December 2008

Lisa Kind - Editor

Esthetic Endeavors | by Judith Culp

 

Finding Your Place in the Community by Giving Back

Finding your place in the community by looking for ways to give back to the community is good for you and your business.

The rewards of becoming involved in your local community are multifold for professionals and businesspeople. Not only does it give us that good-feeling glow, it reflects positively on our business and our industry when our clients see our involvement.

Salons, spas, clinics and medi-spas all benefit from charitable donations, which don’t always need to be cash. In fact, many charities appreciate your time just as much as they appreciate your dollars.

There’s a local salon that is deeply involved with a program that supports children in crisis and the people who care for them. They give away free haircuts and styles periodically to the caregivers involved as a reward for their hard work. This doesn’t require a huge outlay of cash, but it does require sincere volunteer labor. The reward is the positive way the community views them and the continuing mention of their name in the media and print. It is a win-win situation.

Then there is the makeup artist who volunteers time doing “Miss X County” pageant makeup for her county. The participants appreciate the help and it establishes a positive community spirit. Other volunteers may help with local community theater events, dance teams, cheerleaders, visiting senior centers, or teaching personal grooming to junior high students.

But it doesn’t have to be a cosmetology skill that we share. Volunteer at a local school with a program for which they have no coach or sponsor a kids’ sports team. Just pick your personal passions and get your good will and good name out there in the community to earn validity and recognition that no amount of advertising can buy.

Sometimes salons bond together and do team events to support the community. Maybe this manifests as having a team at a walk-a-thon or maybe handing out water to participants at a fund-raising marathon. Others are involved in collecting hair to make wigs for cancer clients or box tops to support a local school fundraiser. Everywhere you turn, opportunities await involvement.

Right now, just about every food bank in the country is in need of non-perishable items. Can you imagine the power we’d have if every salon put a food-bank barrel in their facility and gathered food for their county? And the press response of an industry teaming up to achieve such a thing would be significant. All it would take is a little floor space, reminder calls to clients to let them know we are doing this and a press release to let local media know this is happening.

There are numerous cancer survivors in our industry who donate time and efforts to help others undergoing cancer. Patients for the hope and the understanding of the path they must endure doubly welcome their efforts. Many skilled stylists assist with wig programs and deal with the arduous task of trying to adapt them to the individuality of the client trying to wear hair that is basically not customized. Others devote time to assisting with programs like Locks of Love where long hair is donated to make wigs.

For several years, our esthetics school has offered free Halloween face makeup to local youngsters to make their trick-or-treating safer. This year we combined that with a fundraiser for Lane County Food Bank. The results were most gratifying for the kids, the county and our students. Lots of kids, and numerous grownups, had great makeup and the county took home a very full barrel of goodies. Our team was excited as our esthetic students had the opportunity to do lots of face painting. It was a win-win situation and we made connections, so we will be able to reach out to even more kids next year.

Even though you will get this newspaper only a short time before the holidays, there is still time to help someone in your community. With the tough economy, many families need a helping hand. Whether your staff wants to forego personal gifts and donate to Toys for Tots, a Food Bank or other local organizations, or if they want to “adopt” a family to help make their holiday time a little easier, there are many ways we can reach out and find a place in our community. But the time for the opportunity can be fleeting. Taking action now is the key.

Some form of community service should be part of the business and marketing plan for every facility. Look for ways you can be involved, at not only the holidays, but also year-around. Giving back is a win-win situation. Find your place in your community.

Judith Culp, a CIDESCO Diplomat has been in the esthetics industry since 1980. A CPCP permanent makeup technician for over 18 years she served a 4-year term as a Director for the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals, two years as their president. She is president of Culp Enterprises Inc. and CEO of NW Institute of Esthetics. Judy Culp is available for consulting. For more information visit www.estheticsnw.com.