Tabatha has been called to Refuge Salon in Silver Lake, California for episode seven of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.
This troubled salon is owned by Miriam, and Amish outcast and current hipster. Miriam is a brilliant combination for a small business owner. She has the rich education of an Amish girl and the sharp business sense of a modern hipster… which means she knows nothing and cares little. Perfect. When we meet Miriam we learn that she is barely keeping the doors to Refuge salon open. She’s currently ducking bill collectors, getting paid in vodka and treating her staff like her 8th grade entourage.
Tabatha greets the dead-eyed stylist outside her salon in the Silver Lake, which is apparently LA’s answer to Williamsburg. It’s full of hipsters and subsequently a plethora of consignment shops, tattoo parlors and incense vendors. Ms. T is a little out of place in the sunny side of Hipsterville, but that’s not going to stop her from trying to instill some order in the salon…
Not “Amish” order, but at least she should be able to balance a check book.
Tabatha brings Miriam into her lair to watch surveillance footage of the salon. Miriam prefaces the footage by saying she opened the business because she was sick of working at her last job, she doesn’t have a business plan or any knowledge of business, she was raised Amish. She was not given any training outside a roadside stand for home-churned butter. Now Miriam has more problems than she can count… seriously she only has like a 5th grade education. In addition, she’s supporting her ten year old daughter.
In the first batch of surveillance footage we see a walk-in arrive at the salon. One of the stylists can’t accommodate her, so the salon manager confers with the receptionist, Cruella DeVille Jr. and they decide to make the client an appointment at another salon.
I think this is a first for Tabatha. I don’t know if her East Coast salon would even consider this tactic for addressing a client, so all Tabatha can muster is shake of the head.
Next up is stylist Michelle and her crappy time management techniques. Michelle spent 3 Â½ hours on a client today and typically runs hours behind schedule.
In the next batch of surveillance footage, we find Miriam in her office reading (like she learned in the candlelit school houses) a letter from a client who claims stylist Jessica badly botched her highlights. Miriam tosses the letter at Jessica and runs away from the problem. Miriam retreats to the break room and finds solace in bitching to all the other stylists.
Tabatha is not happy to see the owner of the salon complaining about a employee to all her other employees. It doesn’t matter how relaxed the salon atmosphere is, gossiping is destructive. Although Miriam chooses to humiliate herself through the use of various jumper dresses, it inappropriate to humiliate a stylist by gossiping.
Miriam can’t account for her childlike behavior and Tabatha moves on to footage of the bill collector arriving at the salon to shut off their gas. Miriam doesn’t manage her money at all…
She can pay him in Dalmatians.
Tabatha has seen enough of these f*cking hipsters and is ready to take over.
Tabatha arrives on the salon floor and announces the rules to the Refuge stylists. Tabatha has seen crappy work, crappy attitudes and crappy behavior.
Time for the tour. Tabatha makes a stop at the retail section, but it’s basically non-existent. Miriam hasn’t had the cash to replenish the retail section, so it’s stayed empty.
“Ironic retail” is just not profitable.
Tabatha continues to make the rounds and finds bleach gunked in the dryers and hairballs rolling across the floor. At one station Tabatha finds empty beer bottle hidden behind the mirror. Miriam admits that “our clients come back is because they give them alcohol.” Nothing causes the hipsters to flock like the promise of a Pabst (or a Tecate — for our west coast readers).
Tabatha makes her way into Miriam’s messy office, or as Miriam describes it “where we store the bills,” and finds a mini-fridge stocked with vodka.
Miriam admits that one of her client pays her in vodka. Tabatha says, “Miriam won’t think she’s so cool and hip, when she loses her business and her ass is on the street.” But on the bright side, she’ll still be warm, inebriated and able to continue to dress the same way…
It’s a new day and it’s time for the staff meeting. The stylists say that bill collectors arrive regularly at the salon. They’ve all used their own money to restock the salon, and for their efforts they’re usually paid late. They agree that they all weather Miriam’s nonsense because they care about Refuge.
Which of those doors leads to reality?
