A festive look for your salon around the holidays can bring good cheer and delight to clients and nail technicians alike. Its unexpected results can have you twinkle-toed all the way to the bank, too.
So you're getting the holiday bug, and you're itching to share the spirit; what are you going to do about it? Celebrating holidays and festive occasions have been a tradition practiced (or centuries, and now it's your turn to gel the winter holiday spirit going for yet another year. NAILS found some salon owners who dress up their salons to the nines.
Holiday cheer may he only the obvious reason to decorate for the holidays, but at this time of year retail sales soar, and salons can gel support in holiday merchandising from product manufacturers and distributors to market products for gift purchases. Whether it's with display contests or just some really good ideas on how to decorate and merchandise retail areas, manufacturers and distributors are going all out to help salons make the most of the season when clients are willing to open their pock-et books even wider than normal.
What's Your Pleasure?
How you decorate for the holidays depends on how creative you want to be, how much money is budgeted for the project, and how you can incorporate retail items. David Blum, "sales coach" for Progressive Beauty Enterprises (Eden Prairie, Minn.), says that decorating styles in salons run the gamut. "I definitely see a lot of creativity and a wide range of styles in the displays, from avant garde to very traditional looks. Lately, though, salons have placed a heavy emphasis on a comfortable, natural look. I see lots of corrugated cardboard and dried flowers," Blum notes.
Some salons spare no expense when decorating for the holidays. These lend to be upscale, high-volume salons that devote a significant portion of their operating budgets to merchandising and promotions year-round. Mitchell Wherley, co-owner of Spalon Montage in Edina, Minn., says his salon spends about $5,000 on winter holiday decorating. "The first year we decorated, we put up grains wrapped in grape vines with eucalyptus in the many archways in the salon. I used lots of wreaths and greens in planters, pine tops in front of the entryway, and lights everywhere. Last year, we did a country Christmas with antique toys and more holiday colors, but not as much greenery," Wherley says.
Salon owners are also aware that the winter holiday season is not just Christmas. Holiday displays that incorporate Jewish traditions or that are not specific to any religious faith are ideal. Wherley says, "A lot of our salon's clientele is Jewish, so we try to make a theme that uses lots of blue." Umberto in Beverly Hills. Calif., has a large clientele, and much of it is made up of Jewish clients, says Babette Beja, salon coordinator. "We decorate for Hanukkah and Christmas. I have wooden dreidels and menorahs; there is a chocolate store next to our salon, and we have them make chocolate Hanukkah money for us [an ancient Jewish tradition]."
Non-specific decorating themes incorporate lights and plush fabrics, such as velvet, and wintertime items, such as miniature sleighs and snow-shoes. Alice Massie, owner of Guys and Gals in Wasilla, Alaska, used these items plus stuffed huskies, trees with faux snow, and poinsettias, as well as gift-wrapped retail items.
Retail items and gifts are popular ways to merchandise holiday products. Decorators look for new ways to select, display, and package retail items to appeal to shoppers.
Lorraine Cleary, owner of Rhapsody Nail and Skin Salon in Staten Island, N.Y., makes gift baskets with products and wraps them with bows and puts Christmas ornaments in the baskets as well. "It takes a few days to assemble the gift, baskets; usually we do it on a day the salon is closed," Cleary explains.
Making gift baskets available in your salon isn't difficult to do, and clients eat them up, says Cina Kopera, owner of The Nail Gallery in Omaha, Neb. "All the gift baskets I sold were purchased as gifts; a lot of the buyers were getting them for gift exchanges. I made each gift basket with tissue paper inside, and red and green cellophane wrap outside. I tie it all together with a big bow," Kopera says. Spalon Montage sells baskets with oils and lotions and gives a gilt bag even if it s just for a gift certificate purchase. "If they are buying only a gift certificate, we'll throw in a product to go along with it so the gift-giver is also giving something the recipient can use right now," Wherley says
Salon owner is who have done holiday merchandising see the profits of doing it, and plan to make this year bigger than even Kopera says, "This year is going to be much better than last year. A friend of mine who does a lot of wreaths and decorations is going to sell them on consignment in my salon, and I'm going to make a better display with the gift baskets; maybe I'll do stocking stuffers for men."
Catch The Holiday Bug
A festive salon atmosphere puts clients and staff in the holiday spirit. This is especially true of the clients whose salons were decorated as part of a manufacturer or distributor merchandising contest. "My clients became emotionally involved in how great the salon looked and the outcome of the contest," says Massie, who entered her salon in two holiday display contests and won a first and third place.
Lisa Delmastro, owner of Lady Fingers in Orange, Calif., started decorating for the winter holidays two years ago, and is now changing the decorations monthly, "Some clients tell us that they can't wait to come into the salon to see what we are going to do next month," she says.
Delmastro finds that changing the decorations instead of tearing them down after Now Year's brings her salon team together. "My nail technicians participate in all the decorating, and it lets them know that they have a part in making the salon beautiful. When they hear the compliments from clients about what a great salon we have, they lake pride in knowing that they helped," Delmastro says. She has also found that constantly decorating gets the creative juices flowing: "Every time yon do it you get more creative."
Whether you are decorating (or still just thinking about it) for the morale boost or to push special retail packages, decorating for the holidays has its payoffs. Your clients will know that you care, and you will gain the experience of learning more about your clientele and the market in which yon are competing.