Sabrina Everts’ clients know exactly the best day of the month to get their nails done. A self-employed nail technician at Gwen’s Salon in Los Gatos, Calif., Everts began printing monthly calendars and mailing them to current and past clients a year ago. Everts offers discounts on services and giveaways, so when her clients receive the calendar in the mail, they see a special on a service they want and just can’t resist calling in for an appointment. The calendar won Everts honorable mention in the NAILS 1994 Graphics Contest.

Everts lives and works in a bedroom community in northern coastal California that is populated with young professionals who commute to their jobs in advanced technology-related fields. The town is peppered with coffee houses, boutiques, crafts shops, and bed and breakfasts, so it draws weekend tourists.

Everts gets some walk-in clients and has a regular clientele, but she would like to be even busier. She was pleased when she began getting more crossover business after she framed the page from the NAILS graphics contest and hung it in on a wall in the hair salon.

Her fees are on the high end: $60 for a full set, $27-$40 for a fill, and $25 for a manicure. There are many other salons in the area that charge much less for the same services, but Everts doesn’t try to compete with them. “Discount salons get you in and out fast. But my work is important to me. I like what I do, I don’t complain, and I want my work to be as perfect as possible,” she says.

Everts competes at major beauty shows, educates part time, makes her own business materials, and advertises extensively.

The first advertisement is her own nails. “My clients tell me that I am the first nail technician they’ve seen who has beautiful nails herself.” Everts did her own nails at age 8 with Lee Nails, graduated from a nail course at age 16, and was licensed at 17. “I’ve learned a lot in the past nine years. I remember the first time I did my mother’s nails while in beauty school. They all fell off the next day. I recently did an ad for a nail manufacturer where I was the hand model and did the nails myself.”

Why Everts’ calendar works is because it’s more than just a “Hi, haven’t seen you in a while, call me for an appointment” reminder card; it’s a colorful and useful tool that’s chock full of discounts and special offerings. When she has a client in the chair and wants to encourage her to book another appointment, Everts pulls out a calendar and says, “Let’s pick a day for you to come in for your next appointment. See if there are any specials you’re interested in.”

In addition, the calendar is helpful because it shows when Everts is available, since she spends many hours caring for her two young children.

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