Tabatha is happy to see that the stylists are invested in Refuge Salon, she can build on that. The stylists go on to tell her about Miriam. She’s an absent boss most of the time, and a crappy boss when she’s present. She wants the shop to be the cool shop, and therefore scarifies running her business as a business.
Tabatha is ready to examine the stylists’ work. The clients arrive and Tabatha is poised to critique. Tabatha visits Memosa’s station where Memosa (… just to give this chick the benefit of the alcoholic doubt, I Googled “Memosa” in search of an explanation for her name. There is a flower indigenous to southern Mexico, Central America and South America which has the name Mimosa… different spelling. So, this chick’s name is seriously a typo on a bar menu.)
Memosa tells TC that she doesn’t have much experience doing color and Tabatha’s response is, “you’re a stylist, right?” So Memosa and her Color Kid hair need to get to getting’ on her client’s roots.
Next up is Michelle who dances her way through the consultation and drives Tabatha into a fit of giggles. Michelle’s terrible time management skills make her consultations as painfully long as her haircuts. Tabatha intervenes (on the client’s behalf) and tells Michelle that the consultation should be more of a conversation and less of a performance piece. Michelle nods in agreement and Tabatha moves on to Miriam’s station.
I don’t need irony to distract you when I have… JAZZ HANDS!
Miriam’s client has laid out exactly what she wants and the dead behind the eyes stylist only nodded. Tabatha tells Miriam to take control of the consultation since she’s the professional.
Memosa is working on her color. She’s put on the touch-up and is now going back in to put in the highlights over the single process color. Tabatha’s face momentarily lights up with alarm as Memosa describes her intended approach and adds that she decided on this technique on the advice of Miriam, owner and professional fuck-up.
Tabatha calmly tells Memosa that her name, I mean her approach is nonsensical. Then Tabatha corners Miriam in the back to ask her if the Amish still use a lot of lead based paints.
Tabatha tells Miriam that you shouldn’t put bleach on top of color, they’re not meant be mixed. Miriam says it’s cool, she does it all the time. Tabatha tells her she’s teaching laziness to her stylists and that’s why her business is in trouble — she’s an idiot. Miriam responds with a set of raspberries.
Isn’t Tabatha just ants at a Park Slope picnic?
Tabatha then checks in with Michelle who is running behind and fudging her timeline when Tabatha asks her when she’ll be finished.
In the office Miriam gets caught by TC gossiping, again. This time she’s retelling the story of the showdown with Tabatha, when she gets caught by Ms. T.
Memosa is foiling her client and doing a decent job. Miriam is hanging at her station waiting for her client to process. She hasn’t made the rounds to check in with her stylists. After Tabatha introduces the idea of Miriam actually managing, she stomps away to see what’s going on in other parts of the salon. Miriam and TC find Michelle in the middle of the longest hair service known to man. Seriously, a hair transplants on Beldar Conehead couldn’t take as long as a set of highlights by Michelle. Michelle explains the reasons for the delay, but Tabatha dismisses them.
Tabatha is ready to start critiquing the stylists’ work. Most of them get hit for being lazy and not refining their work. They have bad habits and Miriam doesn’t hold them accountable for their laziness… what Tabatha doesn’t understand is most hipster are celebrated for their laziness.
Ms. T may have to readjust her standards…
A new day dawns in LA’s Hipsterburg and Miriam arrives after Tabatha has created a vision of the future.
Scarier than the closing of American Apparel.
Tabatha wants Miriam to take her situation seriously, so she tries to give her a good scare. The staff arrives and TC invites them into an empty salon. Tabatha wants to them to get a glimpse of what the future will hold if the salon is not put in order, immediately. The whole staff is embarrassed and saddened by their potential future. Since Tabatha got her desired effect, she allowed the staff to take down the signs.
Tabatha has decided to take the staff to the photo shoot for a local band. Her good friend, Hummer is the photographer and they will be the stylists for the shoot. Tabatha wants Miriam to take control of the shoot, and her staff, and really take an artistic lead. Miriam has a word with Dodge and TC and is told that the guys should be clean-cut and the chicks’ hair should be over the top.
