Listen my children and you shall will thrill…
Of the hair salon takeover of Christopher Hill…
Salon equivalent of Hill House
Oooohhh… not “thrill” so much as watch in uncomfortable silence as a grown man tries to wrestle his nut sack back from a his hormonal wife and pack of depressed hairstylists… on episode 2 of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.
My point with the introductory couplet is that legendary mess that Miss Tabatha enters this week is the Brentwood, CA based Christopher Hill Salon. Much like Longfellow, owners Alexis and Tim know the value of good storytelling, so when the opened the salon 16 months ago with the intention to fix it up and resell, or let to run itself as they danced naked in the surplus, they invented a partner, Christopher Hill. As Tim explains it was “Christopher” who knew the beauty industry and they partnered with him. In fact Alexis and Tim are the full owners and they know less about hairstyling than Revere knew about AA.
By the time Tabatha to comes to Brentwood, we’ve already heard their side of the story. They’re entrepreneurs and thought opening a salon was like opening any other business, any other business they’re completely unfamiliar with and make no effort to learn about.
I always thought, salon owner had a nice ring to it. My next venture? Mermaid Academy.
Tabatha arrives on scene and calls to Tim outside, he grabs his 6-month pregnant wife, Alexis and they waddle outside where Alexis immediately bursts into tears and runs to Tabatha. Who is, of course, unmoved. She’s seen the footage of what goes on inside Christopher Hill Salon and she’s taking them to see it. Right now.
I’ll give you something to cry about.
Alexis and husband Tim are expecting baby #2 and their house is in jeopardy. The stylists are constantly at odds with Alexis and “Christopher Hill” has been floundering for months. Alexis’s “entrepreneurial” attitude and USC MBA instincts told her to fire anyone who got in her way and so far five people have gotten in Alexis’s way. Tim hasn’t seen his sack since the Clinton administration, and neither know how to save the salon.
We’ll be forced to sell the baby to pay the rent.
Once perched inside Tabatha’s Temple of Doom, TC asks the owners “Why don’t you tell me what’s going on.”
They’re over $200K in debt. Tim chimes in and says it’s more like $300K, “Why didn’t you tell me?” Alexis hiccups as the tears are renewed. They could lose their house.
We’ll be forced to move back to Triton’s palace.
When TC asks what they know about the hair industry, Alexis quickly snaps into job interview mode and starts telling Tabatha how well she understands BUSINESS.
And you know how some places have like a lunch special? For business women…
She comes from corporate America and she’s told plenty of people how to run their business, but she’s struggling here. She just thought she would do a remodel and upgrade the salon. Put in top of the the line EVERYTHING and her work would be done.
But they can’t satisfy the staff. Alexis says that the staff would call her and tell her they don’t like the color of the walls. “If it was Frederic Fekkai, you would call and say that…”
“I’ve met Frederic Fekkai, and you, my dear, are no Frederic Fekkai…” Tabatha tells us, like a butch blond bombshell.
Alexis didn’t realize there was so much customer service involved, they didn’t think that their relationship with stylists was so important. Or important at all, because she treats the shiatsu chairs with more respect.
The only thing Alexis has succeeded at since graduating cum laude, is getting her hair done. Which she does. A lot.
It’s a nail special. For business women…
The new receptionist, who looks like a ghetto Miley Cyrus is complaining that Alexis was getting her hair done when she was supposed to be training her.
Alexis views the footage and justifies her actions to Tabatha, “I was dropping off supplies too. I just don’t know what to do anymore.”
“That deserves and medal.” Tabatha snaps.
The next batch of footage Alexis is reprimanding the aforementioned receptionist while seated in at cutting stations, she tells her that everyone in the salon is complaining about her.
…Or did you want a monument?
Later Receptionist Tiffany complains to Tim, he can’t justify Alexis’s “management technique”. Another stylist approaches the front desk where Tim is taking fire from the staff about Alexis. She asks them to not have this conversation on the salon floor, it’s unprofessional.
The CH footage rolls again and this time a client asks about the owner of the salon… and the stylist is left to fudge a story. That’s when Tabatha stops the tape to ask Alexis and Tim about the fictitious Christopher Hill. Tim spins a story about a British celebrity stylist and adventurer that they entered into the business with. Their creation is one part Richard Branson, one part Sweeney Todd.
Tabatha is in awe of the “business people” who thought they could successfully run a salon with just a software license for QuickBooks and a story less creative than greetings Dr. Seuss would write in his Christmas cards.
