Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Running on Empty

I haven't been nearly as diligent in firing up my blog again as I intended. But...truth be told, I have pretty much run out of steam with everything I have going on and I needed to let some things go. I am going on vacation from July 4-14 and I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to it. I love, love, love what I do but I have been running on fumes for a while now and really need to rest and recharge before I plunge back into the madness.

There are some exciting things in the works for LCLF (and with other projects). I am doing my first official "road show" in Lake Worth, FL on August 9, which is going to be awesome. I've had a couple people tentatively ask me if I would travel and do one elsewhere and my response has been: never say never. Of course, someone in Lake Worth put this all together and all I have to do is show up; creating and scheduling road shows isn't something I'll be adding to my "to do" list any time soon. If anyone is really serious about this, I figure they will proactively start the ball rolling and contact me for more information, at which time I will be more than happy to chat about it :)

Also...if you live in the Tampa Bay area or anywhere in the general vicinity, I will be teaching a curly hair workshop on July 20 at 5:30 p.m. We are going to have a lot of fun, so if you are interested, please contact Essentials the Salon at 727.522.9424 for additional information and to register.

Be good and I will see you when I get back from vacation!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mystery Solved

I had a big "a-ha!" moment last night...I think I figured out what set Lorraine off.

As I said on my previous post, Lorraine Massey of Deva completely trashed me on Twitter yesterday (and it looks like she is continuing to do so today). I was thinking about what could have possibly upset her this badly and it hit me yesterday.

Right before I left for the show, I tweeted Lorraine with the following message:

@LorraineMassey Let's hide all the flat irons while we are at Premiere ;)

Meaning, of course, that the two of us should run around to the other vendor booths and hide their flat irons! It was just a cute message to show my support since I knew there was going to be a lot of keratin treatment vendors there, etc. Deva is the one company I can count on to be at Premiere to show there is a beautiful alternative to straightening hair.

Her first tweet back to me yesterday at the start of all these unpleasantries was: "struttswife???? what does that MEAN?", which I took as "what does 'struttswife' mean"? Of course, I was reading it out of context...but, now that I think about it, she was asking what I meant by my tweet since she apparently didn't understand it.

Clearly, she (incorrectly) assumed I meant that she should hide HER flat irons and that understandably upset her. Instead of asking me privately to clarify it, however, she chose to believe the worst and has been very publicly writing all these nasty tweets (her latest is calling me "the imposter Curly Girl") and attacking me.

Mystery solved. But what a sad ending :(

Lorraine Massey was my idol for the past seven years...the woman I looked up to all of my career. She truly has been the woman "who started it all" for women with curls. To find out she is really this mean-spirited of a person has me stunned and saddened. There was no need for any of this...she should have approached me privately and we could have resolved this quickly and easily, without the ugliness she instead chose to start.

I wish her well, but I consider my association with Deva to be at an end. I pride myself on my professionalism and I expect the vendors/manufacturers/companies with whom I do business to show an equal level of professionalism as well. If this is how she and Deva do business, then I have no wish to associate myself with them any further.

And that's the saddest ending of all :(

Monday, June 8, 2009

Report from Premiere

Hey, all! I'm back from Premiere.

First of all, it was a great show...then again, they all are. I was able to take lots of classes given by some fabulous industry leaders. It is pretty intense, but it is a great educational resource for beauty industry professionals and I am always happy with the quality of education given.

One of the highlights of my weekend was meeting Michelle and Gretchen from naturallycurly.com...two wonderful ladies with some rocking curls. They were there to formally launch CurlStylist.com and seemed to be making some good connections every time I passed their booth. I tried to say goodbye today, but they were busy and I didn't want to interrupt them...I hope to see them at Premiere again next year.

