Ellen Kavanagh Waxperts

Two leading salon owners set the record straight about clients and Valentine’s Day

Connor Keppel


You’ve heard it before. “Oh dear, Valentine’s day huh? More like Hallmark Day! If it’s not Christmas, it’s Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. It’s never ending!”. It’s easy to talk about the virtues of these marketing opportunities. The reality is though certain promotions and marketing ideas work for certain salons while others… not so much.

Connor Keppel, Phorest Marketing Manager caught up with two salon owners in the UK and Ireland and asked them for the hard reality on what actually works and what doesn’t with salon clients and Valentine’s Day, and most importantly, are consumers really feeling the ‘lurve’ this February 14th?!

Mary Gilmore – Beauty Essence, London, says focus on the men and focus on families. Don’t get caught up with couples when dealing with clients and Valentine’s Day!

Mary Gilmore Beauty Essence

“While I think there is negativity about how ‘retail’ Valentine’s Day is, I look at it this way: how bad can Valentine’s Day be if it’s an opportunity to turn to the people you care about and tell them “I love you”? I actually get my family presents for Valentine’s because to me it’s about love, not so much romance.”

Cleverly, Mary is applying her philosophy about clients and Valentine’s Day to Beauty Essence:

“This year we’re heavily targeting men. Almost without exception, they are last minute when it comes to a gift purchase. We’re targeting some of them with SMS to increase voucher uptake, but we’re also using social media to push out gift ideas such as small hampers ‘for her’ with products, chocolates and the choice of Prosecco or Champagne.

Price points will be £50, £75 and £100. The more deluxe type hampers will include a voucher. When we market these things it’s essentially as a last minute way to go the extra mile and try to be the best person in the world to her. 

If you’re single or perhaps in a ‘shaky’ relationship, you’re not going to feeling romantic or be into Valentine’s Day. We’ve focused this year on the guys, but also we’ve always focused on targeting women directly with hers and hers packages. Sometimes just saying bring a friend, sister, mother or daughter or treat yourself and be your own Valentine is much more effective. Very few salons have the right market for his and hers packages!”

Talking about the past, Mary mentioned an idea that didn’t work so well.

“One year we gave everybody a free box of chocolates when they booked an appointment for February 14th. Being honest, there wasn’t a real appeal to it for our clients that booked in. People loved the decorations and the warmth of it all but they weren’t overtly bothered with the chocolates.”


Ellen Kavanagh, Owner of Waxperts in Dublin and Founder of Waxperts Wax (Ireland and UK) says it’s not all about the selling when it comes to your clients and Valentine’s Day!

Ellen Kavanagh Waxperts

Treat them to a product, make them feel loved. A loving and genuine way to introduce a product into future sales.

“This year we are using the love theme of Valentines to take the opportunity to show our clients we love them. So we’re gifting them with a pack of our new Waxperts wonder pads (€7.99) when they book in for a Brazilian or Hollywood.”

Again it’s about the love, not just romance when it comes to your clients and Valentine’s Day says Ellen:

“It’s good to keep in mind that it doesn’t always have to be about selling something. Why not take this chance to treat, thank or reward your loyal clients. It is all about the love after all. So people love to know their custom and loyalty is appreciated.

Many clients are not going to be celebrating Valentine’s Day. They might have no interest in it or they may be single. So it’s important not to alienate these clients. Include everyone! Instead of gearing your promos to ‘date night preparation’ etc. why not go with a ‘love yourself!’ angle. That way all your clientele can benefit.


Some great tips here regarding your clients and Valentine’s Day. Focusing on the man in the relationship and rewarding them with a gift to show your love and appreciation really works.  Also, don’t just focus on couples’ offers but get the ladies thinking about family and friends too.

One resounding message is consumers and clients will care if you don’t try and force it but appeal to people by being unique, targeted and focused on love not romance and you may just turn the love-weary into loyal clientele. Best of luck!

Don’t forget to tell us your thoughts in the comments below or email Connor for some marketing advice on marketing@phorest.com. Let’s Grow!