Gadabout's Frank Westerbeke and Stylist Macy (right) roll out the carpet for client Catherine's...

Gadabout's Frank Westerbeke and Stylist Macy (right) roll out the carpet for client Catherine's first visit. 

I receive emails, texts and phone calls from salon owners and stylists on a daily basis, but in my 25 years of writing for SALON TODAY, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard from your clients. In early October, an intriguing email from a client named Cathy caught my attention:

“At this moment, I’m sitting in the award-winning Penzone Salon + Spa in Columbus, Ohio, in what will likely be my last visit, and I’m very sad about that. We’ve recently moved to the lively retirement town of Green Valley, about 30 miles south of Tucson, Arizona. I’m in dire need of finding a salon of the same caliber but have had no luck with two so-so haircuts. Right now, I’m back in Columbus for my 50th high school reunion and looking my best fabulous self is a no brainer, so of course I made an appointment at Penzone’s. Unfortunately, no one I’ve spoken to here is familiar with the ‘almost west coast’ so that brings me to you. I found your name in the SALON TODAY May/June issue with Penzone’s on the cover! Is there a possibility you or one of your staff can make a recommendation?”

While my husband frequently jokes that I know a salon in every town across the United States, that’s not quite true. But I was able to help Cathy. I immediately thought about Gadabout Salons and Spas, which has multiple locations in Tucson and is owned by Frank and Jana Westerbeke.  In early 2018, the Westerbekes invited me out to visit their new resource and educational center (the story was in the March/April 2018 issue). Both Frank and Jana, as well as Megan Jasper, their director of operations and marketing, have been speakers at our Data-Driven Salon Summit, and Frank’s been known to give me one of his signature Calligraphy Cuts when we’re traveling to the same event—once in a hotel’s bar, but that’s another story.

I immediately shared Cathy’s email with Megan, and within minutes Megan emailed Cathy, welcoming her to Tucson, sharing the contact info of the closest Gadabout location and inquiring about Cathy’s hair preferences so she could match her with the best possible stylist.

In addition, Cathy’s email hit my in-box a few days before I traveled to New York for Intercoiffure America Canada’s Fall Atelier—and I knew both the Westerbekes and the Penzones were members and would likely be in attendance. They were, and all four loved hearing the story of their soon-to-be shared client and the role SALON TODAY played in helping her find her next salon. In fact, Debra chimed in with a lovely idea. “Whenever we have a client who relocates to another city and we can refer them to another Intercoiffure salon, we do, AND we call ahead and pick up the tab for her first service,” she shared.

Upon my return, I checked in with Cathy, who was grateful for my recommendation and for Megan for reaching out, and was on the verge of calling Gadabout to book her first appointment. I can’t wait to hear how she reacts when she learns the owners of the salon she’s been loyal to for so many decades are celebrating her with such a thoughtful gift. 

Frank Westerbeke, co-owner of Gadabout Salon Spas in Tucson, AZ, with new client Catherine.

Frank Westerbeke, co-owner of Gadabout Salon Spas in Tucson, AZ, with new client Catherine. 

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