I am happy to say it seems some of my initial fears about the site were unfounded; perhaps, given all the overall industry "killing" of curls and my sensitivity to that, I saw ghosts where there really weren't any to be found. Yes, there is focus on the site on retexturizing, etc. for curls, but let's face facts...we aren't going to change things overnight. Michelle told me they are eager to have a place where more stylists can go to learn the real deal about curly hair and start effecting that change, and I have pledged my commitment to help them make that happen (and Michelle, if you are reading this, I have not forgotten my promise to you to submit a Stylist Spotlight form :) )

Unfortunately, there was one unpleasant incident, one that took me completely by surprise. I took Deva's class on Saturday morning, which was taught by Denis and Lorraine, just to see what was new at Deva. I stopped by their booth briefly to buy some products, but that was the extent of my contact with them...I was just too busy with other classes and meeting with other vendors/manufacturers to hang around long in any one place and I didn't speak to anyone there.

It's not a secret that I took the Deva class in 2007, but have kind of evolved into my own style since then and have started teaching curly hair education that differs a bit from what others, including Deva, teach and believe. And that's cool...never have I ever been less than positive or respectful about anyone else or started uncomplimentary rumors, etc. (and if anyone can find anything I've written that contradicts this, feel free to bring it out into the open). I think that as long as we are all devoting our attention to creating beautiful curls, it doesn't matter if we agree 100% on the method or products we use to get there. There is no reason we can't peacefully coexist.

Imagine my total shock, then, when I saw Lorraine Massey absolutely trashing me on Twitter this morning in several tweets...saying I said things that were "knot true" about her. It was so unbelievably ugly. At the end, she all but dared me to come to the Deva booth for a confrontation. To say I was completely stunned is an understatement. I have never said anything disrespectful or untruthful about Lorraine, ever...as a matter of fact, I refer to her as "the woman who started it all" to my clients and my other curly cohorts. If it wasn't for Curly Girl, there are thousands of women---ME included---that would still be trying to figure out what is best for our curls.

I wish I could tell you what precipitated this, but I am so mystified and in the dark myself, I couldn't even begin to speculate. I did Tweet her back to tell her I wasn't clear about what she meant, that I've never been negative about Deva and that I hope next time we can talk about the facts first...but she doesn't follow me anymore and I'm sure she won't see it. And I guess I wish she would have been professional enough to approach me privately if she heard or read something that upset her, and that we could have cleared the air between ourselves without such a nasty and uncalled-for public display.

C'est la vie, I suppose...but it was an upsetting end to such a wonderful show :( It is my hope we can resolve this someday so we can once again remember we are all a team dedicated to helping women to love and embrace their curly hair.

So, other than that, it was a great weekend, although I am really exhausted and I am glad this only happens once a year, lol...of course, staying out late last night didn't help the exhaustion any either ;) I had some great conversations with a lot of people which have pretty much determined my plans for the next year, including the direction I would like to take LCLF. I think I can definitely count on some exciting times in the next 12 months.

Time to take a nap and catch up on cuddling my four-year-old daughter for a while (who got a brand-new Disney Princess cutting cape of her very own from the show!)


Friday, June 5, 2009

I'm Off to Premiere!

I'm off to Premiere Orlando tomorrow, the largest east coast hair show for beauty industry professionals. On average, about 50,000 hairdressers attend each year and all the major product manufacturers are there with stage and sound shows, product and technique demonstrations, etc. It is an exciting event.

Deva had asked me to do stage with them again this year, but I declined since there is a lot for me to check out this year. Several product manufacturers have asked me to stop by their booths to chat. And naturallycurly.com is formally launching their new CurlStylist site, which touts itself as a curly community/educator for stylists.

I've taken a sneak peek at CurlStylist already and I have to say...at this early juncture, I am not encouraged. There is quite a bit of focus on things like keratin treatments, straightening, and re-perming, as well as how to discourage clients from purchasing less expensive products even in this bleak economy. Frankly, I don't really find this approach curly-friendly. But I will chat with them at Premiere to get a better feel for their direction and report back.

Wish me luck!