Sandra Bernhard has given up on comedy and anorexia and has opened a salon in a Chicago suburb (I don’t think it’s Lanford), called Earth Moon Sun.
What’s with these stylists? They have no style, they’re not on my list!!!
In actuality the owner of the salon featured in the season finale of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover is Janeen. Janeen is also the lead colorist in the “departmentalized salon.” Which means they shuffle you between the “color side,” and the “styling” side before your hair looks like crap. She opened Earth Moon Sun with her sister who is also a stylist and who was the head of the cutting side of the salon. Sissy has since left, leaving Janeen short-handed and overwhelmed with debt and crappy stylists. Tabatha has been called in to get Janeen’s trailer back on track. Tabatha is outside the salon and calls in to the front desk for Janeen. The receptionist answers the phone, sneers and transfers the call to Janeen who is in the office. Coincidentally, both seem confused by the call, but not by the camera crew filming them.
Once outside, Janeen greets Tabatha and she immediately bursts into tears, she’s grateful to see Tabatha because she’s at the end of her rope.
TC takes Janeen to watch the surveillance footage, before they roll the footage Janeen says that she’s barely making rent and is $500K in debt. Her mother has invested in the salon, at least $100K. Her sister walked out 3 years ago and she not been able to take back control of her salon since then.
It’s a dire situation, before TCoif can move forward, they must examine an average day in Earth Moon Sun. In the first batch of footage the assistants are running amuck. One assistant is seated at the makeup counter and one of the front desk staff members is doing her make-up, while simultaneous belching, cursing and arguing. A second receptionist is seated behind the front desk is going to town on her lunch in-between screams.
So, Tabatha points out, Janeen has the Omega Mus greeting clients. Tabatha has gotten over the fact that they’re tending to their own mugs, but the cursing is more than inappropriate — It’s borderline, “BANG.”
“Whatchu say fool?”
But of course, there’s more, so TC and Janeen turn back to the monitors to see Janeen asking an assistant to bring her something and Assistant Amanda responding with “do you want me to bake you a cake too?” instead of making an example of her and throwing bleach in her eyes, Janeen takes the disrespek. Tabatha finds the assistants’ behavior unacceptable, but mouthy little girls can be deal with… eyebrow raise, white cat in lap… muhahaha.
The footage rolls once more and this time, Stylist Katie is behind the chair snipping away as her client tells her how much she doesn’t like her cut, it’s too short and it wasn’t what she thought she was getting.
Not only does Katie blow off the client’s accusations, but a manager does not intervene and the client leaves unhappy. Tabatha has to stop to point out to Janeen that unhappy clients do not return. In fact, thanks to the Internet, unhappy clients can be a real liability. Like they can give you bad online reviews, or possibly, WRITE A BLOG! Hear me, SUBWAY? I’m coming for you! (fist shaking) I’m going to destroy you!
Anyway… Speaking of crap, the next batch of footage showcases the sheer power of Janeen, as she’s screaming for help across the salon. Her crass assistants are not attending to her, they may actually be ignoring her at this point. But she continues to scream manically until she’s attended to. Tabatha stops the footage to point out that this is what her staff sees. This is not the image of a stable leader.
I’m on an island! No one helping and I don’t understand the premiere of LOST.
Next up, manager Nicole is filmed in the office. Actually she’s busted for never leaving the office. She stays in there all day, while there are obviously conflicts to be dealt with on the floor.
Working hard or hardly… relevant?
She’s like Lou Grant, without the warm center, just more feathered hair than the entire cast of Married to the Mob. Girl looks like she’s trying to achieve a vertical takeoff, like she’s attempting the first hair style that could double as propellers… omigod, she’s the Gadget ‘Copter.
Go, go Gadget extensions.
Janeen is forced to agree with Tabatha, both the staff and the management are falling short.
The footage rolls on and catches the staff at happy hour. In the salon. In the middle of the day. Major beer goggles may benefit the men of this town when these ladies hit the bar circuit, but it doesn’t help the EMS clients.
