot of higher level stylists are shooting for. You’ve arrived at that place in your life. You know you expect a level of service, not because, you know from-I expect this but because it’s respectful and because-
Chris: it-you know helps the client to feel great about that. So John, and I wanted to talk about [00:02:00] that today with you a little bit.
John: Mmm hmm.
Chris: But first should we do the thing were we start-were she shares a little bit about herself?
John: Yeah, let’s find out a little bit more about Tammy, because I think that sets a context for what’s going on here. Before we get to that I wanted to add one more thing to the fact of the meeting we just had. One of the things that happens is not all of the women that we have working for us in our call center work here in the corporate headquarters. But some of them work home remotely. Right, and so, you know it’s that first impression that [00:02:30] we’re going to talk more about with Tammy. And you know what that looks like but it’s interesting to know that some people are in this building, they’re not in the salons and some people are at home.
Chris: That’s right.
John: You know, and how we do create that consistency of customer service no matter where that call center person is.
Chris: Absolutely [crosstalk].
John: And the important part was [crosstalk].
Chris: Totally. Well because it’s becoming such a huge thing. So if you’re a salon person, and you’re-you know obviously if you’re an owner or an independent stylist who’s listening and you don’t have a call center like we happened to [00:03:00].
John: Mmm hmm.
Chris: Don’t think this conversation isn’t for you because there’s-there’s a bigger message behind it. You know how do we serve the guest better right.
Tammy: Service is service regardless if you’re seen or unseen.
Chris: [crosstalk] absolutely.
Chris: Fantastic. So, I told you your words are golden.
John: So [crosstalk].
John: [incomprehensible] tell us all about you.
Chris: [incomprehensible] how you get here.
Tammy: Well Tammy Cosper, been here about three years with the company. I started out many years ago with a book distributor. Actually the largest book [00:03:30] distributor in the world. Have [incomprehensible] in my 30 years between being secretaries when those existed. And providing service there working customer service, payroll, HR. Ended up being the operations manager for a 500,000 square foot distribution center. Manage a lot of different departments within that, manage [00:04:00] the workflow. Dealt with higher level people and then hourly workforce. And one of the-you know one of the key components even at that level, even though we were not face to face with customers. One of the biggest lessons in our training that we talked with our employees about that is the last thing you do is the first thing your client sees. And were with us it’s almost the reverse. Because I wanted [00:04:30] is that package was leaving the building be cognizant at the fact that the very last thing you did to this package is going to be the first impression on that customer who’s on the receiving end of that package.
Tammy: it is the exact same thing for this industry. Service is service regardless if it’s distribution, if it’s logistics. If it is meeting clients face to face in this industry. As I’m learning this industry because I don’t have a background in it. As I’m learning this industry [00:05:00], I’m even more of aware of how important this industry is for personal connection with people.
John: Mmm hmm.
Tammy: And that is such a lost art. And I think the more that we engage this people who sit in these chairs, the more we engage these clients as they call in to book an appointment. That service level is becoming a lost art.
Chris: Mmm hmm. And I want-I want to add something for-for history’s sake right now [00:05:30]. Because I love what you just said, personal, what was it? Personal?
Tammy: Personal service.
Chris: Personal service. I want to add a word “Purposeful personal service”
Chris: Is a dying art. Right so-
Chris: Because we’re still have a lot of client connections.
Chris: I’m just curious whether there is an purpose as they used to be.
Tammy: Mmm hmm.
Chris: Based on the fact that we’re used to have to.
Chris: You know, and there’s all kinds of-I mean marketing is so powerful today and-and you know relationships being built virtually in online. And that’s [00:06:00] also real nowadays that I think some of the purpose has been taken off of that-
John: Mmm hmm.
Chris: customer service.
Chris: Or, you know.
John: Yeah. I agree. I think that the whole idea of-I’m supposed to do this, alright. Because somebody’s watching me or I have to do it. It’s way different than being purposeful and that this brings me joy is I think one of the things that we’ll talk about as we move forward. Is people can tell what you’re doing something because you have to.
John: And because [00:06:30] or rather it’s because it brings you true joy.
John: I think one of the things that was really interesting about the staff meeting we have this morning or team meeting we have this morning with the call center, is-and we talked a little bit about this before we started the podcast, was the impression-we bring our own baggage with us alright.
Chris: Mmm hmm.
John: And in my mind, God, why do I want to work in a call center. You know, why I want to be in an enclosure on a phone. And I think one of the things that we were both struck by this morning was the fact that [incomprehensible] they kind of enjoy [00:07:00] each other’s company.
John: Yeah, I was too. There are people who were in that room who enjoy each other’s company, they enjoy working together. Surprise, surprise they developed personal relationships with our guest over the phone.
Chris: Mmm hmm.
John: Because of course they have to call in to the call center several times [crosstalk] to get their hair done.
John: Right. These are people who genuinely like helping people over the phone.
John: You know. But not doing it because somebody’s standing over watching them. We can add that if we want but that’s not really necessary.
Chris: [00:07:30] Yeah.
John: They truly find this enjoyable work.
Chris: Yeah. That and-and you know to that point, one of the things that I’m always-you know the biggest cheerleader for you on is the fact that every time I hear words coming out of your mouth they’re purposeful.
John: Mmm hmm.
Chris: You know and they’re-and they-they’re objective. They take in mind the stylist, the call center for having that conversation with the client. Like it’s-it’s a 360 kind of approach on [00:08:00] on everybody’s-everybody’s kind of-well, being our part, and that, you know is an interesting thing for the salon industry because I only saw that level of experience when I worked in a corporate-when I left the salon and actually went to work for [incomprehensible] living proof. I started to see a higher level, or a different level of thinking or approach. You know based on that high level that you said, the last thing you do is the first thing you going to see. So from a [00:08:30] stylist, the last thing I do on somebody’s head is the first thing her girlfriends are going to see.
Chris: Or her boyfriend is going to see.
Chris: Or her mom and dad is going to see or her husband. You know whatever the case maybe and so that’s like such a strong message straight out of the gate. Talk a little bit about, as you enter this industry, some specific things that you’re finding, you know, that we need to be paying more attention to or that-or that you’ve noticed right off the bat that, [00:09:00] you know we need to work on or we are already really doing well like what are some of those customer service things you know, spending all that time in corporate and working on, you know in a 500,000 square foot. That included sending books out, what are the small details that you think that we could improve on as an industry.
Tammy: One of the things I say when you’re talking about corporate is that, in a perspective is that when you’re in a corporate environment, there are multiple [00:09:30] sets of clients. I don’t just have the clients who walk in the door. The stylist are my clients. The call center employees are my client. So I have to provide that same level of service to everyone within the group. Because if your employees are happy, and they’re feeling valued, that’s going to transcend to the client in most instances right. So I look at that-that’s that big picture that I think you’re touching on. [00:10:00] And I think that’s why when you are in that higher-level environment you do recognize that everybody is a part of that big picture including your employees and it’s important and it gets back to what are we here for. This industry is to service people, to make them feel so wonderful about themselves and I think that’s where we lose sight. Yes, it’s about the look and you go out and your girlfriend without question-
Chris: That’s one of the things, that’s one of the pieces of a pie, right?
Tammy: Absolutely it is. But I’ll go deeper to that into I’m touching this person, I’m making a personal connection through communication, through touch, through my artistry on what I am going to give this person for that day, just like we’ve talked about in the call center. You don’t know what that person’s life is like.
Tammy: This may be the only joy that they experienced for that day. What a wonderful gift and opportunity that you have to give that person. We donate, we do community service, these stylists have a chance to do that all day long, all day long. I think they get busy. To your point it’s not that they are trying to be disingenuous.
Tammy: Oh my gosh, they’re busy. I’m double-booked and I think they just lose sight of it.
Chris: This color, over here is orange and it’s supposed to be blond [laughter].
Chris: Whatever it is right?
