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Tabatha Coffey discusses fame, hair and same-sex marriage in New Jersey

For four years Tabatha Coffey has been travelling across America, rescuing failing hair salons. She told owners what they were doing wrong, shook up and trained complacent staff and refurbished each salon, all in the space of one week. Her show is back, but with a name change: "Tabatha’s Salon Takeover" is now "Tabatha Takes Over." I ask her what’s different about the renamed show.

“This season I’m taking over non-salon businesses,” Tabatha tells me. “We decided to change the format because of the number of people who reached out to me via email, or through social media, or by writing to Bravo, saying how much they needed some no-nonsense business advice, but who weren’t hairdressers. They said a lot of the things that I talked about applied equally to their business.”

“I’ve been a hairdresser for 30 years, but I’ve also been a business owner for 12 of those years. Lots of small businesses have problems with staff, having a good product and all the other aspects you need to control to keep a business afloat. Hairdressing is my skill and craft, but common-sense is relevant to any business.”

It was Tabatha’s skill as a hair stylist that took her away from her native Australia to London, and the likes of Vidal Sassoon and Toni and Guy, at a relatively young age.

When London’s economy eventually stalled, Tabatha set off for America to be closer to her mother, who by that time had moved to New Jersey. Tabatha arrived with nothing more than a suitcase and the notion that she might see a bit of the country. She ended up staying. By the time she entered Bravo’s reality TV show, "Shear Genius," she’d been running her own hair salon for more than seven years. Though she didn’t win the TV contest, she ended up being named Fan Favorite, which was enough to prompt Bravo to offer Tabatha her own TV series.

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