It’s October and that means a few things in the salon world: It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and (OMG) it’s ALMOST THE HOLIDAYS! So many beauty industry people I’ve met over the years embrace October as the month to support breast cancer awareness (it’s the second most common cancer in women, after skin cancer) — holding fundraisers, doing three-day walks, selling products where the proceeds go to cancer research and painting pink ribbons on nails.

If October is all about Breast Cancer Awareness, November and December are the months when many organizations, salons included, take note of those in our communities who are less fortunate. It’s the time of the year when we hold food drives, clothes drives, and “adopt” families to make their holidays a little brighter.

These next few months are normally right up there as your busiest times in the salon. And this year, you’re sure to be hustling harder than ever to make the most of the holidays so you can bring in more revenue. But just because it’s been a rough year, let’s not forget all the good we can do. Sometimes it’s easy when our own business is down to forget we’ve still got it pretty good. This year, you might need every extra $3 that you would charge for that pink ribbon nail art. If in the past you’ve donated the entire amount, maybe this year you can donate half the amount — it’s something, and every bit counts.

Or maybe if you’re used to having big parties to collect canned goods and clothing or holiday presents, you can do something on a smaller scale. Have the party in the afternoon so you don’t have to serve as much food. Have each member of the salon bring one or two dishes or bottles of wine so the expense doesn’t all fall on one person. Ask local vendors if they’d be interested in participating. You can pool your resources and your client lists. Your guests can get service points or a percentage off their service for bringing canned food items.

This isn’t high-level philanthropy; it’s just being a good neighbor and an involved citizen. No matter how bad we have it and no matter how rough a year it’s been, we always feel better when we can help others, in whatever way we can.

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