Tammy: I think it’s getting them back. Why did they start to do this? Why are they here? Think about those clients that you know, and we all know them. You’ve got those clients that come in and you just have that personal connection. That’s why you do this.
John: Let me ask you a question. One of your hats is you’re also in-charge of the HR for our company.
John: When you see new people coming in and you’re doing the interview process and then you’ve also helping people here to go through that interview process, how do you determine whether or not somebody’s got that bug to provide that level of service or how’s that, that brings them joy? Like is there a process that you- you just talk to them and say, I got a feeling about them. I mean, how do you get there?
Tammy: I mean, we do carry on a pretty lengthy conversation.
Tammy: I go through examples of other companies, in my opinion who exhibit, their employees exhibit their strong customer service skills, Chick Fil A is one of them. I laughingly say, how many times I’ve gone through the drive thru at Chick Fil A and my order sometimes gets messed up. I’m not going to take it back, they’re might pleasure me. They gave me such great service.
Tammy: I won’t dare going to take that back, right?
Tammy: I think with a lot of the people that come in during interviews, we absolutely go over our core values. What is this company staying for?
Tammy: The integrity, the respect, the purposefulness. I let them know what that expectation is and who this company is. Not just what this company is. Who this company is and what we stand for and what does expectations are?
Tammy: It engages them and opens up that conversation asking for examples, they’ll tell you. They’ll tell you who they are and the more you talk the more character comes out in that conversation.
Chris: That’s right.
Tammy: What are you looking for? What are your goals? Why are you in this industry?
Tammy: Why do you choose it?
Chris: We hire one of the weaknesses of being a small or medium size salon is a lot of times people when they’re coming to you it’s like almost any warm body could walk through the door, you’re in such need.
Chris: One of the practices that we put in the place years ago was, in my own company at that time was a three-interview process.
Chris: Over, would take us a month to hire and really slowing that down because something you just said is interesting like people, character will expose itself , you just have to give it enough time to do that and if you’ve heard any of our podcast so far and continue to listen on, you’re going to hear this same mantra if you are being reflected throughout, we really strongly believe that unless your company has really an identity and a vision and you strongly understand and stand by that first.
Chris: You can’t successfully bring people into that if you don’t know what it is.
Tammy: They’re not going to align with it. [Incomprehensible] identify it.
Chris: They’re not going to align with it but then it’s chaos. A lot of salons nowadays, an owner wakes up two, three, four years down the line and they look around and they go, “Who hired all these people?”
Chris: It’s like, “I did,” but the point you just made is I think super valuable. It’s, I’m going to bring this person in my company. I have to know that they align with my vision. Whose had recent conversation with Brian about, what’s your vision.
Chris: And so, it’s just interesting to hear you use that as an example without knowing that we just spoke to that, but it’s just something that we hammer on a lot.
Chris: I want to ask a little bit more specifically about customers. I know one of the things that you’ve been taking care of in handling, inside all the things that you handle is that group of nine girls and the way that they present and message themselves and kind of be the first voice of the company. What are some really important things that you try to share with them in their position day to day or a new person?
Chris: Like if I were brand new and you’re going to give to me your top three most important ways to make a great impression on the phone or to keep in mind when I’m having that conversation. What comes to mind for that?
John: One thing I’m going to add to that-
Chris: Sorry for interrupting.
John: Because I’m always interrupting.
John: While were having this conversation. When you answer those questions. I also want to know the “why” behind it because I think that we talk a lot about- Well, this is good customer service.
John: But why is that important to me because as a consumer, I’m using you as an example, you have expectations and you’re going to get a flavor for us as a company to directly through the call centers.
Chris: As consumers like another word for people, right? It’s like a person.
John: Share those three but also dig a little bit if you could on why is that important? Why should I care? Why aside from the fact that you told me to do it? Do I need to?
Tammy: Well I can speak for the clients because I’m a client, I’m not a stylist. I go in the salons and get my hair done just like any other client and I do have an expectation. When I walk in to our salon and it’s beautiful, there’s spot on, I expect that service to be spot on. I expect respect, I want to be treated with respect., I’m going to treat you with respect, and it goes much deeper than the how tos and-
Chris: Okay. How do I quantify respect? What are some actions that I can take?
Tammy: If I walk in to the salon and I’m not just going to speak to the call center because this is much broader. This is any point of contact with a client. When I come in to the salon, be it the call center first point of contact, front desk when I walk in the door, the assistant who’s washing the hair.
Tammy: If we are not synonymous, everybody is not on the same page with what that service looks like, we fall short. We lay a bad taste with our clients’ mouth. Right? Unfortunately, that can hurt your brand. First of all, we have to paint the picture of the vision, what are the core values, what are expectations. Right? I expect to be greeted, “Good morning, good afternoon.”
Tammy: I do this when I go into Walmart check out, how are you today. You having a good day? I don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty with that person who’s behind the counter, but I want to be pleasant. I’m having a personal contact with another human being.
Chris: One of my favorites is “It’s really nice to see you”.
Tammy: Beautiful. When our clients walk in the door that should be the first thing. John, you’re really good at this you’ve created that curriculum for the front desk.
Tammy: When they come in the door, and I’ll be, I love it when I look at the book knowing who I am, say my name.
Tammy: Good morning Ms. Tammy. It’s so great to have you back in. How are you today?
Tammy: Something so simple, it doesn’t have to be stodgy, but it needs to be pleasant. I really do think that it’s in with us people, it’s innate. We’re created into a spiritual beings who want to connect with each other.
Tammy: I firmly believe that what our make up is. I just think we get so busy and in a mundane that we just forget it. We get so caught up in our own selves.
John: One of the things that I find really interesting right now because like you I’m a big fan of customer service. From time to time, there is this grocery store around the corner here and from time to time we have staff meetings I’ll pick breakfast up. When I go to exit that grocery store to the point now that I avoid that grocery store. There’s only self-checkout lines. That’s all there are.
Chris: Kills me. but here’s the funny thing. I don’t mind it, but it kills me.
John: [Crosstalk] It kills me, right? But here’s the sad part. The sad part is, obviously that grocery store has done its homework.
Chris: Yeah, they know that, that’s a thing.
John: They know the people would rather not talk to your staff
Chris: Never thought of it that way.
John: Somebody sat, or I mean this like, this company owns thousands of grocery stores. I can only [0:20:30.0] assume they’ve done their homework. Somebody sat around did a survey and found out for customers would regular not talk to you [Crosstalk] right and rather check it out themselves. Now, here’s the good news and the bad news. The bad news is, that’s really sad. The good news is, they haven’t found a way to solve [incomprehensible] of a haircut.
Chris: Well I remember when I was a kid in the flow view was coming out other people were like Oh people are going to be cutting their hair. I’m like… [incomprehensible] you joking? Some [0:21:00.0] sophisticated woman is going to be at home with a vacuum cleaner put on their head is like, no that’s not going to happen.
John: I wanted to see Tammy do that.
Tammy: Not going to happen.
John: That would be great on our next YouTube channel.
Chris: Actually yes. [Laughter] We’re ordering a flow of the [incomprehensible] or ordering a flow [incomprehensible]
John: So, talk more about, because I think one of the things, I think we have new styles coming into our company so, from an H.R. perspective [0:21:30.0] I think one of the challenges that our new team has, both in our call center. Any one of our points of contact that [incomprehensible] your vocabulary. I think there’s a shyness. Maybe a little bit of uncomfortability on… It’s not that I don’t want to be polite [incomprehensible] I don’t want to be welcoming. I’m kind of shy and I’m kind of afraid. So, can you talk a little bit about that and maybe from a customer perspective you know how does that look? How does that affect your visit? That makes [0:22:00.0] sense.?
