I Have A Head For Business*

Although I graduated from high school wanting to earn a degree in Journalism but instead started out majoring in German and then switched to Elementary Education (and carried that through to my Bachelor of Science), these days I tell myself that a Business degree would have been great, too, because I am good at seeing things from the points of view of both a customer and a company. I have excelled at this in every job I’ve ever held, and I believe that my employers notice it about me very quickly. (I have always been proud of the fact that, at eighteen years old, I was given a set of store keys to the large craft store I worked for, and I was treated with as much respect as my co-workers, who were twice my age, were.)

I started a job at a nail salon in 2004, running the front end. In 2006 my first business article was published in NAILPRO magazine, and I’ve been writing for them (9-10 business features per year) ever since. A few years back I became addicted to a show called “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover”, on which Tabatha Coffey, a former contestant on another reality show, “Shear Genius”, visited a poorly-performing salon each week to confiscate the keys from the owner (who requested her help) and give the entire operation a kick in the pants. I loved it, and I loved Tabatha. (Still do!)

Almost three years ago, I pitched an article idea to my awesome editor at the magazine: I wanted to interview Tabatha. Unfortunately for me, Tabatha had just been interviewed for another magazine in the Creative Age Publications family and my request was denied.

Or rather, postponed. But I didn’t know it at the time.

Imagine my joy when, a few months ago, I received my assignment sheet for upcoming articles and it included a Tabatha interview. I was over the moon. I got in touch with Tabatha’s PR rep right away and she coordinated a phone interview for the following week, telling me that Tabatha would be able to speak with me for about ten minutes. That’s not a lot of time, but I was thrilled to get the interview!

On the evening of our scheduled chat, my phone rang and I was delighted to see “Tabatha Coffey” come up on the Caller ID. We ended up talking for nearly thirty minutes (THANK YOU, TABATHA!), and it was as amazing as I thought it would be. She’s exactly like you see on television (what you see is what you get!) and her opinions on business, specifically the salon industry, are super-smart. I can’t say that I was surprised by many of her answers to my questions because I’m such a big fan and my views are very much aligned with hers, but interviewing her was one of the best moments of my writing career thus far.

The article is online now, so please go check it out here. I’m very proud of this one!

Also, though Tabatha just finished Season 5 of the show, you can catch her in reruns on Bravo…I’m looking forward to season 6!

Thanks again, Tabatha; it was a real pleasure!

*As I typed the title to this post I laughed out loud because “I have a head for business” is the first half of my favorite quote from the movie “Working Girl”, and when I was in Austin last month for BlogHer Food I was laughed at by Momo for quoting that movie AND not being able to quote “Dumb and Dumber”. Good times: still funny.


  • Jennifer

    What a great article! I love Tabatha and her no-nonsense approach to business. It’s BUSINESS after all – not personal!

    P.S. – Working Girl is one of my favorite movies too!

  • Dad

    Wow! What a well written article Melisa! As usual, you made your mother and me so proud of you! (But not surprised!) Your writing skills have been honed to that of a journeyman (or journeyperson if you prefer!). I found your article to be extremely well written, concise, and very informative. As I’m sure you remember, I dealt with all of that for over forty years, albeit in a different industry. However, the ‘basics’ of customer service, employee AND management motivation, cleanliness of the workplace, and the NON-acceptance of ANYTHING less than a goal of excellence of product, customer service is a MUST for ANY business to survive, especially one that deals with guests and customers.

    Sorry for my ‘soapbox. 🙂 Again, congratulations on your article!

    Love you!!


  • Toni

    Congrats Melissa! I love when people get the opportunities they dream of 🙂 And? I love even more when dads pop in to comment <3