It made the local TV news when Fresno, Calif.’s Atlantic Skin Spa and Beauty Bar shut its doors in October leaving hundreds of customers with newly purchased gift certificates and no place to redeem them. Among those watching the broadcast was Ginger Forgione, a nail tech at Fresno’s newly opened Polished Hand & Foot Spa who wanted to help make things right. The next day Polished became one of 11 salons in the area that agreed to honor the gift certificates that had been aggressively promoted by a marketing agency just prior to the salon’s closing.
Polished owner Stephanie Bigbee was reluctant at first. “I told Ginger that as a brand new business owner all I could afford was to offer these customers some kind of discount since I was still going to have to pay wages, product costs, etc. Both Ginger and another employee — Rachelle Vaughn — offered to do the services for free,” recalls Bigbee.
The local news later followed up with a story about the salons that had pitched in to honor the gift certificates, helping out not just the individuals, but boosting the reputation of the industry as a whole. “We do not want the public to feel they cannot trust the salon industry based on this one salon,” says Bigbee. “People would be skeptical to pre-purchase anything after a negative newscast about a salon.”