GIVE AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE: THE 411 ON GIFTING YOUR CLIENTS AT THE HOLIDAYSby Tracey Middlekauff
Hair´s How: Do you gift your clients around the holidays? Why or why not?
Mindy Nguyen, owner of Mai Blossom
Eco Wellness Salon in Point Loma, California:
Yes, the holidays are an important time
to thank our clients for the business they
contribute throughout the year.
Bill Vandiver, co-owner of The Edge Salons
in Nashville, Tennessee:
Gift giving is totally left to the discretion of
each stylist. I do highly encourage each of
my staff to personally write very heart felt
Christmas cards to each of their clients. …
We, the owners, do give small gifts to our
clients who really make our days special. …
I think the entire practice of expressing your
gratitude to your clients is something that
should not only be done at the holidays but
all year long.
Federico Calce, celebrity stylist and owner
of Federico Salon in New York City:
I feel the best gift I can give my clients is
to give them the best of my talent and
ability all year. I am always there for them
whenever they need me and do not believe
in other gifts.
Hair´s How: Who should provide the gifts for the clients — the salon owner, or the individual stylist?
Mindy: It all depends — if a stylist is a renter
or independent contractor, they should
buy the gifts, but if they are employees the
owner should do it.
Bill: We feel it is the responsibility of each
stylist to provide his or her own clients
Maria Lekakkos, former Miss Massachusetts
and owner of M. Lekakkos
Salon, Spa, & Boutique in Wenham,
You could have a client base of 3,000!
It would be outrageous to send them all
gifts. You would go broke. We love to give
a holiday thank you of 20% off of a service.
… If a staff member or stylist wants to give
a special gift, then that´s okay.
Hair´s How: What are some examples of fun gifts you´ve given or things you´ve done in the past?
Bill: Homemade jellies, country ham, travel
gift baskets, salon gift certificates for services
that they do not normally receive,
framed pictures that were taken in the salon,
framed articles that mean something to
both of you. I also work with many country
music celebrities and the Tennessee Titans
(NFL cheerleaders) and the Nashville Predators
(NHL dancers). I get calendars and pictures
personally autographed to clients.
Mindy: I´ve had my stylists over, and we´ve
made English toffee together. Not many
people get homemade English toffee — the
clients really appreciate it!
Hair´s How: If gift giving is simply too much of a financial burden for a stylist or salon, what are some other ways to show client appreciation?
Mindy: A holiday card is always the best
way, and the message in that card is the
most important thing. After all, a personalized
thank you is inexpensive.
Bill: The most precious gift of all is the gift
of your time, and a Christmas card well
written takes time.
Maria: The best gift is saying, “We´re going
to take care of you!” That could be with
a glass of wine, cheese and crackers, or
maybe giving a complimentary conditioning
treatment. That says “VIP” to me!