Tammy: It does. Well from the business side of it, I think it lends validity to the training process that we have to have. How do we get them comfortable with engaging clients? You can tell who is shy at the interview process, right? How do you get them out of their shell? [Crosstalk] Not necessarily. I mean you can…
Chris: There’s a shy people
Tammy: Of course. Yeah, I mean I’m not exactly John and [0:22:30.0] Chris, right?
Tammy: I’m not
John: Self-centered [incomprehensible].
Tammy: There are a lot of people like that who still provide value to a company and I think that you know we go back to our onboarding, how do we train those people? How do we get them comfortable? That takes practice. It takes verbiage in the training [0:23:00.0]. How do we coach them to greet a client? When I go into a salon and I’m not greeted. The message that, that gives to me as I’m not important. I’m just a number. I’m here to get my hair done, pay my bill and go out. I want that interaction from the minute I walk in the door.
Chris: That’s an interesting thing because, we were talking about verbiage today and that’s, it’s an enormous hot button for me. Not because, [0:23:30.0] I’m not you know, I’ve never been above anything or anyone. I’m somebody who needed verbiage because I’m a hairdresser like through and through as far as you know people talk about ADD and they talk about, I’m not great in school. Hey, you know, I never read a dictionary. So, as I learned verbiage you know, I was probably about 22 years old when I found my first mentor, business style [0:24:00.0] mentor and even understood that the way I was communicating with people was actually going to keep me from being able to level up in pricing. I didn’t even know what level up and pricing meant at that time. But, once I learned that all the sudden, I started to notice as I changed my vocabulary, my clientele demographic which, if you’re learning the word demographic for the first time like you’re a young stylist listen to this you haven’t heard the word. It means [0:24:30.0] basically the household income, where people live mentally. My demographic gets more elevated as I refine the way I can speak to people. So now, like if you and I are in a conversation at the pizza place downstairs at lunch and or in a social situation. I’m me which is a little rougher around the edges, than [0:25:00.0] me in the salon. When I’m in the salon, I’m still very much me but I’ve refined the verbiage in the language in the way in which I talk to certain people or almost everybody now. Because I now understand the impact that words have. And I was describing this a few minutes ago to a group that we were working with and I was talking about you know, from a teaching perspective all three of us have done the teaching thing where we’ve worked with groups and I learned [0:25:30.0] from a mentor of mine that every word that I say during the time that I’m being paid there to do an event is worth a certain amount of money and here’s how they quantified that they said, take the amount that every person in the room paid for a ticket include their travel costs, include the fact that they took that day off of work if they had to fly there and pay for a hotel, multiply that average cost by the entire amount of people sitting there and that and [0:26:00.0] then divide that by the amount of time that you have. Basically, you don’t have to do this math just listen to the philosophy behind it. That’s how much every minute or every word that comes out of your mouth is worth. So, if you think about if a client’s going to pay me at my medium, higher pricing level. A couple 150 or $300 to sit with me for a visit or if you’re newer $100 to sit with you for a visit and they sat with you for 90 [0:26:30.0] minutes. Every minute of your time is worth a dollar amount and every word that you say during that time should be either, well not should be, is either adding value to that visit or taking away value to that visit in my opinion. Right?
Tammy: Absolutely. And I think going back to a couple of the words that you said when we’re talking about creating verbiage and you’re talking about professional communication. There’s a time to joke and cut up and there’s a time to be [0:27:00.0] professional. And I think, that there’s a stigma associated sometimes with professional with verbiage. And I don’t mean it that way. I think that you can utilize that in the training process because then as you train it, it becomes habit, then it becomes organic. Because then, you take pieces of it, you mold it, you make it your own. So that it not, it isn’t John’s verbiage, it isn’t Tammy or Chris’s verbiage. It’s your’s [0:27:30.0]. And so, I think that’s the key. I think there is truly a stodgy stigma associated with professional communication.
Chris: And shop talk, there’s a line that I wrote that I used to say all the time and still I guess still do, which is a script is the thing you say while you’re learning how to adopt your own way to say that. So, you script yourself, I’m going to borrow John’s words because his that’s working. Once I said [0:28:00.0] John’s words enough time, it molds into becoming my words.
John: You give it your personality. One of the parts on our onboarding we call it minimum level of expectations. We expect this. This minimum expectation. Now, that doesn’t mean you stop there. That’s a minimum expectation. Anything after that, is your special sauce, your flavor. So, for us here’s an expectation of [0:28:30.0] behavior. Right? Yes of course, we want you to be authentic. We’re not looking for clothes, that is boring. I do not want to walk into a company where 17 people behave, talk and look and say exactly the same thing.
Chris: And you shouldn’t want that at your salon. Right?
John: I went away as fast as I can. Because that’s just so uncomfortable, right?
Chris: Hairdressers artistic, creative people. But I think that there has to be an understanding that I think one of the things I look at from time to time is you will find somebody who [0:29:00.0] technically is amazing. Right? They can cut… You know, it just amazing. They can make your head look like the side of you know, a monument, should be beautiful. [Laughter] Like how did you do that? You couldn’t keep a client if your life depended on it, right? Then you got stylists. I’m probably one of them. We’re okay. But [incomprehensible] a client lists a mile long and a wait list six weeks long. It’s not the technical skill. I’m not saying it’s not part of it. I’m not saying it’s not a big part of it. It’s what people are paying for [0:29:30.0]. But I think we’re a miss to miss that other important piece, that level of professionalism, how I connect with you as a person. I read an article, a little while ago about Warren Buffett and I forgot where I read it. But they’d asked him you own all these companies all around the world, you make billions of dollars. When you’re looking for new hires, fresh out of college. And there was an article about finding that first job out of school. What is it you look for? [0:30:00.0] What and how do you know that this person is going to be that go-getter. And he said manners. I thought [incomprehensible] what hit me? And you know, more into the article, he’s like look, I’m going to send these kids fresh out of college or fresh out of technical school or where they come from. I want to send them to Japan. I’m going to send them to go work with CEOs of major corporations [crosstalk] then, they may not have all the technical skill. I’m okay with that. But if they can’t have manners. I’ve just lost three billion dollars [incomprehensible]. I’ve just lost [0:30:30.0] 500 million dollars in sales because, you couldn’t just have basic manners.
Chris: And the scary thing for us is, hairdressers is because I could listen to you and be 28 years old and go. Yeah, but I’m not doing a three-billion-dollar deal and I’m done. That’s the worst part about it. I might not even know when a client falls off my client list. Right? And that’s happening all the time. You know in salons. So, that’s a…
John: it’s crazy. [0:31:00.0] We don’t understand the impact. I wonder if it’s almost because we’re just in it so much. When you’re just in the operation of working with a client and then 45 minutes another client, we’ve developed personal skills we don’t even know we have.
Chris: You could not know at the end of the day like, who is my 9 o’clock this morning? [Crosstalk] I don’t even remember what I got to work this morning. So, you know that’s amazing [0:31:30.0]
Tammy: That interpersonal skills are everything. In anything that you did.
John: As a customer, you talked about respect. And you talked about our core values which obviously are important to us as a company. But how else does that, as a customer, how does that comfort level show up for you? You know we talked about respect, we’re talking about grieving as you walked in the door you know, acknowledging the fact that I’m here.
Tammy: The manners.
John: Yeah, the manners. What other touch points or things do you recognize that signal to you [0:32:00.0] this is going to be good. I’m going to have a good experience here today. Are they little triggers for you?
Tammy: Well of course, you want to be… If I’m new, we’ve talked about this, walk them around and show them the salon to make them feel comfortable. I want to feel like I’m at home. Where’s the ladies’ room? Where’s the [incomprehensible]? All of those things. I personally think it’s great too if it’s a client’s first time in the door to do some introductions. [0:32:30.0] If the managers there, I would love to meet the manager.
John: Now tell me what, because, if I’m sharing that information with our new hires. I know why that’s important. Chris knows why that’s important. But tell me as an incoming new stylist, Ari can be that sounds great. Now do it cause, you told me to. But why is that important?
