Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Easy Advice

Years ago I had the privilege to train with three unique, talented, funny, and savvy women at my first salon job. Although the company ultimately was not a fit for me, I cherished my time there. Training under those women was an incredible opportunity and they each had such a specific style and point of view. 

The first taught me the valuable tips for navigating relationships with clients. I was in awe of her ability to make her clients feel instantly at home and comfortable in her space. Although at times working for her was sort of The Devil Wears Prada I came to absolutely love her. She is also probably the most effortlessly hilarious person I have ever met. No matter what crazy, offensive, or shocking things her clients had to tell her she would nonchalantly laugh or shrug her shoulders as if to say "don't worry. I've done worse". That accepting nature is something I always try to project. 

In my industry, we often receive very generous tips from our clients at Christmas. It is not expected or implied, but it is always greatly appreciated. 
That stylist told me that clients give us those tips as gifts and they should be treated as such. Her advice went: Use that money to get or do something that will remind you just how thankful you are for them. She also advised I not waste the money on cigarettes and tattoos. I've never been too interested in either of those. I opt for more domestic gifts.

 This year I think I chose the perfect thing. Something I've always wanted, I'll always have, and something I'll use often and always think of the people who gave it to me.....
Any guesses?! 
(This is a decoy photo to at least make you try and guess! -1 F makes the front door to the salon an icy spectacle)
(Barbie and Rookie. The top photo is January 2013 shortly after I got herthe bottom is a year later. Look how big she got!)
Okay did you guess?
Do you hear the choir of angels? A 9 1/2 quart Le Creuset. I toiled over the choice of color. I wish they had pure white. There is a color called dune, but it's too almond-sandy for me. I chose Marseille because 1) It's one of the few colors Le Creuset makes all their products in. 2) I figure most of the food I prepare in it will be red, which will be a pretty contrast with the blue. I've wanted one of these since I was 12. I am so excited and appreciative to my clients for this gift. Thank you, thank you, thank you
Definitely easy advice to follow. I love my job and I love my clients. 

32 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I've been looking at Le Creuset loaf pans ever since your bread post -- nice to see you're adding to the collection. Expensive, but worth it! Love your salon door, too, your logo is beautiful and looks especially beautiful etched in glass.

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    1. Thank you! So true. I can't tell you how easy it is to clean (!!!) and how well it cooks. I love it.

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  2. oh good choice!
    i have posted the perfect recipe for it today. :)

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  3. You love your clients, and I'll bet you have a fan club! The door and new pot are both fab.

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  4. You'll love that pan! I have the next size smaller version and it's perfect for so many different things. I love that color though, mine is brown but it's alright too. Mine I found at a consignment shop and I only paid $15 for it. I was doing my happy dance that day! You'll love yours too, I'm sure. I love your door - looks great!

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    1. Oh I would be SO excited to find le creuset in a second hand store! No matter the color. You hit the jackpot!

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  5. Accepting,gifts is an art. Too many people feel the need to protest falsely, instead of offering the giver a sincere thank you. The pot? Fantastic!

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    1. That is such an interesting point. So true. Thank you!

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  6. Just popped over from Janet's blog .... I love yours as we'll and really love your Keeshond. Our first dog was a Keeshond named Sammie. Loved her too pieces but she passed away in 2006Now we have a a new baby daisy our black lab.

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  7. Love your black lab as well ..... We might be related as we both have great tastes in dogs!!!! Kimberly

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    1. Thank you so much! And thanks for visiting. The Keeshond, Rookie, actually belongs to my friend Dianne. He is such a sweet dog. It's so funny how different his personality is from Barbie's. I love Keeshonds! They are so beautiful.

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  8. Love the logo on your salon door! Looks so classy and professional. And your Le Creuset? Let us know how you like it. I've been thinking about getting one of those for a while. I think the blue is beautiful - pure white one would turn into stained brown before you know it ;)

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    1. Thank you so much! I actually designed my logo when I was in 7th grade! At that time I thought I wanted to design purses like Louis Vuitton...so of course I needed an interlocking logo :)
      Oh I have to tell you cooking in the Le Creuset is a dream. So even, so fast. And it is so easy to clean!

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    2. Ohh, I can totally see a little bit of LV influence on your logo. I love LV and although I don't have many obsessions (or collections), I'm always tempted to collect those amazing purses. And now you are really making me want my own Le Creuset...

