It’s that time again: the time of year clients come in and shower techs with gifts of appreciation. We’ll sit among a sea of presents feeling loved by thoughtful clients. This year, why not return the favor and give your clients a gift that shows your appreciation. We’ve listed 20 affordable gift ideas that you can choose from to thank your clients this holiday season.
1. Loofah Bars: Put a loofah (available at homemadesoaps.net) into an empty canister, such as a Pringles container. Pour glycerin soap (available at sweetcakes.com) over the loofah and let it harden. Cut away the Pringles container, cut the loofah soap into slices, and wrap each slice.
2. Dish Soap Dispenser. Purchase empty glass bottles and pour spouts (available at couronneco.com). Fill the bottle with colored, scented dish soap. Add the pour spout, put a ribbon on the neck, and voila!
3. Fleece Scarves. Buy fleece from a fabric store. Cut into strips the size of a cozy scarf. If you want fringe on the edges, make 3-inch cuts every half inch. If you know someone who has an embroidery attachment on her sewing machine, you can also add a decorative design to the scarf.
4. Lighted Jars. This is perfect if you live in areas of the country where pine cones are free. Fill a glass vase or basket with pine cones, weaving a string of Christmas lights through the pile of cones. Tie a ribbon on the neck of the vase or the handle of the basket. This makes a beautiful decoration.
5. Soy Massage Candles. It looks like a candle, but it’s really an at-home hand massage in a tin. Include instructions: light the wick, gently pour melted wax on to the hands or feet, and massage.
6. Candles. You can create candles in tins, glass jars, pottery, or stoneware. Go to your local craft store, dollar store, or online (specialtybottle.com) to find containers. Purchase a metal disk with a wick to place at the bottom of the container. Melt the wax, add a fragrance, and pour the wax into the container. Wax is available at craft stores or at peakcandle.com. Another idea: Pour wax into small molds and pop them out when they’ve set. Give clients two or three floating candles. (See instructions at candletech.com.)
7. Scrub. You can make a sugar scrub, a salt scrub, even a nutty oatmeal scrub. Find online recipes that suit your taste. Be careful — using natural ingredients with no preservatives reduces the shelf life. Let clients know they need to use scrubs within a couple of months.
8. Solid Lotion Bars. Use mini cookie molds (available at spinningleaf.com) to create these personal moisturizers. Print labels from your home computer and place the bars in a tin container to create a beautiful gift.
9. Infused Oil/Vinegar. You can find great recipes online for infused oil and vinegar. Be sure to include recipe ideas for the oils and vinegar so clients know to use the gift, not just display it!
10. Ornaments. Craft stores sell creamy glass ornaments and rub-off designs. Together these make elegant ornaments. Rub-off designs work on wood ornaments, too.
11. Cookie/Soup Mixes. You can find great recipes at allrecipes.com to make your own dry cookie, soup, cocoa, or cappuccino mix. Fill a mason jar, an old-fashioned sugar dispenser, or a tin with the dry mix, and tie a small scoop around the jar. Be sure to add instructions!
12. Foot Soak in a Bottle. Package Epsom salt and sea salt in a clear bottle. Add lemon or orange rind, mint, eucalyptus, lavender, or tea leaves with a favorite scent. Cork the bottle and add a note giving instructions to pour into water and relax.
13. Neck Warmer. Sew a rectangular piece of material (bath towel, bandana, fleece, cotton, etc.) into a sack or pillow. Stuff with dry rice, corn, or beans, and add any scent you like. (It could be tea, lavender, spices, etc.) Microwave the warmer for a heat pad; put it in the freezer for an ice pack. (See instructions at mainewarmers.com/howto.htm.)
14. Paraffin with Massage. Sometimes you just can’t afford to gift clients, no matter how good your intentions. If money is tight, offer to wrap clients’ hands in paraffin or moisturizing lotion, and give her a free hand massage with her service.
15. Coupons for Service Discounts. Offer clients a discount on their January service — the tightest month of the year as the Christmas credit card bills becomes due.
16. Notes/Magnets with a Gratitude Quote. Find an appropriate quote and go to vistaprint.com to personalize post-it notes, notepads, or magnets.
17. Bottle Opener/Screwdriver Keychain. This cute gift could save you from making nail repairs. You can even imprint your phone number on the gift. (Visit empromos.com.)
18. Bath Products. If you catch it right, you can get very inexpensive, full-sized gifts from Bath & Body Works during one of their semi-annual sales.
19. Hostess Gifts. If you know someone who is a Mary Kay, Arbonne, or Avon rep, enlist her help for an inexpensive gift. These reps have access to “hostess” gifts that are great values.
20. Nail Products on a Tree. Decorate the Christmas tree with files, nail polish, buffers, top coat, base coat, cuticle oil, etc. Let each client choose her own gift.
If appropriate, let clients choose their own gift. For example, if you make the dish soap dispensers, use a couple different scents/colors and let clients pick their favorite.
Clients may be skeptical of edible homemade gifts, so whenever it’s possible, have a sample of your homemade gift available for clients to try. For example, if you give the dry cookie mix, have some baked cookies on hand. Have hot water available to sample the cocoa or cappuccino.
For more ideas, check out our gallery: Here Come the Holidays - Gift Ideas and Giveaways for the 2008 Season.
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