Tabatha is prepared to start her takeover, she enters under the CH salon under an “Ultima Salon” awning. They haven’t changed the sign from the former salon. TOP OF THE LINE EVERYTHING, remember?
Tabatha enters to applause. The staff is yearning for change more than the management.
Would you applaud if it were Frederic Fekkai?
Tabatha finds a couple gross brushes, but the salon is pretty clean. The wash area is pretty run down.
Also, not comfortable.
They spent a shit-ton of money on the shiatsu massage chairs, but there are gaps in the ceiling and wall color is gross. Tabatha finishes the tour and sees more potential than obstacles. Brentwood is a high-end area, they have new equipment and stations, and if the stylists aren’t completely crappy, there isn’t any real reason why the salon shouldn’t be profitable. She dismisses the staff with a promise to speak to them the next day at the staff meeting.
When the next day begins in LA, the staff is prepared to tell Tabatha the brutal truth about the salon. The salon owners are TERRIBLE, they don’t respect their staff. Alexis thinks she’s smarter than everyone.
She throws her education in their face instead of leading them.
But Mickey Rourke is there researching his next role, The Stylist.
“She has no appreciation for hairdressers,” stylist Carol tells TC of Alexis. Mickey Rourke and Vince Neil agree.
Alexis hasn’t trained the receptionist, and she’s fired five people and two more quit. Miss T asks the staff who else has thought of quitting and half of the staff raises their hands.
I think that’s a conservative estimate. Check the MSNBC numbers.
It’s time to see if the staff are good at what they do. She sets them up with models and more pictures Kardashians than necessary outside a E! press party — and consultations begin. Vince Neil gives a perfectly lovely recommendation to his client, so does Carol and Talin. All the stylists ask perfectly logical questions and are able to offer thoughtful recommendations.
When the work begins Tabatha has absolutely nothing bad to say about the stylists technique or results, in fact she’s quite pleased with all of them.
The trouble begins when the owners arrive and Tabatha gives Tim and Alexis a little test.
Alexis is always a bag of douche.
She takes them from chair to chair to see if they understand what services their stylists have performed.
“This client got a color service today… what should she go home with?”
“Shampoo and conditioner! …and toner?” Tim replies.
“You have no idea what you’re talking about?” TC says, as Tim stares at her, trying not to look unnatural as he covers his groin and prepares for a foot in his ass instead.
The clueless couple move on to Talin’s client and Miss T asks Alexis what services this client received today. Alexis stares at the top of the client’s head and replies, “a nice trim and a blowout… no color, I hope not color.” She did get color. Alexis has just insulted the client, y’know, in a CORPORATE AMERICA way.
When the staff is called back together, Tabatha tells them they do good work, they’re just demoralized. Vince Neil chimes in and says it’s the “lack of being proud of where you’re at.” Less fancy, but yes. Tabatha agrees the respect is not there.
I used to be called DR. FEELGOOD!
She sits down with Tim and Alexis to tell them that there’s nothing wrong with their business besides them. Alexis thinks she’s smarter and she’s better than her staff, “and that’s what they think.”
Even rats can sense fear.
Alexis automatically goes into defensive spin mode and says that’s not true, she wouldn’t have created this gorgeous salon if that was true. She wouldn’t have been down on her hands and knees creating his utopia if she thought she was better than anyone. Or if there was the opportunity for a quick flip…
Alexis admits that she told her staff they were disposable. “Coming from corporate America that’s how I grew up.” Those cogs raised by Genericorp have more problems than the Delorean.
Tabatha says she doesn’t care.
“You’re playing owners,” TC tells the couple. Miss T then tells us that she has hope for Tim, but thinks Alexis is too arrogant to make a change.
The next day, Tabatha has a plan to start teaching the owners to appreciate the craft of hairdressing. Vince Neil is going to give them a lesson is hairstyling 101.
I’m gonna make you feel all right.
Despite being half modest students, in confessional Alexis tells us “I really want to throw back at them, while you were busy bitching about me not knowing how to cut hair, I went a got my license and get what I can cut hair.”
So with that completely mature, business minded attitude Alexis takes nothing away from her lesson aside from another degree she aspires to throw back in her co-workers’ face.
At the end of the lesson Tabatha tells Tim and Alexis that she has another event planned. The couple will be hosting 10 VIPs at their house this afternoon. Alexis is ready to entertain Frederic Fekkai and is disappointed when her staff assembles in her backyard to tell her she’s an asshole.
