Hair Expo Australia will welcome three incredibly talented female headliners to its 2019 edition in Sydney; Jen Atkin, Candy Shaw and Tabatha Coffey. Together they create the perfect combination of technical skill, business-savvy brilliance and captivating stage presence.
Australian born US television personality, Tabatha Coffey, began her hairdressing career on home soil in Queensland’s Surfer’s Paradise at the age of 15. She’s since made a name for herself in the US, being named ‘Fan Favourite’ on Bravo’s reality series Shear Genius, and snagging her very own series, Tabatha Takes Over (formerly Tabatha’s Salon Takeover), where she helps struggling business owners turn around their lives and businesses. Tabatha was named the “Most Addictive Reality Star” at the NewNowNext Awards, illustrating that her signature edgy style, tough love approach and exceptional skills as an artist and as a businesswoman truly makes her the golden girl of small businesses.
We are SO excite to welcome Tabatha back to Hair Expo, so naturally we decided to pick her brain on where she sources her inspiration, her journey to hairdressing and TV stardom, and what she’ll be bringing to Hair Expo 2019!
Hair Expo: Where did your journey in to the hairdressing industry start, and what were your early years like?
Tabatha Coffey: I started my hairdressing apprenticeship on the Gold Coast when I was 15 years old. I knew I wanted to be a hairdresser and worked for a year for free before starting my apprenticeship sweeping floors folding towels and being a Saturday girl and working through school holidays. I fell in love with hairdressing when I would visit the salon with my mum for her weekly blowouts. As an introverted kid and one that was picked on a lot for being overweight and not fitting in, I liked to sit and watch people. I would see women come in one way and leave another. It wasn’t just the physical transformation, it was the way they held themselves and the twinkle they had in their eye after being in the stylist’s chair. I found it very empowering and believed, as I still do today, that hairdressers are rockstars and I wanted in. I still love that twinkle in my client’s eye, the sense of community and the ability to help transform how someone sees and feels about themselves.
You have such an extensive career and have received several impressive accolades. What do you attribute to your success?
I love what I do. I am passionate about all aspects of the hairdressing industry, and I am always hungry to learn more and share that with others. I don’t rest on my laurels, there is always more to know. This industry is forever changing, and it makes it exciting to be part of.
What is it like to be so successful in the US, and how has your time abroad impacted your career?
I am very grateful for having such a wonderful career and profession that allows me to travel the world share my expertise with others and continue to learn. I am fortunate that although I live in the US and have a wonderful life here, I still have and maintain great connections at home in Australia. I don’t know if it matters where you live, success comes from your passion, drive and determination and is achievable regardless of geography.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give salon professionals?
Just one is difficult! I think the most important thing is to not give up, to always believe in yourself and your dreams even if nobody else does and to always keep moving towards them. There will be obstacles and failures along the way, but they are not reasons to stop pursuing what you want they are just lessons of growth.
Your ‘tough love’ mantra gets serious results. Have you always worked this way or was there a catalyst that gave you this outlook?
I guess it’s how I was brought up and learned from an early age that even if life deals you a bad hand, you can still turn it around. I believe in honesty with myself and those around me. When you look at a situation with honesty, although it can be difficult, it can give you clarity to see where changes need to be made. Sugar coating it may feel good but doesn’t help to change it.
What’s been the biggest highlight of your career?
Every day that I get to wake up and do what I love is a highlight! I don’t view one moment as any more or less important that another, my career is a culmination of passion, dedication, hard work and wanting to be better personally and professionally.
What’s next for Tabatha Coffey?
WOW, more of the same, I hope. I am busy as Matrix Global Business ambassador, I have a full book of clients I work with across the world on business and personal growth and coaching, I am working on a couple of new TV shows and trying to get book number 3 finished.
You’ll be bringing your unmatched business skills to Hair Expo this June. What’s the biggest takeaway visitors can expect to gain from your education sessions?
I am excited for my sessions at Hair Expo as they are smaller and more intimate. I love being able to work one on one with people or in smaller groups because it allows me to really work on the issues that they want to see growth in and be able to help formulate a plan for that. I also love the interaction with everyone and being able to answer questions, share trends and best business practices we are seeing in the market and talk about how to effectively implement them into their own salons.
Tabatha’s Hair Expo education sessions are almost completely sold out! Get in quick to snap up your last minute ticket at www.hairexpoaustralia.com