“A little wine should cure that ma’am…”
These stylists drink during work hours and there is no room for their work to further deteriorate … before they won’t even be able to pass off their work as pet grooming.
That’s the final nail in the doublewide coffin, Tabatha asks for the keys, she’s taking over. Tabatha walks into Earth Moon Sun and gathers the staff, but someone is missing? Who is waiting for their entrance cue? Manager Nicole, who joins the group after bellowing across the salon.
I think Tabatha likes her immediately.
Nicole joins Tabatha and the rest of the staff. Tabatha has cancelled all the appointments and is prepared to tear shit up. Hold on to your muumuus girls, it’s about to get ugly.
The staff are told that they’ve been under surveillance all day. All Miss T has seen is bad styling and craptastic customer service. Receptionist Sierra was noshing and contaminating the desk while Receptionist Jen was belching and laughing. Neither of the girls could defend themselves.
Amanda gets called out for smart-mouthing Janeen, when she was only asked to do her job. Do you think Tabatha accepts any form of apology or recompense but blood, sweat and tears? No little girl, she does not.
Katie had an unsuccessful client interaction today. Luckily for Katie, this is one of the clients Tabatha sent in and she returns to air her grievances. She didn’t want her hair layered in the back and Tabatha points out that the layers weren’t even executed well. Katie is embarrassed and tells the camera that she’s debating whether or not she even wants to come back tomorrow to endure Tabatha again.
Miss T sets her sights on Nicole, who didn’t leave the office all day. Not to say this woman belongs in the front window, she one of those woman who seeming has no reason to hide behind 10 pounds of makeup. She’s can’t be too far into her 40s, tops, she doesn’t seem to have bad skin, she just uses the MAC line like her war paint.
But NWOWW, the feisty manager and trailblazer of aeronautic hair, tells TC “it’s my job to be in the office all day, sorry Tabatha.”
She looks like a well-balanced individual.
Tabatha doesn’t like excuses and doesn’t accept the answer NWOWW offered.
Tabatha doesn’t see how this business will survive unless the staff stops making excuses and buckles down to make some major changes.
Tabatha asks the staff to return the next day for the staff meeting, but before she can get away from the salon for the day, she needs a tour.
The first thing Tabatha notices is that the salon needs updating. The waiting area is decorated with brightly colored leather couches, a style that hasn’t been seen the camera since Arsenio Hall Show went off the air. Janeen agrees that the dÃ©cor is outdated, but she hasn’t had the means to make the updates.
This couch was on sale at Paula Abdul’s garage sale…
Next up in the “blow-dry bar”, which is where client can get their jollies drying their own hair. Tabatha thinks it’s tacky as well as a missed opportunity for income for the salon..
In a Season 2 first, Tabatha has to acknowledge that the salon is actually really clean. But that just makes the problem that much more obvious. It’s the people.
And as we’ve previously discovered the women of EMS are drinkers, and Tabatha discovers how much booze they really have stockpiled in the salon. Janeen falls back on a favorite excuse of Season 2, she shares. Janeen admits that she made margaritas, but she made them for the clients too. Wouldn’t go to the dentist for a root canal without anesthesia, right?
It’s all built into the price of Earth Moon Sun.
Tabatha’s not having it and she’s ready to sit down with Owner Janeen and Manager Nicole to get a better idea of how much the business is suffering. I bet Nicole’s helmet hair is especially designed to be resistant to reason and modern conditioning techniques, but let’s see how well this goes.
Once the woman of management are seated, Tabatha starts in on the basics of the business. Nicole does the numbers, but she can’t tell TC what they pull a month or what their retention rate is. When TC asks Janeen what she thinks the problems are, Janeen says that she doesn’t have a strong stylist side. She leads the colorists and she says that a lot of clients go to another salon to get cut. That’s a huge problem.
The salon is nice and in a high end area. “But what are you doing to market the salon?” Tabatha asks. The question is directed at Janeen, who begins to answer when NWOWW begins to speak over her. They both start muttering about a referral program when Tabatha shushes Nicole to allow for Janeen to talk. Nicole is about an receptive to Tabatha’s request as her hair is to water and continues to babble.