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  9. What a great gift! The best gifts are the ones I get myself - I always know what I want!

    Love your new piece. What's the first thing you'll cook?

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    1. You are so right! I think the only person who can buy gifts for me successfully is my mother. I am basically her evil twin so she always knows.
      I have already used it a few times and just love it! Last night I made marinara for dinner tomorrow night. It's incredible how quickly you get deep flavor out of that thing!

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  10. Beautiful color choice! I am totally the same, I always choose something for the kitchen or house. I got my Le Creuset three years ago for Christmas, and I love it so much that I keep it displayed on my stovetop. You definitely get what you pay for with this pot, it is amazing!!! I have a limited edition color from WS called Rosemary.

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    1. Thank you! Oh I remember rosemary! I loved that color! Thank you. I'm keeping mine out, too! They are such beautiful pieces.

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  11. everything has been said!
    perfect pictures. the frosty elegance of the logo on your door. you do have a most beautiful name for that!
    and le creuset . . . in blue no less! so vibrantly beautiful and YOU!
    xo

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    1. Thank you so much! I can't wait to tell my mom you said that. Our whole lives, my mother told my siblings and me that she envisioned every name she thought of for us on a door!

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  12. Hi Stephen, love your elegant salon door and of course your blue Le Creuset. I found a blue used one on etsy a few years ago for our oldest son's apartment. I just unpacked an orange one yesterday into our rental home and also my Staub pots, which are similar. I keep my big green Staub (with a chicken handle on the lid) empty on one of the burners of the cooktop all winter. Inspires good cooking and looks great.

    Barbie's friend is beautiful. We had a Keeshond named Katie. She was so sweet. BTW Andy is curious and lively and dong well in his new surroundings. Same old Andy.

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    1. Thank you so much! Oh your son lucked out on that find! I will say I think the le creuset is worth every penny. Literally because of its versatility if I had to eliminate all other pots and pans I think I could make it work for everything. I'm so glad Andy is feeling well! And I'm sure Katie was a beauty. They are such funny dogs. His personality is sometimes aloof like a chow and sometimes lovey like a Labrador. And...they are just so gorgeous!

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  13. Gosh, I now need to change out my pots and pans :) There is a Le Creuset outlet about 40 mins from my home - might have to visit soon. You've inspired me!

    I love my clients, too, and am grateful for them!! This is my shop's 10th year anniversary. It really is wonderful to be doing something one loves.

    Wonderful blog, Stephen!
    Be back soon,
    Loi

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    1. Thank you so much! And many congratulations on your ten year anniversary! This May marks year 4 for me. I would strongly encourage you to go to the le creuset outlet. Especially right now because they are phasing out fennel which would be so pretty with all of your green pottery! Thanks so much for visiting!

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  14. PS - Barbie and Rookie are the cutest! Will have to share with my Panda and Mocha :)

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  15. Beautiful door.
    Love the dogs!
    I had a gift certificate from a client and almost bought a Le Creuset too! (although at the time I just thought it was a big pot is a great color that would look nice on my shelf.) I don't really cook but maybe I should get one and start!

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    1. Thanks! Oh I think it could make a cook out of anyone! They are so gorgeous!

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  16. I married Eric because he came with a whole set of le Creuset LOL! (And then I learned he couldn't cook. Oh well. The kitchen's all mine, which is a nice thing, too.)

    I was looking for your le Creuset loaf pan yesterday, to no avail. I'll keep looking though - they had a big selection of Creuset at HomeSense, first time I've noticed that!

    Your door logo looks great! Hope it's warmed up since! It's still a bit frosty here (as in -5F cold, and let's not talk about the windchill!). I can't wait for spring!

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    1. Haha! You know marriages have been built on a far worse clause than that I'm sure! But any man with an arsenal of Le Creuset certainly is a keeper! They are on Amazon for around $30! What color are all of your other pieces?

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  17. "We" (haha!) have Marseille, but I'd prefer white for the loaf pan, I think. Heck, I'd take any colour if the price was right. On Amazon.ca, they're around the $60 mark. The problem with buying from amazon.com is that we get dinged on the exchange AND the duty, AND again with 15% sales tax. I could cross-border next time I'm in VT or NY, but that might take a while.

    I'm sure a loaf pan will cross my path if I keep my eyes open!

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