Tammy: Well, again it goes back to that interpersonal connection with that client. That’s and I hate to just talk about money but that’s additional revenue for you. If you gain my trust [0:33:00.0] and you know, you make me feel like this is home and that I’m valued and that I’m welcomed, and you want me here. You’ve gained a loyal client. It’s more than just, what my hair looks like when I leave the salon. There’s more to it than that. I’ve had good haircuts, I’ve had bad haircut. In your life you’ve always had that right? Regardless, but it’s how I’m treated from the moment I go in the door to the minute [0:33:30.0] I leave. If I go back and I have a negative experience at the shampoo bowl. That sets the tone, unfortunately. I think you know the call center touched on it a little bit that it has to be a united front. You want from the moment the call center takes the call to the checkout experience at the end. All of that has to go hand in hand to create that experience. I love the idea of of thanking [0:34:00.0] clients. Thank you for coming in.
Tammy: Beautiful. I’ve spent my time, sometimes two hours of my time sitting in your chair [crosstalk]. Without question. Just a simple thank you for coming in. Yeah. Thank you from the stylists. Thank you from the front desk. It goes a long way. It really does go a long way. Did I answer your question John? Sorry.
John: You did. You know, kind of thinking about my grocery store experience. You know, I am purposely avoiding a [0:34:30.0] grocery store because there’s no… there’s nobody there to say, ‘thank you’. Thinking about what you just said, nobody says, “Thank you John for coming,” cause when I go to the other grocery store. They say thanks. And what are the other things that I never use is that other grocery store, there’s always somebody who says can I take this out to the cart for you? I always say, no. Because [crosstalk] I carry my own groceries. [Crosstalk]
Chris: You’ve never shopped in Philly? [Laughter] In Philly they’ll don’t say thank you, they say another word. And then I was [crosstalk] [0:35:00.0]
John: Well, the fact is, they ask every time [laughter]. Can we take this this out to the cart for you? My answer is no. I’m going to carry it myself. But I’m really grateful that you asked.
Chris: That’s funny. Awesome. Well listen this has been a really a great conversation. I feel like we’ve hit on a lot of great hot buttons I mean, from manners to scripting, to just really being purposeful about that client experiences or anything you would want to leave us with as far as on this topic. Just some closing thoughts or words as we [0:35:30.0] wrap this up?
Tammy: I think the big and I’m going to be repeating myself and I apologize for that. I feel so strongly, even as a society not just in this energy industry but more importantly with this industry. The personal connection that each of these young people coming into this industry as well as the long-term stylist who I think have lost sight of why they got into it. The ability that you truly have to positively [0:36:00.0] affect people’s lives I think has been lost and I think that we need to regain that. That excitement, that energy. How do you remind your stylist of what they’re doing this for? Because it truly is a valuable service. And again, I can’t say enough about personal touch. We’ve said it. The medical industry and hairstylist, there are very few people who truly [0:36:30.0] touch and interact with people on that level anymore. And what a beautiful thing to have the opportunity to impact people’s lives positively.
Chris: That’s fantastic. John?
John: I think we could probably spend another two hours talking about customer service and I’d love to have Tammy come back again and talk more about this but I’m excited for the start. I really want to thank you for being here.
Tammy: Thank you. I appreciate it.
Chris: So, in the spirit of the thank you’s. If you enjoyed [0:37:00.0] what you heard today, please subscribe to our podcast as well as if you could and you really enjoyed it and you want to share it out to other industry professionals. Please take a screenshot of it and share it in your Instagram Stories and tag us and if you do that, we promise to share your story on our page as well. That’s 124.go on Instagram. And with that said, we really want to thank you for listening because we know you’re the people that we’re trying to serve through doing this and [0:37:30.0] so this is episode four and we can’t wait to continue to make more, have more great conversations like this and create more great content like this for yourself. Hope everybody has a great week. And thank you for listening.
Chris: Okay. So, we’re recording John you want to give us the clap?
John: Here it is.
Chris: Awesome. Fantastic. So, it’s still sounds like a [incomprehensible] podcast. [Laughter] So, hey everybody welcomes to shop talk. Brought to you by 124go. This podcast dedicated to Salon professionals that are wanting to grow their career and give back to their hairdressing community. So, [0:38:30.0] I’m Chris Sulimay, co-host and I’m here with my great buddy
John: John Palmieri.
Chris: And we have an amazing guest today.
John: I’m excited.
Chris: Yeah. Super excited. So, we’re sitting here with maybe I’ll introduce for a little bit before I say who it is. [crosstalk] let’s make it really well. Well I’m sitting here with somebody who for the past two days have been coaching me and bringing out my humility as it relates to presentation skills [laughter] and haircutting. And she really is an [0:39:00.0] amazing leader in the industry, has been out there for the past seven years, created her own hair cutting curriculum and has been bringing that to thousands of Salon professionals around the world. But I won’t tell her story for her let’s just say before then, she had many years of lead in. With many years of foundational haircutting and many years of hard work to get where you’re at. And so, anyway we’re here with Miss Sally Rogerson.
Sally: Hello everyone.
Chris: And really happy to be here and so, John how do you all sort this out?
John: [0:39:30.0] You know one of my favorite places to start is, I’d like to know how people entered this industry. Why you’re dressing? How did this journey begin for you? How did you decide this was the career path for you.?
Sally: Well I think there’s a very interesting story because, it’s also a very similar story as well because we’ve been doing introductions here. We’ve been doing two days of teacher training. And we’ve been talking about this. I find a lot of hairdressers have a very similar story of [0:40:00.0] how they got into the industry. Mine is the traditional path I think, of wanting to please your parents. My parents wanted me to go to university, they wanted me to study things like Accounting, [laughter] Economics and things like that.
John: You’d make a great lawyer someday.
Sally: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, if you saw me at that time when I was 13, 14, 15. I was very interested in fashion. I was very interested in music. You know, [0:40:30.0] I was always just in my bedroom reading [incomprehensible] magazine and the face [crosstalk] stuff right? [crosstalk] And you know, that was, it music particularly was so such a guiding light at that time. And I was looking for some kind of out. Honestly, I lived in a very, very small town in England and very rural, farming you know, not much going on at all. And at that time, [0:41:00.0] I was just of the opinion that I had to get the heck out of there as quickly as possible. I always had that we had had always had the funny outfit. I don’t know about you, but for me in my formative years and in my childhood. I was not interested ever in ever following anything that anybody else did. You know what I mean? A lot of kids I think want to conform they want to look the same as their friend. They don’t want to stand out. But I [0:41:30.0] never felt that’s all. I love being like different. I love being by myself. And I had a very strong opinion. So, I think you know my parents would definitely really pushing me in that more academic kind of realm. I was trying to find a way out. I went to a hair show. And I literally went about 100 miles away from where I was born. And I went to [0:42:00.0] Manchester which is a really big city in the north. Very much known for its music. And I thought to myself. You know, I’ll go to this hair show because my friend wanted to become a hairdresser and really, I was just thinking is an excuse to tell my mom and dad that I’m going legitimately to do something to help my friend. But really, I was hoping to get into a nightclub and you know, getting some trouble [crosstalk] [laughter]
Chris: That’s sounds reasonable to us [laughter] [0:42:30.0].
Sally: So, I just walked into a show on stage where the strangest looking people I’d ever seen in my life in a good way.
John: The Stone Roses were playing, were they?
Sally: No, that was a little bit after that time. [crosstalk] [laughing] But it was around that time. I definitely went to the hacienda and all of that amazing time. But I literally walked in Vidal Sassoon had a group on stage and [0:43:00.0] everyone just looked wild to me and they looked like my magazines come to life and they were doing hair and I remember the models they were doing cut and color. I had never thought to myself really. How does one do hair? It never occurred to me so I was interested. And I just, I don’t know, it was the energy. You know what I mean? It was the energy and literally, I looked at this stage and thought, “This is my way out.” I went straight up and ask them for a job [laughter].
