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October 2018

Surviving a monster

Hurricane Micheal came across parts of Florida's panhandle with a Cat 5 force. Okay, so it was one mph lower than a Cat 5. I'm calling it a Cat 5. I cannot imagine what the people who live there are going through.  Many lost everything.  Some were spared (like a client of mine with a beach house in Panama City) but some lost jobs, homes, livelihoods.  Lives were lost. 

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By the time it got to my house it was a Cat 3 and it was 2 hours of maximum sustained winds in that level then 2 hours before and after that while lower were still devastating. 

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I live in a pecan orchard.  We "pick up" or harvest pecans starting mid-October so this storm hit at exactly the wrong time. Cotton was just starting to be harvested and peanuts turned (you dig them up, let them dry out then a combine picks them up). 

Estimates are that 25 percent of the cotton and 35 percent of the pecan crops are gone. I think that may be low. 

I hid out at my family's farm inland.  75 miles  further inland. I am glad that I did.  My home sustained minor damage.  Really minor. My screen door sprung. We were lucky. Neighbors not so lucky as you can see above. We have 6-10 trees down.  Not sure if all ten damaged trees will have to be removed yet. The orchard however is devastated.  Probably half of the trees lost or damaged. 80% of the pecans at the orchard are expected to lay unharvested as they try to figure out how to do it. 

Bumper crops of pecans and cotton gone in 12 hours.

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The shop needs a new roof. Period. I rent, so it's not my problem.  I will have to stay on top of it to get it done,  but it's not going to affect us.

We have electric power and water at the shop, not at my house or those of my staff. We are reopening today. My clients are anxious for normal activities to resume and even though they have no power or water they want "normality ". So we will give them normality. 

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And chargers. :)

Please pray for all affected.  We will,  as usual,  be forgotten about by the news cycle after 3-4 days, just like all the other catastrophes before this. Florence.  Irma. The tornadoes here last year. The tsunami last week in Indonesia. 

Disasters aren't sexy. They aren't political.  The news will pack up and be gone before we pick up all our pecans.  

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People will need help for a long time to come. Check on your friends.  Offer help if you can. Offer shelter if possible to family from the area. Many will be without power for months. My mom us letting us stay with her. Thankfully.  

In the upcoming weeks I will be collecting equipment for groomers who lost theirs. Since we lost the GEAF we need to to band together and make sure our people are cared for. Stay tuned for updates. 


Two of my least favorite sayings

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In dog grooming groups and message boards there are two things that get said a lot: 

  • You get what you pay for
  • You can have it Fast, Good or Cheap but you have to pick one.

I really despise these sayings. The first one implies that if you pay more for something you are somehow or another getting better QUALITY than if you pay less for it. The second implies that if it is fast and good it is impossible, or good and cheap cannot go hand in hand...

 

The story of my hair journey (I know right?? We all have one) has been riddled with horrible haircuts.

  • I had to have my groomers  (or my husband) try to fix many done at "high end" salons
  • I had an ER visit after being burned at an upper end salon
  • The WORST HAIRCUT EVER IN MY LIFE the day before my 10th anniversary cruise (It was also the most expensive I had)
  • A great stylist that took 2.5 hours JUST to to cut my hair. No washing, styling or color, just the cut.
  • Being late for my own wedding because the stylist I had booked to do everyone's hair booked other clients in as well

AND the list goes on. Does that mean I got what I paid for?? I paid a lot of money for those haircuts and got very little other than a huge headache and medical bills (that $1200 haircut was the worst I have EVER HAD IN MY LIFE).

Most of those stories happened at what are arguably the best salons in town. I stay loyal until you do something major wrong and do not offer to fix it, so I am not a "hairstylist jumper".

The last hairstylist I used for 2 years until she had a heart attack shortly after doing my hair (no lie, 2 hours after) and then retired. She was Vidal Sassoon trained and I would still use her today if she had not retired. She worked at the Corporate store Cuts By Us and had fixed my hair for free after another stylist sent me to the ER after burning me with a straightener and messed up y hair so bad she took photos and sent them to the corporate trainers.

The haircut in the photo above was done at Great Clips. Seriously. Yes, they specialize in kids and men but they also do women's hair. Their stylists are expected to turn out Great Clips (get it??) In 15 minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES! They don't offer shampoo, they don't style, but they do CLIP HAIR in 15 minutes. 

The stylist, Lauren, who did my hair said she had been told at upper end salons that she was too fast. That people did not feel like they got their "money's worth" because she was so fast. So she left the higher end salons and went to work here. She does 4-5 haircuts per hour most day and even at $14 a head she makes more money here than she did at the fancy place doing 1 per hour. How? Easy. $14x4 is $56. If she does that 5th one then it is $70. Her price for ONE at the other salon was $40. and on commission she made $20 per hour versus $28-35. She also said most people tip $5 at both places.

Do the math. AND. She is good. REALLY REALLY good. She is FAST! REALLY FAST! She is CHEAP because their business model allows for that. They had 8 stylists with full chairs and people waiting in line. SO you get Fast, Good and Cheap.

I went in with 6 months of hair growth, a photo of my hair the last time it was cut (front, sides and back) and she got the haircut SPOT ON with some minor tweaks (stack the back higher and leave the front more angled). She nailed it.

I tipped her $20. I am used to paying $40 for a haircut plus tip, so I saved money. I also was in and out in under a half hour, no appointment needed or accepted. I had to dry my own hair and I washed it before I went which I do anyway because, let's face it, the shampoo bowls hurt to lay back on. My neck cannot handle it. 

SO. Fast?? YEP! Good?? YEP!!  Cheap?? YEP!!!

 

Now I know people are wondering what on earth does this have to do with grooming.

It has EVERYTHING to do with grooming and how we tend to try to make ourselves look better than other salons.

 

The mentality that you have to "pick one" is absurd. My stylists are all fast, efficient and REALLY GOOD. We stay booked out about a week most times of the year and sometimes more. We each do 8-12 dogs per day 5 days a week. We are almost always done before 3. 4 is a late day. My groomers arrive at 9-10. Done by 2-3. 

I feel like we offer both fast and good and we are still lower priced than the local box store and a couple of vets. SO we are not cheap but reasonably priced. 

In here you get 2 certified bathers, 2 certified MASTER groomers, one working on it. THREE award winning groomers. We are fast. We are good. We are kind. We are clean. We are reasonably priced. You get what you pay for.

 

So everytime I hear people say you cannot get all of the above in one place I say "I beg to differ". When they say "you get what you pay for" I laugh.

 

You can have it all, you j ust have to have to right mindset and business model to have it all. And the right people. Not everyone can do fast, not everyone can good and not everyone WILL do cheap. But many do. 

Just because it is fast or cheap doesn't mean it's not good and just because it is expensive doesn't mean it IS good.

 

Just some musings from someone who is happy with her fast, cheap, good haircut this morning...