28 Years of Wisdom from Grandma Sue

The day I walked in to Cole’s 28 years ago changed my vision and personal possibilities!

Having been a designer for 20 years, and having a passion for people and hair, I felt pretty qualified to work for Cole’s. But when I saw the Learning Library, I instantly got excited about the opportunity for constant learning and investment in myself—something I hadn’t experienced at other companies.

I was happy as a clam, in my Learning Utopia, until Doug Cole said I needed to set some goals or I would get bored and leave my craft. “What?!” I thought. “That’s too hard… I will get hot flashes and fall over the chair!” But he and Trish convinced me to give it some thought, so I agreed. My gut told me to stretch myself a bit, and see what happened.

I built my clientele by giving it my heart, studying my craft, and learning new ideas along with the support of a Cole’s culture of caring staff. I soon learned Cole’s had a great culture where clients came because they trusted the consistent experience of great talent, and people who cared about them. Cole’s grew in vision for the future, and so did I.

Tina and I started teaching women’s cuts, helping raise the bar on our cutting skills—as well as our students’! And I was proud to work with Debbie and Heather to challenge my technical and customer service skills, working on breaking down and improving the six steps of client interaction. Little did I know, this was going to be my next calling! I started doing customer service training and workshops, as well as coaching and mentoring with our Cole’s team, and while it was sometimes scary and pressure-filled, I never looked back. Special thanks to Trish and Doug for the encouragement along the way!

I was also honored to be a Team Leader with Julie—which meant we heard staff feedback and helped translate it into business vision ideas. It was hard work and not for the faint of heart, as there is a lot of problem solving to be done—but Julie and I have humbled ourselves, learned to love our differences, and balance each other.

To this day, I thank all those who let me coach and mentor them—little did they know, I was learning so much from them, too. My last day of mentoring is August 1, and truly my heart loves seeing all the excited new staff and seasoned veterans finding their place in the Cole’s culture and realizing all of the possibilities.

I am also proud to have been part of Star Throwers—a program we have that recognizes dedicated staff who invest in the culture and business growth at Cole’s. I am so thankful for Joel Suzuki and Jennifer Wilson who passed on to me a set of new eyes to possibilities.

After all this time, I can’t help but reflect on how much I’ve learned in my time at Cole’s. This is one of my favorite quotes:

There are those who make things happen
There are those who watch things happen
And there are those who say………WHAT HAPPENED?

I like to believe I went from “WHAT HAPPENED?” to making things happen, thanks to the Cole’s team.

As the years went on, I slowly reduced my hours behind the chair due to age and timing in life, and Trish and Doug saw the value in my passion for teaching—granting me the ability to cut my hours and coach every week. That kind of opportunity is very rare in the industry, and Grandma Sue is so grateful!

Here are a few final words of wisdom I’ve picked up along the way:

Heart still is needed in business to build trust.

It isn’t an accident to be successful—it’s passion with purpose.

Trust is a major gift to build any relationship.

Every age and skill is important, and should be treated with respect.

Most of all play and have fun! Life needs more heart and laughter in the face of defeat.

Don’t forget to celebrate!

Go out knowing without a doubt you did your best and made a difference!

Signing out now,

Grandma Sue



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