Would you tell Frederic Fekkai he’s an asshole?
So as the hotdogs that she prepared for hairdressing royalty sit on the patio, the staff gets an opportunity to air their grievances to their bosses.
The stylists try to give Alexis examples of the lack of leadership, but Alexis dismisses it. She tells the camera, “if they want to be a partner then that’s fine… don’t just mouth off to me.” Why would you want to hear the opinion of people who know the business? Or have experience? Does Frederic Fekkai have experience?
Stylist Talin brings up a day when people were out and the owners weren’t there to run the salon. Alexis starts to feverishly defend herself. “I got there when I can,” Alexis says. But Tim says that they were wrong, and that if that happens again, one of them will be there to run the salon.
TC points out to Alexis that the attack wasn’t personal, it’s business.
Alexis like a BUSINESS woman, changes tactics and starts to cry.
“I’m not saying I won’t make another mistake, next week I may make a mistake, but just tell me and let me know… I’m really sorry I put you through everything I put you through.” Slick, exactly as Lee Iacocca would have handled it…
Vince Neil tells the owners that the salon has the potential to make millions. if they fix it. Tim seems to absorb the comments and says “Boy, what an idiot I am. I’m so grateful for you to coming back today.”
While the staff is seated at the table with TC, they ask her if she really believes that Tim and Alexis get it.
Before Tabatha can respond we cut to another part of the yard where Alexis is bitching at Tim. Tim says
not to worry about it, he’ll handle it. “Last time I let you handle it that blew up in my face, so that’s not going to happen, ” she says…
He called Tabatha. Or he was in charge of the birth control?
TC thinks that Tim gets it, Alexis may get it one day. Hopefully. When pigs fly out of her tight ass. She’s hormonal and reactionary, right now.
All return to the salon to paint the awning and start the renovations on the salon. Tim symbolically paints over the Ultima awning, and Tim breaks down and tells the real story, he lost his mom and brother a few years ago and named his business after them.
Tabatha dismisses the staff and starts her renovations. When the staff returns the salon has been repainted, the babyshit yellow has been covered. Art has been added to bring more color to the waiting area and wash room.
Alexis fakes gratitude long enough to get through the tour… Tabatha has supplied new tools for the stylists and a list of receptionist responsibilities for Receptionist Tiffany.
“I’m glad that *you* guys got something, I’ve never given you anything besides a big pain in the ass.” Tim tells his staff, omitting the fact that he stupidly pledged to honor and obey that pain in the ass too.
Alexis “trains” receptionist, but truly is just hovering over “Tiffany the receptionist” and says that Tiffany is having a hard time making appointments. She says that if “Tiffany can learn to multitask she can keep her around.” TC tells her to back off.
What would Fekkai do?
While in the break room, Alexis says to Tabatha, “I’m disappointed with didn’t get a full size fridge.”
TC takes Tim outside to tell him about the refrigerator comment. Tim says he wants to transition Alexis to behind the scenes.
Find your balls, man — drop an octave.
Vince Neil pulls TC aside and tell her that he and Carol sat down and discussed putting together a assistant training program and a customer service standard. TC is impressed.
Make me feel, so fine.
Miss T is ready to give her recommendations, she thinks the staff really did well and two really stood out. She recommends promotions for Vince Neil and Carol.
Tiffany is weak at the front, but they need someone at the front desk. Alexis says she could step in the in meantime. Tim tells Alexis that he wants to relieve her of the front desk responsibility, it’s stressful. She glares at him as he finishes his statement, but her eyes instantly turn to daggers when he turns to Miss T and says “I think I may have just got my balls back… did my voice drop at all?”
You know that ain’t happening.
Alexis refuses to admit that she’s upset with the change in power and the couple seemingly takes all TC’s recommendations… TC hands keys to Tim. Not Alexis.
When Miss T returns 6 weeks later, she discovers her work was all for nothing . Alexis and Tim are still spewing nonsense. Seven new people have been hired, two have quit, three have been fired and two more are planning to leave — Miss Carol and Mr. Neil, namely. They both say they tried to offer their input, but Alexis refused them.
“Holy f&^%ing shit…” TC says when she emerges from the doors of the new Christopher Hill Salon, “today 90% of their core staff is gone and Tim and Alexis still seem to know they know more than their staff do.”
What did you think of Christopher Hill Salon? Do you think Tabatha went easy on Alexis? Did anyone else want her to drown in her sea of “corporate America” references?