Today, I would like to take a break from our Minnesota story to share a story from right here in Los Angeles. It is a story of just one outstanding stylist who also happens to be a manager, general manager with 11 other shops, wife, mother, daughter and an amazing softball player, Vickie Vargas.
For a manager’s meeting several years ago, I suddenly flashed on an analogy that I thought would be helpful to our newer managers as they learned to handle multiple priorities. I remembered the man on the old Ed Sullivan Show who would spin plates. He would work up and down the line, looking for the wobbly plate and setting it spinning again.
If you want to enjoy it, there is a great YouTube clip of his niche talent.
In doing a little research I also found the simple act of plate spinning taken to an entirely different level, a literally higher level when I found this troupe.
But I digress. Managing multiple priorities and having a personal work balance are challenges for all of us.
Vickie started with us already a successful manager. In working with her, I immediately was drawn to her ability to see a goal, break it down into the components and then be able to explain it to others. Her shop would all be involved in a goal and they would work together in an amazing way. Of course, there are no fairy tales, occasionally. Things didn’t go totally smooth and occasionally she would push too hard but goals were achieved and stylists grew.
In the last year, we rolled out a new professional product line in our shops and Vickie used her skills to educate herself, her stylists and their customers about Bosley Professional. Customers started seeing real results and stylists felt confident in their consultations and their recommendations. When Bosley asked me what we were doing to get such positive results, I gave them several success stories but none were more compelling than the story in SIlverlake of Vickie and her team.
We had real sales growth and customers showing off their hair growth. Bosley asked if they could feature her in a new promotion they were working on featuring real stylists. Of course we were proud.
During this exact time period, our second annual Gold Comb contest was announced. It is open to Supercuts stylists who are behind the chair and this year they were submitting their best male haircuts using our Supercuts technique. It is a bit of a challenge for stylists, to find the perfect model, do the perfect haircut and then take perfect photos and then to submit them electronically.
This year there was a new wrinkle with a #TeamUp component for shops that could get every shop member to enter. Vickie started talking about everyone’s abilities and many stylists in her shop group started looking for high quality models. In Vickie’s shop though, that wasn’t enough. She wanted them to place in the #TeamUp competition. Everyone needed a model. To reduce stress and to make sure they found the best people, they asked many customers before they began their haircuts, to sign releases. They took many before and after photos when they felt that it was a truly SUPER haircut. To qualify for the shop prize, Vickie too had to submit an entry too.
At the end 4 of her stylists from her shop of 7 made the top 100 from the entries from all across the United States. When the final results were announced, Vickie herself was one of the 10 Gold Comb winners.
The shop created this post to celebrate!
This would all be a very full year for Vickie if it wasn’t for just one other huge factor. Vickie is a Mom of two handsome boys with excellent haircuts of course. She has all the usual Mom duties involving kids in college and high school who are involved in many extracurricular sports and advanced placement classes. She and her husband were already plenty busy. She also has been taking care of her Mom who suffered a debilitating stroke in 2016.
She along with her siblings take turns sleeping at her Mom’s house and taking care of her in shifts. She has taken her to numerous doctor’s appointments and many other things like speech and physical therapy appointments, all on her days off. Though the prognosis for her Mom was not originally very good, Vickie kept on. She did the research to understand what had happened and to understand what the options were for her Mom. She made calls and pushed. She made goals for her Mom and she helped her achieve them. She missed only a few days work right after the stroke. There isn’t a time when she has used this incredible added stress as an excuse.
When it feels like I have too many plates spinning or they are all starting to wobble, I think of Vickie and what she would says –‘don’t worry Cheryl- I got this!’ I know she does.