Chris: [0:43:30.0] You know what I love about your story is that it feels when you’re walking through that, it feels very unique. And you know I love the way you say and you know, it’s so much fun when you say I had weird hair, I wore weird outfits. And what is feels abnormal in the, maybe the regular world out there if you’re going to be a banker or a lawyer or something like that. Right? Becomes very normal when you walk into a group of hairdressers it’s like I think so many of us. And we talked about the whole [0:44:00.0] saving like, we think this career saves people’s lives.
Chris: Because we feel like people finally for the first time going through those formative years and go on like. Where the hell do, I fit in? [Crosstalk] [Incomprehensible] And all the sudden you go here are my people. Like this is my tribe.
John: Yeah. You’re touch those something which I think that a lot of hairdresser’s kind of know. But I think we know it internally we don’t necessarily express it well and that’s that connect. I mean we know that there’s a connection between hairdressing and fashion. [0:44:30.0] That makes sense, right? But there’s more to it than that. There’s the art, right? There’s the fashion obviously, there’s the music. There’s that community that comes with that. And it’s not necessarily you said, it’s a way out?
Sally: It’s was a way in.
Chris: It’s a way in. Yeah.
John: Thank you for that. I was thinking the same thing. For me I’ll speak for myself. It was less about finding a way out, but more about finding out where do I fit? Where’s my end? Where’s my space? Where do I belong? So thank you for that, that was [0:45:00.0] great.
Chris: That’s awesome. So, after that you, and by the way mine was a Trevor’s Herby hair show. That was the first time I was like, because I knew I was going to be a little bald guy that was common. [Laughter] Right? [Crosstalk] [Incomprehensible] Yeah. That was never a question.It wasn’t if, it was when. And it was like wow, he can do it then, maybe I at least have a little bit of a shot, something fun. And so, after that I know it’s different in [0:45:30.0] England than the states that you all walk through an apprenticeship program, so you want to kind of share what happened after that?
Sally: Yeah absolutely. You know when I passed through a job, they said go and fill out an application form, which I did. I went home told my mom and dad that I was leaving home. I was 16, I was 15 at the time and I was coming up to my 16th birthday and I said you know, I’m leaving. [laughter]
Sally: Yes, tomorrow. [0:46:00.0] I’m leaving, I’m going to go and be an apprentice. I’m going to apply for this job. Of course, they were horrified. But if you’d known me at that time, there wasn’t much stopping me. So, it was definitely have made my mind down. Obviously, I wanted their approval, but I was still going anyway. Very independent person. I’ve always worked three jobs from about the age of 13 just a small little Saturday jobs [0:46:30.0] working in the store, whatever. So, that work ethic which I think is so important to be successful in this industry. That work ethic was already in me. You know what I mean? And [incomprehensible] So, I knew if I went and became an apprentice, I knew I would also have to work three jobs. And I was already okay to do that. So, I already thought that through. So, I applied for the job. They said to me, “Come and have an interview” [0:47:00.5] and I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but coming from a small town, I think this is a small-town mentality in a way. So, I left my small town thinking I was the bee’s knees, right? Because it’s all about you know, being in that smaller environment, big fish in a small pond. I can remember getting my best clothes on which in my town were like a high fashion. Got on the train, it’s probably about a two-hour train journey and as that train got [0:47:30.0] closer and closer to the city [laughter] all these cool up people [crosstalk]
Chris: You got less and less cool.
Sally: I got less and less cool [laughter]. I started to really doubt myself and my confidence started to disappear.
John: You saw fashion progressed out the train window, right?
Sally: Yes! [Laughter]. Yeah. It was a movie you know? I got off the train and I can remember absolutely thinking shit, what am I gonna do? Because I’m like six months behind. You know what I mean? I’m gonna go to Vidal [0:48:00.0] Sassoon and walk in the door. And I walked up to the salon and I walked past and I didn’t go in. I just didn’t go in and I literally because everyone was so cool. And everyone was in come [INCOMPREHENSIBLE]. That was like everything. And Vivienne Westwood and I was just like, Oh my God. I went to a store. I didn’t have very much money. I bought something else to wear. I went and got changed in the changing room. And then I walk past again. I must’ve walked past ten [0:48:30.0] times and I think I was close to getting back on the train and going back to [incomprehensible]
And then I slapped myself around the face. I was like come on! Walked in there! So intimidating. So intimidating. I was 15. You know so worked in [Incomprehensible]. There’s 30 people for the interview all sings me. Looked in mass interview. And looking back now, it was a bit like American Idol or something. [0:49:00.0] And they went around the room and you had to say your favorite three designers or something like that. And some people didn’t have anything to say and they were led out [laughter] immediately. So that was round one. And then, you went into like a two or three-person interview. And then eventually went down into a personal interview. It was really. You know, it was really hardcore, and it was more about keeping you [incomprehensible] and anything else. Do you know what I mean? Super intimidating. [0:49:30.0] I got the job. I left home lived literally in a closet. Out my…
Chris: This was very Manchester, anyway right? [Laughter].
Sally: There was literally like four other assistants and you know, we made every room in the house into a room and you had a bigger room if you could afford it. And I had a closet. You know what I mean? And it didn’t matter. I don’t really know what happened. I went in there. It was one of the most [0:50:00.0] amazing experiences of my life. I went out every single night. I’ve no idea how because I had absolutely no money. I never eat lunch. I walk to work. And would somehow manage to find a few pounds to go out to a night club [laughter]. Work to buy a job every single night and then went out afterwards. And it was an amazing time. I’ve got to be honest, it wasn’t about the hair at all.
Chris: No, you’re having fun.
Sally: [0:50:30.0] It was about the experience. Then I realized you know what? I can actually do this. This makes sense to me. It was fulfilling to me. I knew if I worked hard, I could become good at it. But it wasn’t just like that. You know what I mean?
Chris: And I feel like this is a really good topic. It’s really become relevant right now. And what I mean by that is, me being older a little older and been through a bit in the business and [0:51:00.0] I feel like when I entered the industry in the early 90s late 80s or early 90s, there was this rock star feel to it. And then, I think we went through a very business stage where this become a business. I think hairdressers became business people salons got more serious about it. Got a little tougher to run a business and grow a team and all that. And in the past few years obviously, the social media thing. I think people are remembering [0:51:30.0] that they can room with five people and sleep in a closet and go after their dreams.And you know, one of the interesting things that a guru that I listen to all the time, talks about that I agree with and [incomprehensible] I’ve always agreed with this. You know there’s that moment of decision where your parents are or people around you are expecting you to do one thing and you just have to like go with your gut. And you know, Brian talked about this on our first podcasts like [0:52:00.0] you know this is either, I’m either going to be hugely successful or a complete failure. But it’s not going to be in the middle. And you know, that’s something I think young people have to be okay with today is like you know what? Life is shorter and longer than you think. Right? And if you didn’t make that happy decision. Right? And go you know what I’m going to do this. And like stayed at home just because your parents kind of told you that. I’m sure you have been happy but, who knows [0:52:30.0] what you would have missed out on.
Sally: I would have burn the house down. [Laughter]
Chris: Yeah right, right?
Sally: I would know if you’re in a good position [laughter]
John: Going through the same process and listening to your story. You’re right. There’s a lot of similarities there. I can remember starting my own business. And the question comes up how did you think you could do that? You and I had this conversation before, it was like… You mean, you could not? I just thought that’s what you did. You do that someday. [0:53:00.0] And I remember the question came up. But weren’t you afraid? And I was like thinking about it for a minute. Well, here’s what would have happened. The worst thing that could have happened was I would have sold my 300-dollar Oldsmobile and moved out of my apartment and back in to [incomprehensible]. That’s the worst right that can possibly happen.