NWOWW continues to infringe on Janeen’s personal space, not only talking over her, but getting closer and closer to her, until she’s on top of her like the cosmetic discount rack at Walgreens.
Tabatha asks Nicole to let Janeen speak and Nicole says, “Sure, I just normally finish her sentences because things don’t click in her head. She babbles.” Yet she was clear headed enough to hire you? Brilliant.
Tabatha thinks that the two woman are like a co-dependent married couple and it has to stop if Janeen is going to save the business.
The next day the staff files in to meet with Tabatha. She wants to see if the rest of the staff is as dysfunctional as Nicole and Janeen.
The staff congregates and starts to air their complaints. Janeen often gets frustrated and lashes out at the staff. Nicole doesn’t do anything. She yaps with Janeen. She bitches at the stylists and clients alike. The staff believes that Nicole isn’t really that invested in return business and is more interesting in maintaining her “holier than thou attitude” and crappy customer service skills.
… and of course, her ‘do.
Most of the stylists are unhappy and don’t like coming to work.
The stylists need to be able to offer up good work. She asks that everyone prepare their stations as the clients arrive. Janeen and Nicole have also arrived so TC asks Janeen to set up her station and asks NWOWW to be on the floor with her today.
At the assessment Tabatha has paired up a colorist and stylist for each client, as the teams are being introduced to their clients, TC makes the rounds.
As Katie consults with her Chelsea Clinton-curly client, she asks her what she’s looking for in the cut. The client wants a shorter bob, she’s brought a photo of Selma Blair as a reference. Katie asks her if she’s willing to straighten her hair every day, like in the inspiration photo. If she’s doesn’t — it’ll be a frizz ball.
Ms. T has to step in and tell Katie that she wasn’t conveying her message respectfully. It’s a big part of being a professional.
Nicole takes this diversion/opportunity to escape Tabatha and hides in the office. Tabatha like Jo Frost, chases her down in the office and drags her back to the floor.
You’ve been very naughty. 43 minutes on the naughty chair.
Tabatha approaches Nicole and begins to argue the need for a manager on the floor. Clients need assistance and Janeen can’t be responsible for managing all the needs of the staff. However, even if she was a hands on manager, she needs to check herself, because the staff doesn’t like coming to Nicole because she’s short-tempered. The staff has no one to go to. Tabatha thinks that Nicole is the real problem.
Back at Katie’s station Tabatha asks for her plan. Katie says she doesn’t know. So Tabatha asks her to talk to her like a hairdresser. Tabatha does her acrobatics act to get Katie to the conclusion that if she cuts the hair vertically she can remove the most bulk and make the hair lighter.
She has to know that hand is coming at her face next…
Even after all the sarcastic cheerleading Katie still doesn’t have a plan and instead of continuing to talk to Tabatha, she storms off.
At Janeen’s stations, she has finished her color and Tabatha compliments her work. “The color is beautiful,” she tells Janeen. The client is very happy. Tabatha doesn’t think the staff of colorists are the problem, they’re very talented.
Back in the land of the lost, Katie is clueless about the cut she’s just performed. Tabatha thinks the stylists lack motivation, education and a leader.
Tabatha addresses all the stylists. She says that she wishes the stylists could at least fall back on good work. But their work sucks.
Show of hands. Who’s the only profitable stylist in this room?
They’re dismissed, but Tabatha, always the glutton for visual punishment, sits Janeen and Nicole down for another meeting.
The work is abysmal, Janeen agrees, she cannot light a fire under her staff’s collective ass. Janeen needs help controlling her emotional outburst, but she can’t help it, she’s frustrated. Her business changed unexpectedly and now needs help. And maybe an outlet for her anger.
The next morning Tabatha takes Janeen to the beaches of Lake Michigan to let her scream out her frustrations. In Janeen’s screams, she admits that Nicole is mean.
