December 2009

Charlene Abretske

Beauty Business Buzz | Charlene Abretske


That Thing You Do

Did you know you just survived one of the toughest economic years ever on record?

There may have been some losses, yes, but you are still here making a stand, telling men and women to take time for themselves, celebrate who they are, and then enhancing the beauty of every person you touch.

Not too bad, huh?

As a salon professional, do you ever wonder about the effect the services you perform have on your clients’ lives? This is a huge area of the beauty industry often left forgotten in the business world. We get caught up in the ways we address artistry, new products, sales techniques and technology; then we forget to celebrate the larger effect it has on those we serve. We should be celebrating every time a client raises his or her head a little higher, smiles a little more boldly, or we see an extra bounce in their step on the way out of the salon.

I can tell you what effect beauty professionals have on me in my hectic life of the “average, working, professional woman.” My days consist of helping salon professionals leap over their business challenges in a single bound, running my household, grocery shopping, paying bills, dog-walking, exercising, cooking, doing laundry, running errands — all great things, yes but items that need to be done.

When I book my appointment at my favorite hair studio and they ask, “How can we help you feel more beautiful today?” I have to say, I take a deep breath, exhale and exhale big!

Ah, the ME time. I only get the opportunity about once every eight weeks to have someone ask me that question. I enjoy every moment of the service, from selecting a magazine, to being asked if they can bring me a beverage. Just having someone else shampoo my hair is awesome as well as when I get home and my husband says, “Wow, they do a great job there, you look great!”

Do you know what this does for me, and everyone like me, for those few short hours every couple of months? It makes me feel fantastic. You get to provide that feeling for hundreds of people in your client base over and over again every year. Sometimes we forget to stop and appreciate the effect salon professionals have and what a noble calling it is indeed.

Here are a few ways to help you and your fellow stylists remember that what you do on a daily basis is extraordinary and transformational.

ASK YOUR CLIENTS – Before they leave ask how they feel and to give you feedback on the look. If they are a new client or a client who tried a new service make sure you are getting feedback through email or give them a call and ask how they like the service a few days later.

WRITE IT DOWN – Keep a journal at your station and write down three great reactions you received from your clients every day, so you will not forget the impact you make on your clients. This will help you remember (on days you sometime forget) why you chose this profession or are in doubt about the profound effect you have on others.

ACKNOWLEDGE EACH OTHER– Take time with your co-workers or staff to tell them they do great work – don’t assume they know. This will build rapport and build respect among your team. We often only remember the things we are corrected on instead of what we are praised for.

SMILE FOR THE CAMERA – Break out that camera and capture the moment when you helped someone reclaim their beauty. Have fun with it; the feeling will be contagious.

GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY – There are so many people whose beauty has been forgotten in our society. Donate your time for one group a few hours a month. This will help you see the most profound effect you can have by spending time with the elderly, the sick, or people who have been abused. You will love the time you spend and never forget why you do what you do.

Thank you to beauty professionals everywhere, for making the world, and the people in it, more beautiful.

Charlene Abretske is a business advisor with Your Beauty Network and supports salons and spas with growing their businesses through on-demand back office tools designed for beauty professionals. For more information call (866)364-4926 or email