At 20 years old(just a youngin') I had already been working at a salon for 2 years as a massage therapist and was about to venture out and open my own salon with a friend. In October of 2006, just a few months shy of my 21st birthday I became a small business owner. My parents had always owned their own business, so I think it was in my blood to be an entrepreneur.
My friend and I opened the salon in a shopping center in a nice part of town with just 900 square feet and big dreams of what it would become. We must have been extremely confident it would be successful, because we signed a 5 year lease(risky!). It was perfect space for my massage room, 4 hair stations and a comfy waiting area. It is so fun to look back at pictures of the beginning and see how small it was!
The salon before we opened--September 2006
In the first few months we advertised a lot trying to let people know about us and also trying to find hairstylists to rent our stations. A few weeks in we had our first lady call about wanting to work there. She came in for an interview with long brown hair and dressed semi-professionally. We were naive and just excited to have our first renter so we gave her the job almost immediately and could hardly wait for her to start!
A few days later she brought her stuff to move in and we barely recognized her. This was not the same lady we had met with just days before. This lady(same person) had platinum blonde spiky hair and was wearing a jean mini skirt with what looked like clear stripper heels. UMMMMM...excuse me where is the lady with long brown hair and professional dress?!?! She had disappeared. Yet again we were naive and excited to have our first stylist, so we let her stay.
Fast forward a few weeks and we started to see the crazy side of this lady! She would doze off sitting on our beautiful sofa in what appeared to be a drugged out coma. She would sit in our styling chair while talking to us with her short skirt on, legs spread and no underwear on. You have to understand that at this time we didn't have a huge clientele, so no one was really in there to experience this craziness(thank god!).
My co-owner and I discussed it and knew we had to let her go. We sat down and spoke with her expressing our dissatisfaction with her behavior and she calmly said she would pack her things and leave. Well, that didn't quite happen. That afternoon while I was at the salon alone she came in with her husband, a very big tall man in his 40's, and proceeded to become irrate. Both her and her husband looked like they were on some serious drugs and he began to yell at me. He started to approach me with a loud voice saying he wanted their rent money back from the previous weeks and I told him that wasn't going to happen and referred him back to the contract she had signed stating so. He then began to get in my face and threaten me and I calmly told him they had to leave. He said they weren't leaving and leaned forward as if he were going to punch me! I ran out the front door with my cell phone in hand and called the police. It just so happens that at the same time some friends of mine were stopping by the salon to visit me. I ran to their car and quickly told them the situation. They sat with me and we watched as the lady and her husband grabbed her things and sped off in fear of the police arrival. Once the policeman showed up they were no where in sight. I explained to the cop the situation and he told me to be careful and if they showed up again to call 911. That was the last time I saw them, thank goodness!
From then on, I became more particular on the type of person I would let work for me, but it took years for me to learn that just because someone looks decent in the beginning doesn't mean they won't end up being crazy. I've had my fair share of crazies work for me!