Chris: So fast forward us a little bit you spend some time as Sassoon’s. You held all kinds of positions and titles there and grew up through the ranks. And [0:53:30.0] if you could bring us midway into that journey because you ended up from there to here somehow. Catch us up a little bit.
Sally: Yeah. You know I became a stylist on the floor when I was about 18, which is you know, quite young. And you know in England a lot of people do go and travel for a year or two it’s pretty normal. And all of my friends were going off backpacking.
Chris: I’m going to interrupt you for one second [0:54:00.0] because what you just said is so big to me. You had three years of training. Yeah. You know and I meet kids that like nowadays, they go through a nine-month hair school program. And they want, I want to have already achieved. You know the impatience. And what you’re talking about is three full years of training before you got on the floor.
Sally: So, three is and then. Yeah. All my friends went off travelling. And I don’t know [0:54:30.0], it’s like I’m going to go with them. I felt like I was missing out on something you know, because everyone else went to university and I didn’t. That was like my university and my college degree. So, I walked in and said to my manager. Okay. All my friends leave in, I’m going to leave now. And he was like, “What are you doing?” [Laughter] And I said, everyone’s going to travel around Europe and I want to go with them. And he was like, if you go you’re going to have to come back and do this all over [0:55:00.0] again. And I said, I don’t care I’m just going to go. And I was really upset, I didn’t really want to go. And I didn’t think I was making [Audio was cut].
Chris: Okay, so you’ve said your manager? Go on anyway.
Sally: So I left, I went travelling for a few years and then, when I came back to England, Prince Charles had this Prince’s Trust for young people to try and encourage them to open [0:55:30.0] new businesses. And it was this really big push, during all of my training and everything. I’d always also been collecting vintage clothing, remaking it, selling it on. So, I’d always been [crosstalk] I’d always had that entrepreneurial spirit as well. So, I figured out that they would give me a grant to open a business.
So, I then moved to Leeds [0:56:00.0] and I opened up a vintage clothing and furniture store, because I knew quite a lot about collectibles and that kind of stuff. So, I did that for about two years and that was really successful. But I started to just really love the idea of doing hair again. All of my friends were now in London in the school and they were all like the art directors and that kind of stuff. So, I remember pitching it to them and saying I’m thinking about coming back and they will come back to London and you know [0:56:30.0] get you back in again. And I’ve always wanted to teach in the school so, I said to myself I want to go back and become a teacher. And you know, I had to go back in, I had to retrain a little bit and move through the ranks pretty quickly. They wanted to put me in the salon and I literally called Simon Ellis at the time because he was the lead guy in the school and I called him every single Friday and I said to him is there room for a [0:57:00.0] teacher in the school yet? And he said Well, no. But you asked me last Friday and the answer is still the same. And I literally called him every single Friday until he gave in and then one day he got sick of it and said okay, you can come in the school. And that’s kind of how I became each [laughter].
John: So tell me a litle bit more about that because when we first started this conversation, you got very much involved in the art, in the fashion, in the music and all of that. Right? And somewhere [0:57:30.0] along that journey, you decided, I really want to teach. Now, to me that’s it. That’s not rock n roll.
Right? That’s something else.
Sally: Oh no. The teachers in the London School were the coolest people, they were even weirder and they were even more into fashion. And the school was full of Japanese students and they were just fashion from a head to toe. And it was so exciting. And that’s where I wanted to be.
John: So, you wanteed another in?
Sally: Yeah. So, I got [0:58:00.0] into the school and realized that was truly my passion. And then you know, I was lucky enough my mentor is Tim Hartley. And I spent a lot of my career travelling the world with him. Annie Humphreys, I mean the people that I worked with were just insane. I was one of the youngest people on the art team in London. So I mean, I can remember being in the academy where they taught all of the new collections. [0:58:30.0] And being that new young teacher was really, really hard. I was the newest person, I was the youngest person and I knew in my heart that nobody wanted to be in my group. I knew that. So, I had to work so hard to win those people over. You know, it was like in the afternoon when they did the work session, it would be like maybe five or six teachers. It would be Tim Hartley over there. There would be Mark Hayes over there. There would be Richard [0:59:00.0] Ashforth over there. There would be Peter Grey over there. It was like and then there’d be me. And I knew looking at those people, none of them wanted to be in my group. And it was the best thing for me in the world because, I had to work even harder. I had to be more creative, I had to win those people over. And that was the best education I could’ve had.
Chris: Yeah that’s fantastic.
John: When you talk about teaching. What does that do for you? I mean, you said [0:59:30.0] you found your passion, right? Which I think was a little bit of a different journey than just doing hair on customers. Tell me more about how how does that feed you? What is it about teaching that just [incomprehensible] up?
Sally: I think you know, is so important to me, I’m definitely just loved that moment when you break something down for someone and it connects with them. And that’s really what I love. I love being in the class one on [1:00:00.0] one with people trying to figure them out, trying to help them. And that is really just so big for me and I really like the new [incomprehensible] of teaching. I’m always trying to figure out the even more simple quick efficient way that I can get this piece of information into you. So, I’m always just working on this and working on that. Do you know what I mean?
John: I hear you. Yeah.
Sally: Obviously, I am a very creative person as well and I love [1:00:30.0] doing creative work and editorial and you know, I’m also a photographer and I do so many things. But if you took everything away and left me with one thing, that one thing would be teaching somebody. I don’t care what teaching them. I enjoy the process, that’s it.
John: I know this isn’t the Chris interview. But you love working with the students too, right?
Chris: I adore working with students. So yeah. No. Same and I can tell by you know, [1:01:00.0] Sally has some not so subtle ways of teaching. If you ever take a class from her, she also has some subtle ways of teaching. You know and you have to know your audience and the thing about learners are like that
I believe that all people are good inside. I mean, unless you’re like psychotic or whatever. But like, I believe it all. And they’re really trying their best. And like you know, their defense systems flairs especially in [1:01:30.0] situations where there’s learning happening because learning is unfamiliarity right? And so, you know, I’ve watched you for the past two days and with just five different learners but all higher level professionals kind of dance to your dance and it’s such a chess match for a really good cause. Which kind of brings me into my next question which is SR education. So, let me plug first please.
Chris: Please. Very shameless. So, I’ve heard your name back when I was a [incomprehensible] and I knew that there might be [1:02:00.0] some you know a discussion here and Sally might come into a program, that was all I knew of you at the time. Fast forward when I was coming on board and slam 124 group, a group of the girls were going out too this thrive sessions in Denver. Which I really had no idea what I was signing up for. It’s just like yeah, I go to her. I have been education in years besides doing education, right? So, I was like you know, Holy shit the first song is actually going to sit in a class and not have to say a word if I don’t love to. Oh, I always end up [1:02:30.0] talking either way [laughter] but I went through that weekend and was so impressed and you all have it through another thrive sessions coming up here in a couple of months. And I know that SR education really is the power. You’re kind of the brains behind that thing happening. I know you have some partners involved, but thrive sessions is coming so I guess question one is SR education. What is it? Who can be apart? Like [1:03:00.0] [incomprehensible] brag on SR education.
Sally: Well you know I left so soon. I spent my whole career there, my whole life there. I moved from London to L.A. I was the senior creative director in the L.A. Academy in Santa Monica and then about seven years ago, I just really decided I’m going to go for it. I’m going to really try and achieve my dream, and my dream was to develop a training program and an education company that I could then build, and I really wanted to support the salon stylist. I really felt at the time. That hair education was getting more and more complicated. I felt like all of the brands and all of the companies were just trying to top each other and it was so complicated, and I was part of that. If you’d been in my class doing a creative class with me. It was like, so I stripped everything [1:04:00.0] back and I tried to simplify everything, and I wanted to create a program that would be easy to understand, beneficial to people in the salon every day. And I got to the point where I felt like the words you know, Salon work or any kind of indication that you were doing commercial work seemed to be like looked down upon like, oh you do layered [incomprehensible] you know? [Laughter] and it was like you were [1:04:30.0] running successfully, we had these crazy finds well and you can disconnect everything [crosstalk] And then, that’s not reality.
