A reality T.V. star known for her no nonsense attitude is spending two days at a salon in Binghamton.

Tabatha Coffey of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover is visiting The Hair and Beyond Salon as part of the grand prize for the national Mannequin Mania Contest. As News Channel 34’s Grace Guy shows us, Tabatha didn’t takeover the salon, but she is helping to take it to the next level.

Salon owners, Annette Beagell and her daughter, Stacy Birtch won the Matrix sponsored competition with their artistic and stylish entry called “The Widower.” And while the staff was nervous to meet the opinionated TV star, Coffey quickly put them at ease.

Annette Beagell says, “It’s been a wonderful experience. I have been in the industry for 36 years and I have never experienced anything this awesome.”

Coffey’s arrival attracted flocks of hair dressers both young and old, including cosmetology students from BOCES and Ridley Lowell.

Tabatha Coffey says, “The best part about my job is that I get to help people on a daily basis when they in my chair, and the thing that I love about the show that I have is that I get to go out and help salons.”

One thing Coffey stresses on her show is teamwork and Birtch says that’s one of her salon’s strengths.

Stacy Birtch says, “We’ve all been working here together for like 13 or 14 years together so we definitely work as a team.”

The on-line voting competition came at an intense time in the women’s lives as Birtch’s father had recently died of cancer and Beagell’s current husband was struggling with health issues of his own. They say the design of the Widower helped reflect their feelings. Now with the opportunity to learn from a master stylist, they feel like they’ve won the lottery.

Tabatha Coffey says, “To be able to come in and just do whatever they want, you know I’m theirs for two days. So, to be able to sit down talk about business, talk about hair, talk about anything that they need or anyway I can help them then it’s really amazing.”

For Beagell and Birtch, their victory, culminating in today’s visit, has helped turn what started as one of the worst year’s of their lives into an inspirational triumph.

The Mannequin Mania contest was sponsored by Matrix haircare products. Friday, Coffey will lead a private clinic for the salon’s staff.