click image to zoom When most salon and spa owners donate their first gift basket to a silent auction, take a seat at their first event planning committee meeting, or pledge their team’s support to the first awareness campaign, they do it with the well-being of the charitable organization and the people it serves strictly in mind. But what owners soon realize is their generosity yields so much more—in terms of community goodwill, team-building and even new clientele and expanded business opportunities.
“It’s really a way to get your name out in the community in a positive way,” says Stephanie Gregoire, owner of Salon 6 in Indianapolis, Indiana. “People know that we’re doing this, and they get excited, too.”
How salons offer help and who receives that support varies greatly, running the gamut from donating haircuts at a local shelter to organizing an extravagant runway show. Gregoire’s team entered the charitable domain, after being inspired to support Childhelp, an organization that works to prevent child abuse, at the 2006 Eufora Global event.
“They did a presentation saying that if every Eufora salon did something small, imagine what we could accomplish together,” Gregoire says. That first year, the salon sent its first check for $800. Just seven years later, Salon 6 contributes $10,000 a year by hosting a variety of events, including ‘One Tip, One Child’ in which all stylists donate their biggest tip of the day. The salon also sponsors an annual music event, Rock for Hope, at a local bar, with food and a silent auction. “Everything is donated through our clients and some local participating businesses. We don’t spend any money to host the event,” Gregoire explains.
A Multi-Faceted Approach
The Ihloff Salon and Day Spa, with three locations in Oklahoma, also takes a multi-faceted approach to raising funds and awareness for local non-profits. The owner, Marilyn Ihloff, says after being behind the chair for 30 years, she started getting out of the salon and working with local community groups like the Chamber of Commerce. A friend who worked on transitioning women from prison back into the community through an organization called Resonance mentioned that if the women could have a “decent haircut” when they went on job interviews, they’d have a much better chance of getting the job.
“That’s how we started,” says Ihloff. Now her team participates in many events, including walk-a-thons, service auctions, jean days and Locks of Love events, all of which have benefited groups such as the Gulf Restoration Network, the Mental Health Association, and Lymphoma and Leukemia research.