Tabatha admits that she called Janeen’s sister. TCoif wanted to mediate a conversation between the two sisters, but Sissy didn’t want to come and TC says that sister has moved on and Janeen needs too as well… Janeen is happy to have the session to vent.
Back in the ‘burbs, Tabatha has taken the staff to a local restaurant to volunteer their services for a fashion show. As the staff starts styling the models, TC gives Amanda the opportunity to blow-dry. TC brings up that Amanda does well and that she could be generating extra revenue by performing blowouts at the salon.
While the models are getting ready Tabatha approaches Janeen and Nicole about inviting everyone to the re-opening of the salon. Both agree that they should be talking up the salon, but Nicole is about as personable as … well as Nicole looks.
If looks could kill, this one could kill you, wrap you in heavy duty garbage bags and bury you in the woods.
Janeen is inspired by working on the models and likes styling, she even says she wants to take cutting classes. Tabatha thinks Janeen is different and asks Nicole to be supportive of that. Nicole is wide-eyed and nodding, yet obviously dismissive of T’s advice.
The models are ready, so the stylists mingle in the audience to discuss the salon.
After the fashion show, TC kicks off the renovations by bringing the staff back to the salon and rids the salon of their stash of booze. With Janeen’s assistance they dump it all down the drain.
Tabatha asks the clients to step up their work when they return.
It’s three days later and the renovations are complete. The furniture has been replaced and the blowdry bar has been removed. The color palate has been muted and the front desk was opened up so they have a view of the salon from the front.
Before and After
Everyone is happy with the renovations except Nicole. She doesn’t care what the salon looks like, she’s done with it.
Clients are streaming in to the salon and TC runs down her list of requests, she wants vigilance. Everyone needs to attend to the clients.
As the day progresses, Janeen remains in a good mood and conducts herself as a business owner.
At Katie’s station, TC asks Katie what she was doing with her time off. Katie ignores her questions and stares at her beeper (?!?) instead.
It’s like a parenting brochure from 1998.
Nicole is not talking to the clients, so TC has to go up to her and ask her to interact with the clients. NWOWW acts on Tabatha’s recommendation and starts a conversation with one client. Nicole stares at the client with frightening gaze, and then walks away screaming about tea, or tea bags, or something. Ms T approaches her again and asks her not to yell. Tabatha tells NWOWW that Janeen is calm she hasn’t yelled. Nicole gives her a head tilt and the wide-eyed gaze of a serial killer and responds with, “you’re right she’s been perfect.” Tabatha is blown away by the passive aggressive behavior but allows Nicole to keep her life and walks away. Behind her Nicole is smiling and muttering, “you can jam that one up your ass too, Tabatha.”
But with a mid-western accent, so it’s super-charming.
Not surprisingly, Nicole is ready for T to leave. She thinks she’s nothing but a pain in the ass. Nicole continues to bitch to anyone that would listen.
At Katie’s station, Tabatha has checked back in after her cut, and the client says that it doesn’t look like anything was cut off. She’s actually so frightened of Katie touching her again that she refuses to let Katie correct it. Nicole is nowhere to be found while unhappy clients are being released from the salon, so Janeen intervenes and TC offers to do the cut.
Blink twice if you need help.
Time for the final recommendations. Tabatha is happy with Assistant Amanda –she rose to the occasion. Nicole sucks, she does nothing. Janeen just thinks that TC and Nicole are oil and water, she doesn’t see anything wrong with the way Nicole conducts herself.
Tabatha ends her recommendations by telling Janeen that Katie may be the worst stylist she’s ever seen.
They announce T’s recommendations to the staff. Amanda will be allowed to be more hands on, Katie is going to take a step away from the clients, she needs more education. With that, it’s time to Tabatha to go… but she promises to be back.
When T returns 6 weeks later, Janeen is still on a high. Katie is taking classes and Amanda has been blow drying. Nicole is still hated and unchanged.
But in a surprise ending, Janeen calls TC two days later announcing Nicole’s departure. Janeen canned her ass.
What did you think of this season? Did Tabatha save Earth Moon Sun? Do you think Nicole will find work with the mob?