Tabatha talks about taking over Jungle Red Salon & Spa

It's not always easy to admit that you need help managing both your business and your personal life, and it certainly isn't easy to open yourself up for criticism on national television, but Suzanne Erickson, owner of Jungle Red Salon & Spa, did just that. While her shop was seeing growth in clientele, staff, and sales, there were still issues with cash flow.

"The common perception seems to be that a business owner with a great business model and a great reputation must be doing well financially," Erickson says. "That wasn't the case for me, and I wanted to figure out why."

She enlisted the help of Tabatha Coffey, host of Bravo TV's Tabatha Takes Over, to teach her how to turn her business around while a camera crew captured the entire process. One of the first issues that Tabatha addressed was Erickson's relationship with her staff.

"Suzanne struck me as someone who obviously had a passion for her business, and who cares about the community that she's in," Tabatha says. "However, she also really wanted to be 'one of the girls,' and wanted to be the nice boss that didn't tell people what to do. In business, you have to make tough decisions, and you have to hold people accountable."

In addition to improving Erickson's management style, it was important to Tabatha that she get her personal life on track.

"Suzanne had a very unusual living situation, and she wasn't taking responsibility for that. I needed Suzanne to get her life in order," Tabatha says. "I wanted her to have an apartment, and a great life outside of the salon. I also knew that her daughter Kari [the salon's manager] had a dream of her own, and it was very important to give her the opportunity to pursue something that she loved."

While working with Tabatha was rewarding, hearing her direct, no-nonsense advice wasn't easy.

"Being on the show was like being in boot camp," Erickson says. "Tabatha breaks you down before she can build you back up."

Tabatha may be tough, but she says that she's not there for a laugh or a joke. She's there to help, and she takes the process incredibly seriously.

"It's just my approach. It's who I am, and it's how I run my business," Tabatha says. "In these situations I truly don't have a lot of time, and I want to help business owners as much as I possibly can. I have to be honest and direct to make sure that they can implement change to get them on the road to success."

Overall, Suzanne says that the experience was rewarding and gave her tools to get her life and her business back in order. She is excited for people to come see the new and improved Jungle Red.

"Our atmosphere is really unique," Suzanne says. "Even though we are an upscale salon providing highly skilled services, we have a very inviting and comfortable atmosphere. People are always wowed when they walk in the door for the first time. I don't think they expect this fun, kind-of New York-style loft space with an amazingly friendly group of professionals."

Jungle Red will be hosting a viewing party at Seven Sushi Ultralounge and Skybar tonight. The event will include a runway show featuring the salon's new hairstyle, the Sex Kitten, followed by a viewing of the season four premiere of Tabatha Takes Over.

Tuesday, January 10
Seven Sushi Ultralounge and Skybar
700 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
7 p.m.; fashion show at 8:30 p.m.; viewing at 9 p.m.

Or watch from home: Season four of Tabatha Takes Over premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on Bravo

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