Kinda like what you’re sportin’ Mir…
Chevy and TC take a look around at Refuge’s work and tell Miriam she’s playing it safe. Miriam tells her staff that they need to crank it up, but make it polished. Which is not what Ford said, so TC intervenes and tells the Refuge stylists that in fact, he said the hair is boring. It has to read on print and it needs to have more intention.
The models begin to assemble as Miriam continues to fuss with the finished hair styles. Tabatha intervenes and teases the hell out of the models hair. Across the room the stylists are offended and are carrying on a conversation full of “I could do that!” exclamations. Tabatha has had enough and storms out, and calls Miriam a “stupid little up-start bitch,” during her exit.
Miriam complains that everyone’s mad at her, but no one has been communicating with her effectively. Miriam looks around for support, but this time no one comes forward to agree with her or offer her suggestions. She decides her only recourse is to go apologize to Tabatha who is in the hall, trying to calm down and rereading her Bravo contract.
Miriam tells Ms. T, that she’s sorry she questioned her. She just doesn’t understand what’s expected of her. Tabatha says she wouldn’t have had a problem with Miriam asking more questions, but automatically Miriam responded with catty, gossipy, snarky nonsense.
Not. Paid. Enough.
Miriam says she could have done what Tabatha did, which is what Tabatha wanted to begin with. That’s why she set up the shoot for Miriam to run. Tabatha agrees to finish the shoot. Miriam apologizes to Fiat as well and the photo shoot wraps up.
Tabatha is back at the salon a few days later and renovations are complete. The stylists enter the salon, and obviously are happy with the changes. Tabatha updated the reception area and the stylists stations, but kept the vintage, rock and roll theme and even restocked the product shelves.
Before and After
Tabatha says she wants to see professionalism today, in a non-gossipy environment as clients are arriving for the final assessment.
A member of the photo shoot band arrives for Memosa to color his hair. Tabatha is making the rounds and demonstrating new techniques when Cruella Jr. informs her that Michelle’s only client for the day has cancelled. Tabatha is shocked to learn that Michelle would waste an entire day on one client and drags Michelle into Miriam’s office to account for the lazy schedule.
Michelle was scared of catching shit for running late, and she says that she doesn’t feel well because she cut her finger.
It doesn’t sting as bad as your abandonment.
Tabatha says they’re all excuses and they’re terribly bad excuses. Miriam puts her foot down and tells Michelle she could make twice as much money if she hustled a bit more. Her laxed schedule discourages clients from coming back, since clients don’t want to spend 4 hours in the salon on each visit. That’s enough time to get drunk, sober up and see what the hipsters have done to their hair…
Luckily (!) a walk-in client has arrived and Michelle can participate in the critiques. This client needs a cut and color and the consultation with Michelle shows little promise. Meandering Michelle has decided to cut the consult short, sacrificing a lot of importance question and answer time. Miriam stops by to review the timeline with Michelle and she says she’ll have the client out of the chair by 2pm.
Time for the final recommendation. Tabatha says the staff is more efficient today. Miriam need to be more vigilant in all aspects of her business. She needs to take responsibility and in turn, hold her stylists responsible for their work. The next recommendation is regarding Michelle, she’s slow and has a problem communicating with her clients. Miriam has to decide if she’s going to give Michelle the chance to change.
TC calls the staff together at the end of the day. Tabatha tells the staff that Miriam has committed to being more vigilant and professional. Tabatha also commends the work they’ve done today, especially Memosa who is beginning to offer color services and is off to a strong start. Tabatha calls out Michelle’s whacked scheduling, but Miriam has decided that Michelle will be granted a probationary period to get her time-management up to par. A decision that Michelle thinks is “fracking ridiculous.”
Is it fracking ridiculous? Probablistically.
TC hands Miriam back her keys and promises to return. Six weeks later T is back. Miriam says the salon is busier and she’s catching up on the bills. Michelle is also progressing. Memosa is doing more color and Jessica is out seeking education. Everyone is happier. Well as happy as hipsters can be…
Officially as happy as a hipster can be.
What did you think of this week? Is anyone else shocked that Miriam has been able to keep the salon open this long?
I’m all caught up for this week, when our Ms. T visits an all male,