Chris: No, that’s not what’s happening in the salon.
Sally: So you know, I really want you to do something that was real. That was a big thing for me. I think I got far so far removed from real hair. I wanted to get back into that again. So that’s when I started SR education. I left again you know, I’m that kind of person. It’s all or nothing. I’ve always had a very entrepreneurial [1:05:00.0] spirit. I’ve always been very business minded as well and liked to just make things happen. It’s exciting me, I like that thrill of it. So, I left, and I started SR education. You know I got into Kickstarter. I think I was one of the first people in the industry to use Kickstarter.
Chris: That’s amazing.
John: That’s great.
Sally: I’m lucky because my husband is a producer. So, we filmed for like probably 15 days and brought out my first collection of [1:05:30.0] DVD’s. I got about 70,000 dollars from Kickstarter to go towards it. And I felt like I was you know, on some kind of political rally. You know, literalist didn’t take any
classes for about a month. And I literally went everywhere, I went into schools, went into [incomprehensible] did demos and talked about Kickstarter and raised funds. And it was just such a great [1:06:00.0] situation because, I could go and talk to people about SR education as well. It was marketing as well, obviously. So I used Kickstarter that was seven years ago. And before I’d seen anybody else use Kickstarter.
Chris: Yeah. No, I haven’t heard of it until recently, really.
Sally: So, that was really cool. We did it again for a men’s program as well. And raised money and I now have an online platform that we built ourselves. You know, for haircutting program. So SR education has really [1:06:30.0] grown. It started off just as more of a haircutting program. But now, it’s teacher training. We have salon apprentice programs that people follow. We are just moving through into color and razor cutting star in this year. I have a really amazing team of people now as well. And I have also kind of franchised it out a little bit. So, we have a few different academies now. So, people are also [1:07:00.0] teaching SR education classes and they’ve trained with me. And so, we have some satellite locations as well. But everything really was all about trying to get a location open and that’s literally what is happening on Monday.
So, on Monday my school is opening and that’s in Scottsdale Arizona. I left L.A. moved to Scottsdale so, I could open a space. And [1:07:30.0] we are going to be an advanced training program. We’re also going to open for cosmetology, very small boutique cosmetology school starting in March. And Tim Hartley who is my mentor. I met when I was 17 is coming in January to open the school. So very, very exciting. If any of you want to come and spend some time with Tim, we do have a couple of places left for his workshop.
Chris: And tell us about [1:08:00.0] thrives so how do we get there?
Sally: So, then I also have another business, which is a hair show and that’s called Thrive sessions. So, this is really all about the hair show. I felt personally that the hair shows it got so big. Get lost in them, do you? You know I mean, am I in the nail isle. I don’t know what’s going on
John: [incomprehensible] flea market there for a while.
Chris: Yeah. 100% and I’m going to cut you off again, which is by the way the theme on our [1:08:30.0] podcast. Just so you know. But going to thrive sessions. You know, it was small. I’m going to say it was appropriately sized, right? So, it was small but perfect, the perfect size classrooms. You picked fantastic instructors. I sat in on a hair extensions class with L.B. had no intention of sitting in that class for more than 10 minutes, just to get a snapshot and then [1:09:00.0] bring back some information for the team stayed for three hours. Actually, weaved hair extensions that I’m going to get certified. Amazing. Who I know is, she’s sort of your partner in this, right?
Sally: Yep. So Lindsey Guzman is someone that I met she was in my teacher training program and she’s now become one of my SR education academies in Denver. And she also has an amazing hair education Academy. So, we’ve got together and become partners [1:09:30.0] in this thrive sessions which is our hair show. So, March the 24th and 25th we’re going to be in Seattle. It’s got bigger than it was last year in Denver and we’ve got more artists. So, this is again all about allowing a stylist in the salon to thrive. And we know that this stylist who are very, very good in that area. But then, they’re like either get a bit bored. What am I going to do now [1:10:00.0] was the new challenge or how do I raise my revenue at this point? And so, if you are someone that does really great cut and color, how can you raise it while you couldn’t stop mastering extension? Right? Or you can start mastering new social media.
Chris: A great social media class there.
Sally: So those elements. So, what we wanted to do was get a group of independent artists to come together to fill in all of those gaps. That people [1:10:30.0] struggle with in the salon. So, we have eight different classes and having social media with Nina. She has a company called Passion square she was a very famous and really amazing social media company. We also have destroyed the hairdresser who are going to be all business coaching company. We have Jay Olson from pulp right who specializes in like [incomprehensible] and really beautiful [1:11:00.0] head painting. We also have L.B. extension classes. I’m going to be doing a new race a class. We also have a speed foil placement class. And still some classic hair cutting. And then in the evening we’re going to have an evening show and I’ve managed to persuade again my mentor Tim Hartley and Tina Anderson to come over and they’re going to be doing a huge evening show like a [1:11:30.0] proper hair show. But it’s still exciting. You can still see every single person that’s attended the show, you can network, you can talk to so many amazing sponsors and have experiences. And I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully, we’re going to take this all over the world. Right?
John: I mean, I know this sounds silly but, we’re excited to go.
Chris: We’re excited.
John: We’ve already got staff members saying, “hey I’m going to need the 24th and 25th of March [crosstalk] [1:12:00.0]
Chris: We’re like well, count us in because we’re taking off those days too.
John: It was funny because one of the staff asked me, “Hey the five events coming” and I’m like, “it is?” And I went to the website, I couldn’t find the day. And I went here, and I couldn’t find a date. There was an Instagram story. And one of my staff had found it by the Instagram Story and I had actually go, “where did you find it? [Incomprehensible] Instagram story. Let’s write this down.
Sally: We just launched it. So, I really hope you’re going to be seeing everyone. Because we’re [1:12:30.0] relaunching it on all of our social media etc. etc.
John: So, if I can, I want to ask you a deeper question now. So, you’ve got on this amazing journey. You’ve gotten to where you’re at now and what’s really great is the excitement and passion that you still bring. Which is contagious. So, thank you by the way. I want to ask you know, along that journey what have you seen change in our industry. And you know, we talk a little bit about the [1:13:00.0] desire to work three jobs and know what that looks like, right? We’ve talked about before the power of social media and what that looks like in our industry. You know we kind of knock on certain segments of our population. You know, a fraction called the millennials and we say, they don’t really work hard. In person I will [crosstalk]
Chris: Yes, we think they do.
John: We tend to work really hard [crosstalk] [incomprehensible] different. So, what are the changes you’ve seen in the industry? Where do you see us going? What are the big changes you see that maybe we need to [1:13:30.0] confront? I want to touch briefly on this you said something interesting about wanting to take education. You didn’t say this, but I’m going to say it. [Laughter] Taking it away from the manufacturers and putting it back with the hairdresser that hair cutting had gotten. Well here’s a place. I need to bring a back down. So, tell me what you’ve seen, were the changes?
Sally: I think one of the biggest things for me is obviously, just what it looks like from a hairdressing point of view. So many people [1:14:00.0] now, particularly on the West Coast are working by themselves in studios etc. And I get it. I understand. I want to be in control of what music goes on. I want to be my own space. I totally get it. But it’s also very dangerous, isn’t it? Because headdresses are like a completely separate group of people. And we really enjoy being together and we really feed [1:14:30.0] off of each other and we’re a bit nosey. We want to see what’s going on, right? And so, that piece I think, is dangerously being affected in the industry, right now. I think that I have people come into class all the time and say to me you know, I just really, really enjoying being in here with a group of hairdressers even if they don’t know them, they just walked in by themselves. They just, they know they need to be with the herd. [1:15:00.0] You know what I mean? So, I think that from an education point of view. I think that, so many people are working individually or in small salons they are not going to accumulate loads and loads of Education points because they don’t sell enough product. They don’t go through enough product because they’re a one-man band. So, they can’t rely on getting their education that way. And they have to go and seek it out in a different manner. And that’s why, independent education [1:15:30.0] etc. is I think you know, so well received at the moment and it’s such a big movement as well. And I think people are really thinking about where they put in their money, where they put in their hard earned money and they want something of value. And they want something they can take back and use and it can empower them. I don’t think people are looking for some crazy technique that they’ll never [1:16:00.0] use anymore because, they are using their own money now, they’re not using the salon as money. They’re not using the points anymore, they buy themselves now. So, it’s different.
