Hey Turds! Well, it was bound to happen. After nearly four solid years of only 4- and 5-star Google reviews, we got a 1-star stinker. It’s probably not super realistic to expect that everyone who walks through our door will be happy, but that doesn’t change how crappy it feels to get a bad review. We don’t want to be the kind of shop that can’t handle feedback, but we also don’t want to be the kind of shop that caters to customers who want to get a $100+ level service for the $30-dollar, 30-minute haircuts that we generally offer.
Unfortunately, people sometimes have unrealistic expectations of hair professionals. Maybe it’s a lack of understanding of just how vast the hair industry is. Hair professionals are paid for their time and their skills and there is an impossibly huge spectrum of needs when it comes to hair. We’re extremely proud of the level of service we provide, especially at the price we offer. We handle a wide range of styles, ages, hair lengths and textures…and we do it quite well. We also must be honest with ourselves and our customers and that is where things can get tricky and uncomfortable. People don’t want to be told that we can’t take care of them, but they don’t want a bad haircut either…nor do we want to give a bad haircut.
We’re trying to find a happy medium where we continue to learn and grow our skills while accepting that we can’t always meet every person’s needs or wants. This is where more understanding from the customer can be helpful. It’s important to be realistic about your expectations, and this goes far beyond just the hair industry. Understand fully the product you need and want and understand fully the appropriate place to find that product. You don’t go to a fast-food chain expecting fine dining quality…you pay a premium for fine dining. This thought process can and should be applied to the hair industry too.
So, what do we do with this information? Panic and start making emotional business decisions? Take it personally and respond in anger and frustration? Ignore and pretend it goes away? None of that makes anyone better at their job. What we’re focusing on is the incremental growth of our team with an emphasis on building relationships with our customers. We’re fine tuning the services we already offer and giving each operator the chance to learn but also shine in the areas where they excel.
We know that the kiddos love Chris! His patience with challenging appointments (insert screaming toddler here) is remarkable. His ability to handle just about every haircut that we see here on Maple Street…it’s incredible! But there is also immense pressure that comes with that level of skill not to mention the other stresses of business ownership. His number one priority is to take care of our local community and that is something that has always been a core value at Liberty Barbers.
We have an exceptional team. Sometimes people forget that Hannah came to us with years of cosmetology experience! She is excellent with medium length haircuts and her attention to detail and speed are extraordinary. We’re so lucky to work with her! Tye really connects with the students. He’s an artist; a fade master with a pretty vast comfort level with various hair textures. We’re so proud of how much he’s grown over the last few years! Deby has been taking care of her customers longer than she would care for us to say here. She prefers shears over clippers and is always looking to take care of new customers who prefer traditional men’s barbering. While we say all this, we recognize where each team member could improve. That’s all part of human development and all of us must be patient and understanding as consumers. We don’t want to trap anyone on our team in one small box, but we also want to highlight the areas where each person really shines!
Long story short (too late) the 1-star was a tough pill to swallow, but we’re moving forward. One individual’s experience does not define who we are or what we do. We take constructive criticism seriously…even if we don’t like the whole public review process. Just imagine if everyone got to witness your worst days on the job. Imagine if your boss emailed everyone to discuss your bad day rather than privately giving you feedback. Running a business is extremely difficult and one bad review can be the difference between gaining or losing a potential new customer. Before leaving that 1-star (no matter what kind of business) consider giving them direct feedback instead! Help them be better…resist the urge to trash them on Google because it’s honestly tough out there!
As always, thank you for your support, and we hope you enjoy the rest of this issue of the Polished Turd.
C & J
TYE… Come book an appointment on a Tuesday or Wednesday to see Tye! We’re so happy he’s back. He recently returned from Kentucky where he was working on a mural project with other artists. He’s also working hard to get ready for the state boards. The best way to help him out is to keep his schedule full!
HANNAH… In case you haven’t noticed yet, Hannah’s schedule has changed!She’s here Thursdays 11 – 7, Fridays 9 – 6, and Saturdays 10 – 4. Outside of her undying devotion to hair, she’s busy doing mom stuff. She recently enrolled Jemma in dance class and we’re not sure who cries more after each drop off.
JENNY… Earlier this month Jenny went home to Massachusetts to see family. It was a sad time because they were saying goodbye to her grandmother, Norma Koeppel who passed away on October 11, 2023, at the age of 87. Despite the sad occasion, it was so nice for her to be home with family. Jenny is still finding ways to enjoy spooky season and had a great time carving pumpkins with Jemma and company.
CHRIS… Fishing season is back, but he still works too much.
DEBY… Miss Deby is doing her thing on Wednesdays and Saturdays over here at Liberty. Her life outside of barbering is kind of a mystery to us. All we know is she’s a total badass and we love her!
MOXIE… Her mommy left her, and she thought this was the big one. She really wants everyone to stop doing other things and just do Moxie things. If she’s not happy, how can she be expected to maintain her elite status as EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH LITERALLY EVERY MONTH? #employeeofthemonth #moxiestyle #getusedtoit.
SPOTLIGHT… Something we love to do is brag about our amazing customers from time to time. Our good friend, Brett Davis is no exception! Not only does he handle Chris’s special brand of nonsense with finesse, but more importantly he works tirelessly towards saving our planet! He formed an organization called Grounds Krewe in 2018. Its mission, “To promote and provide waste prevention, recycling and sustainable products for NOLA events,” is something that should matter to all of us.
You may have heard about or even caught one of their sustainable Mardi Gras parade throws! Our team had a great time last year preparing cajun boil sunflower seeds for parade season, https://www.groundskrewe.org/cajun-boil-sunflower-seeds! We highly encourage you to support their mission. Whether you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, or part of a krewe who is looking to reduce their waste during parade season, there are so many ways to contribute! Our next volunteer opportunity with Grounds Krewe is on Monday 11/6 from 1pm – 3pm. Contact email@example.com if you’re interested in joining us (space is limited to 20).
FRENCH QUARTER POP-UP… It’s not goodbye, it’s just see you later. Don’t get us wrong, we’re still going to hang out at the gallery and watch football, but cutting hair on Sundays really takes away from family and fishing time. So, we’re hitting the pause button for now and we’ll keep you posted as we cook up some other fun Liberty events throughout the year.
CALLING ALL ARTISTS… As you know, we like to offer our space to local artists free of charge. We’re looking for a new installation; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
GRIPES & GRATITUDE… I find it super annoying when people who live here act like tourists in their own city. I am all for taking in the fun and culture of New Orleans, but at what cost? We can’t do the type of damage that happens during parades and festivals, then just walk away. We all have an obligation to take care of each other and this great city…so let’s not be a bunch of garbage monsters all the time. I am so grateful for the people in my life who live by this philosophy, and it is because of them that I honestly try to do better. I think about this a lot when I’m in Hopedale fishing and how important it is to protect the beauty that surrounds us. None of us are perfect (except Moxie) but we can make a bigger effort to connect with the people and earth that surrounds us.