Reader to Reader: What was the best holiday gift you've ever received from a client?

January 02, 2011

What was the best holiday gift you've ever received from a client?


I think the best gift I got was actually from someone else’s client! I took care of this person a couple of times when she couldn’t get into the other tech’s schedule. She baked me the yummiest cookies and put them on the cutest snowman plate. I was so surprised that at first I didn’t even realize they were for me! - MICHELLE YIANAKOPOLOS, Sweet Chic Hands & Feet at Merlin’s Ultimate Images, Manchester, N.H.

It was more of a consolation gift, but it was so lovely that I will never throw it away. A wonderful client of mine, Alison, presented me with a poem she wrote herself when my husband was going overseas to work. It was so thoughtful of her to take the time to write the poem and print it out. - MANDY REDPATH, Nail Elegance, Randalstown, Northern Ireland

I was working as a nail tech at T’Zers Beauty Shop in Bartow, Fla., when I decided I wanted to go back to cosmetology school. During the last few weeks of the course I was made aware that several hundred dollars was owed to the school in order for me to continue with the program. One of my nail clients found out about the situation and paid the fees for me. She continues to encourage and support me even today. - VICKY RICHARD-HIGGINS, Today’s Images Salon, Avon Park, Fla.

During my first Christmas season at my salon, one of my male clients tipped me $50 and told me to buy something nice for my daughter, who was 4 at the time, from “Santa.” To this day, she calls him “Santa Doug.” - DANA GONZALEZ-KURTZ, Artistry of the Nail at Salon Shibumi, Portland, Ore.

I have received so many things: two Vera Bradley purses, pearls from Singapore, a French wallet, handmade bead necklaces from Africa. My clients travel a lot, and they are so good to me. When I closed my salon to go to a smaller place, a client gave me $500 to cover the cost of turning on a new phone, lights, etc. - BRENDA ROGERS GIBSON, Brenda Gibson Center for Nails, Perrysburg, Ohio

Last year was my first year in business. I received a nice case to keep all of my polishes in. - JUDI BELL, Classic Clipper, Effingham, Ill.

The best gift I ever received was from a client and friend. She knew I was having a very hard time getting Christmas together for my kids, so when I finished her fills about a week before Christmas last year she handed me an envelope and said, “I know it’s not much but I hope it will help.” She had given me $200! I was speechless, and my kids had a great Christmas. Thanks, Mel! - LAURA PARKER, Southern Stylin’, Seymour, Tenn.

How can I cut costs and finally make a profit?

I’ve been doing nails for almost two years and have built a decent clientele. The only problem is, I did the math and over 50% of my income is going back into nail products. I’m using top-of-the-line brands and disposable files. How can I cut costs and finally make a profit? I know our prices are too low as well, but we are trying to stay competitive. Any advice?

As a mobile tech, how do I ensure I get paid?

I have a question about working as a mobile tech. When clients book group events or nail parties, how do you go about getting deposits and payments? Have you ever traveled to a client’s house and they were unable to pay? What did you do?

What should I do differently with male clients?

I’m starting to get more and more male clients. I am wondering how long a manicure for a man should last and how to price it? Also do you have any recommendations on what else I can do to give them an extra masculine sense of comfort?

Should I Use Punch Cards?

I recently started working at a high-end salon and I’m looking for marketing ideas. Should I do punch cards? I can’t do “refer-a-friend” because I don’t have consistent clients yet. We are already doing social media.

Should I start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments?

I want to start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments. My posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. by appointment only. I am ridiculously flexible with my schedule, and let people book earlier and later if they can’t get in during normal hours. Recently, I had a 7:30 a.m. no-show! She was supposed to get services totaling over $100, and I forfeited holiday plans to accommodate her. She comes every two weeks, so I can’t lose her, but this is the second time she’s no-showed. What should I do? And how would I go about informing current clients of the new policy on off-hour deposits? 

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