Four Ideas for Holiday Gifting

Imagine a Christmas Tree at your grooming business that is completely covered from bottom to top with adorable plush dog toys. As each dog completes their pre-holiday grooming session, its owner is instructed to choose any toy they wish from the tree for their pet. If their dog is not a fan of plush toys (or eats them!), there is also a stack of soft fleece blankets by the tree to be gifted instead.

This is the scene created by stylist Debi Hilley at A Cut Above Salon in Albany, GA. Starting right after Thanksgiving, the toy-covered tree is erected in the lobby. It is bright, festive, fun, and affordable. Hilley shops bulk toys, the post-Christmas sales, and stocks up on toys at a deep discount. She stores them until the following year, then creates happy magic for all her canine customers. She finds the fleece blankets at discount and dollar stores, sometimes for only a dollar each. Her annual budget is $400, and she says she often spends less than that.

Another excellent idea is to create coupons to gift all your customers from late November through the end of the holiday season. For example, if you have the coupon effective for January and February, you can keep those typically slow months busier as customers return with a coupon in hand. This gift is a win/win because you can give customers a present to show your thanks for their patronage and keep your calendar full simultaneously.

A third suggestion is to donate to a local animal shelter or charity of your choice in tribute to your customers. You can create a card notifying your customers of the gift. It could go something like this, "We are thankful to you for entrusting your pet's grooming needs with (your business name.) A donation has been made to (charity) in your honor." My customers have warmly welcomed this clutter-free gift over the years.

Some groomers choose to add a service at no additional charge during December. It could be a deep conditioning treatment, a paw spa service , a facial or another upgraded service that you already offer as a seasonal gift that will hopefully delight both the pet and the human at the end of the leash.

If it makes you happy to offer your customers or their pets a gift during the holiday season, these four ideas have been pet and customer tested by successful groomers for many years!


By Daryl Conner, MPS, MCG 

Daryl Conner has been devoted to making dogs and cats more comfortable and beautiful for almost 40 years.  You can find her happily working at FairWinds Grooming Studio with her daughter and infant granddaughter, or typing away at her latest grooming-related article. Daryl was awarded both a Cardinal Crystal Award and Barkleigh Honors Award for journalism.  She shares her meadow-hugged antique Maine farmhouse with her practically perfect husband and too many animals.