Tabatha Coffey, hairstylist, business owner, television icon, author and life & business coach (the list goes on, really) spoke at Vagaro’s iconic.22 conference on September 25 in San Francisco, California. The energy in the room was ELECTRIC. Coffey’s excitement to be back speaking in front of an audience was infectious. Coupled with her self-proclaimed joy to be back with salon industry professionals, she professed, “You’re my people.” Although individuals from other industries were also in the room, Tabatha assured them that they were welcome as fellow business owners and entrepreneurs. When Coffey speaks, you feel like she’s speaking directly to you instead of a room filled with people. Her high-energy, humor and way of engagement made 60 minutes absolutely fly by. 

Coffey began by recapping her journey to becoming a hairdresser and what makes her successful. More than anything, Coffey cites discovering the community that lives in a hair salon. From a young age, she went with her mother for weekly blowout appointments, taking in all the sights & smells. Despite feeling out of place compared to her peers, she said, “When I walked into a salon, even though I wasn’t getting my hair done, I fit in.” 

Aside from the tight-knit sense of community, Coffey credits a specific moment for her passion for hair. “I would watch clients come in one way and walk out another.” That moment of transformation to a confident and self-assured individual showed Coffey the power of hairdressing and its ability to change someone’s look, outlook or even their life. 

Her passion for transformation pushed her to work at her craft meticulously, learning everything that she could. “The only reason I’m really good is because I practice it all the time and I love it.” Aside from her drive, Tabatha cites learning as a central part of what keeps her going. After conceding that she doesn’t know everything, she continued,

“I don’t want to know it all. Because the day I know it all means the day that I don’t grow anymore, that I can’t progress anymore, that I can’t learn anything from anyone anymore.” 

Learning is only one part of success. Another critical part is patience. “No one is an overnight success,” Coffey said, telling the audience that anyone who claimed to be is lying. An immense amount of work goes into the process, and it takes time to rise to the top and achieve any goals. And we tend to get in our own way. Multiple times during her talk, Coffey quotes Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” She then challenged the audience to reflect on their own hesitations, be it selling a product or saying no to a client. She posed the pertinent question,

“Is it that you can’t, or that you won’t? Why won’t you?” 

Most commonly, Coffey said, we are fearful, which prevents us from taking action. Often, we chalk it up to lacking confidence or the skill to do something. “You don’t need confidence,” she noted, “you need courage. Confidence is a muscle built over time and [with] repetition. Courage is what opens the door.”

Before taking questions from eager audience members, Coffey concluded her session by telling the audience,

“I know you all can. You just have to realize that for yourselves.” 

Tabatha Coffey was just one of many incredibly iconic speakers at Vagaro’s inaugural conference. Missed out? Not to worry—we have iconic.22’s sessions ready for you with Vagaro OnDemand! And be sure to join us next year for iconic.23 in sunny Southern California! Follow along HERE for updates!