About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Click to view theturtle's profile
    Posted August 24, 2009 by
    New Philadelphia, Ohio
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Breakthrough Women

    You can't control the wind but you can adjust your sails.


    Setting an example of how to cope with the many changing winds in one's life is a big challenge. It is hard enough to do this for yourself but always making sure you set an example for your children is huge. It has always been very important to teach my children how to be good people by setting an example for them.

    Many times in my life I have stayed grounded and did not react to a situation with my first emotions. In the back of my mind I would always think; how do I want my children to view this? How will my actions affect them?

    My biggest goal in life has been to guide, teach and encourage my children to be great people with integrity, offer kindness and have a deep awareness of others. I wanted them to always be proud of how they conduct themselves.

    I have had many challenges in my 58 years and for the most part I feel I have set a good example for my children. Recently I had one of the biggest challenges of my life and thank goodness for my faith, my friends and my family, I made it though.

    I have owned my own hair salon for 38 years and two weeks before Christmas my stylists told me they were quitting, all at the same time. My heart stopped for a moment and I took a deep breath and said, “It is Christmas time, can you stay until the end of the month?”

    Traditionally in our industry a stylist leaving a salon is asked to go right away. This is because the salon owner knows this stylist will be taking all her clients with her. In turn this really affects the salon’s business.

    Thoughts raced through my head of all kinds of reactions. Deep down inside I knew the clients must come first. Over the years, most of them had stayed at my salon for over 30 years. As a stylist moved on or quit the business, the clients stayed with my salon and the new stylist I had working. I needed to take care of these loyal clients. The stylists agreed to stay until the end of December.

    I knew the clients realized if all the stylists were leaving the salon and there was only me then, I could not take care of everyone. Plus, I know and understand how clients love their stylist and it was understandable why they would want to follow their stylist.

    You may wonder why the stylists were leaving my salon; briefly I will tell you it was to venture into a new trend in our industry called booth rental. I was not aware until this happened  that it was so wide spread in our little town.

    It was so hard to keep things on a happy note when the sadness inside me was overwhelming. I knew this was the right thing to do for everyone involved. One stylist had worked for me for 22 years and one for 7 years. I saw their children grow up and be born. The same was true for many of the clients who would be leaving. I experienced weddings, births, illnesses and deaths over all the years they had been at my salon.

    Being a woman in business all these years has taught me this; women have to think with their heads and not their hearts if they want their business to be a success. This is important for the employees to succeed at their job too. This was one time my heart would not let me forget all the attachments and memories with these girls and clients. More importantly, everyday from the day they told me they were leaving; my heart reminded me I was a woman.

    Each day it was so hard to put one foot in front of the other. Every night I cried many tears of sadness but I knew I had a service to do for my clients and I owed the dignity of a nice departure to the stylists that had been good employees all these years. I kept telling myself this was not so much against me as it was for them.

    Everyone has the right to pursue success for themselves in the way they feel best for them. After all I had done the same thing for me 38 years ago. I knew all these things; I just had to get over the emotional part.

    I got lots of feed back from my friends and family who cared about me. Some had some pretty strong suggestions about what they would do it if happened to them. My point to them was this; it is not happening to you, it is happening to me.

    My husband and my children came to my rescue. They helped me move forward in a positive direction. The good that came out of this was far greater then the challenge of the change I did not want.

    This situation was not about money for me. I knew I would have my clients and would not be alone that way. My business was well established and after 38 years financially it was sound.

    My oldest son Nathan(32), helped me learn how to create a web page, manage it and even add my own design to it. My daughter Christy(40), gave constant encouraging words of what type of person I was and positive reinforcement that my character was in tact. My youngest son Nickolas(31), took me to lunch many times, gave me all kinds of new business strategies to grow and add new dimension to my salon. My husband held me, comforted me with words and committed to do what ever it took to get me to the other side of this change.

    They focused on the positive, integrity and placing new energy into the situation. I know now that setting an example when they were young paid off. When I needed them to be there for me was my best reward ever! They were using all the principles they had learned to help me.

    Just to update where I am with all this today: It took me seven months for the sadness to leave, I kept working everyday and showed happiness to my clients, no negative about this whole situation, and I feel good about myself. Now I am ready to work with new stylists and keep growing my business into the New Year. Offering the best customer service, products and techniques as we always have over the years.

    I have a new saying I share with everyone now; Crap happens and it is how we shovel our way out of it that makes the difference in the long run.

    You can visit my salon web site if you like. www.sheardesignsalon.com Or my salon was feature on iReport though Ohio State School of Cosmetology where I attended Cosmetology school almost 40 years ago.

    Add your Story Add your Story