Chris: Do you want to, we can edit so you can just talk and then we’ll…
John: Well I don’t know, if you wanted to stop it because doctors before and create a third one that’s why I’m stopping.
Chris: We’re still rolling.
John: Okay. So, let’s keep going?
Chris: Yeah, I think so. I think maybe I did something on the [1:16:30.0] last one but,
Sally: So, I think really the you know, the industry has changed definitely. What I’m also seeing is, you know people want different things don’t they? The older generation of hairdressers I think, love to bang on about the old days. The old days and I was trained like this.
Chris: I’ve caught myself not doing that or trying to stop saying that [crosstalk] because it’s like nobody gives a shit.
Sally: [1:17:00.2] Nobody cares, just makes you look [incomprehensible] [crosstalk]. So, it’s not about age is it? It’s about state of mind. I’ve met amazing hairdressers in the 60s and they are so modern and forward thinking. It’s so refreshing. I’ve met 30 year old’s that’s complaining about the good all days.
So, I think you cannot legitimately, as a stylist say, “oh you know I don’t like social media or it’s too [1:17:30.0] technical for me or I don’t want to get involved in all that kind of stuff” that’s ridiculous. You got to get with it.
John: Had a coaching session with one of our stylists the other day and she’s struggling a little bit. One of her challenges was, I really know I need to get on social media. I was like, “How are you doing?” She said, cool. I got two post on Instagram. Two. And I was like, how does that working? And she’s like I just, I can’t get into it. [Crosstalk] you’re struggling to build. But you don’t want to do this [1:18:00.0]. [crosstalk] [laughter] I don’t’ want to do this.
Sally: So, you have time?
John: So that’s the sad part, right? Talk about how social media has affected our industry from your eyes.
Sally: I think it’s your new shop window. Right? So, I think for me personally, when I qualified, you would literally go and sit in the back. Break room and you would wait for a client to walk in off the street or you be fed in new clients. Those days are [1:18:30.0] over. You need to go and hustle and find your clients. And I think there’s nothing wrong with going out in your community and still really connecting with people because it’s still very powerful. But what’s quicker, much easier to get on social media and start to show what you can do to clients and to people in your community. So, I think what’s really happened is the people that have really taken the bull by the horns and really gone for it and got their heads around it have [1:19:00.4] really, really thrived at it. And I think it’s really exciting to see, I definitely hear people saying derogatory things and negative things, Oh well, they’ve just got a big Instagram following and you know, it doesn’t mean that they can do really good hair and I feel like I’m a better hairdresser than that person but, they’re just famous because they’ve got more followers. Oh my God. Do you know how hard these people are working to get that amount of followers? [1:19:30.0] That is a full-time job.
They might not be doing as much hair as you, but they are working way harder in different areas. So, I take my hat off to anyone that’s got a crazy amount of followers because I know how much work they put it in. To do it. It’s so much work. I admire them.
John: And I think it’s one of those things where you have this build up where you’re building, you’re building, you’re building you’re putting a lot of work into social media. You’re building, you’re building, and you may not be [1:20:00.0] seeing that great return in the beginning. But all of a sudden you hit this threshold and bam the chair is fold. And people are coming in and you’re busy and you’ve got a waiting list. You know people would DM and using I need appointment and you’re like it’s going to be three months.
Sally: How exciting is that?
John: And how can you knock that? Maybe you don’t see it until it hits that threshold. And all of a sudden the light switch.
Chris: Look you got to put in the words, I mean you talked about the beginning of your career to kind of start to circle this back. You know I [1:20:30.0] can’t emphasize three years. I can’t emphasize that enough, three years and then a two-year hiatus probably partying around Europe which work all jealous of. [Laughter]But you know, that’s a five-year span and really had nothing happened yet. Then you had to beg to get a job again. So maybe, we’re looking at six years now and today I want it today if I’m new and so. And you know what? I get it. Like we all get it. [Crosstalk] [1:21:00.0] Absolutely.
John: But I also know that that’s probably not realistic. I’m going to have to put the work again.
I’d love, if this is still sitting in my head sort of excuse me but I love the story you told about being on the train and watching fashion fly by you [crosstalk] the suburbs into the city. Right? And I think that social media is that for us. If I’m going to make a really bad connection because, through social media you’re looking out that [1:21:30.0] And you’re watching [crosstalk].
Chris: That was a great connect, dude.
John: You like that? [laughter] You get to watch that zoom by. All you get to do it from the comfort of. [crosstalk]
Chris: I love it. I love it. Well I feel like we could talk all day long with Sally.
John: This really bad because I’m not finished. [Laughter] [Crosstalk]
Chris: So, do you want to ask Sally one more question [Crosstalk]
John: I can ask one more question [1:22:00.0]
Chris: Well, typically what we do to start to wind our podcasts up Sally, is just to kind of you know picture the listener who might be listening to us and you know, whether it’s a hairdresser possibly newer or maybe somebody who’s in their career who’s kind of curious about next level stuff.
What’s some advice that you’d love to leave a student with, when you have the opportunity to make an impression?
Sally: I think the biggest thing is just work hard you know and be impressive and don’t take no for an answer. I mean that’s what I always did. That’s why I [1:22:30.0] still do. Someone tells me No, not interested. I’ll just keep going until I get it. So, determination, not taking no for an answer and just putting the work in. I will always employ the most enthusiastic person in the room, rather than the best technical person in the room. So, be impressive, push yourself forward. Go and find someone that you want to work for. I’m going to bang on the door [1:23:00.0] literally all on social media. I get so many messages all the time, how can I work for you? How can I come and do work experience? You know it’s great, it’s exciting. So, don’t take no for an answer. Be determined you know and go for it. That’s the biggest thing.
John: I’m great. Like I said if I ask any more questions, I can stop at one. I just really want to say thank you. I’ll keep this short. We got to meet Sally because she came to work at [1:23:30.0] our academy and work out their instructors to help us up our game. Amazing instructors
Chris: A [incomprehensible] Academy by 124 and [crosstalk].
John: So, you know, our journey started there. And I just have to let you know that that’s made a great difference in both what our instructors can deliver and their ability to pass that on to our students.
So, I wanted to say thank you for that.
Chris: And I want to also say thank you for just for the past couple of days. But also, again for sitting down with us we just spent, Sally you [1:24:00.0] spent a long day teaching. She put her money where our mouth is and sat down with us showing that you know, even at your level putting in the hard work you could have said no, and you didn’t. So, we appreciate that. That said, if you’re listening to this podcast and you feel like you enjoyed it and want to keep hearing more please hit the subscribe button and you can find us in a few different places. You can find us at 124go on YouTube where we’re constantly uploading new videos [1:24:30.0] of a lot of behind the scenes stuff. So, as many of you know we work with six Salon group we have 130 hairdressers and we share a lot of leadership behind the scenes, a lot of behind the scenes interpersonal meetings with our, how that team has operated there. You can also find us on Instagram at 124go and feel free to messages and reach out. Also, if you enjoyed this podcast, please screenshot it and share us in your Instagram Stories and [1:25:00.0] tag us and we will do the same for you.
John: And don’t forget if your podcast app allows you to leave us a wicked nice review, I prefer 5 stars. [Laughter]
Chris: Thanks everybody for listening. And until next time.
John: Yeah. Thanks for being here. [incomprehensible]