“Give selflessly, because when you give, you receive.” This is a mantra Scott J. Buchanan, owner of five Scott J Salons based in New York City, claims as a driving force behind the Scott J business model and partnership with the non-profit organization HairToStay.
As a full service Aveda Salon, Scott J Salons already actively supports the Aveda philosophy of off-setting environmental impact and giving back to other charitable causes, but HairToStay is closest to his heart. It’s the first and only non-profit organization dedicated to helping cancer patients afford scalp cooling, a treatment that can dramatically reduce chemotherapy induced hair loss.
Buchanan understands how closely one’s hair is tied to one’s sense of self and identity, and wanted to help preserve this aspect of their self-worth as much as possible in the midst of a scary, life changing event. “Hair is an everyday accessory that has to go with every outfit – it’s our crown and glory,” says Buchanan.
Building Awareness About HairToStay Through Natural Client Connection
For patients moving through chemotherapy, hair undergoes a significant amount of trauma in all steps of the cancer treatment and recovery process. The cold capping procedure helps shrink the blood vessels of the hair follicles. Allowing less of the toxic chemo into the follicle protects the hair and can significantly reduce the amount of hair loss the patient may experience. While results vary, overall the treatment has a significant impact on the retainment rate of a client’s natural hair.
To Buchanan, it’s a no-brainer to use his talents and business connections to support an organization that directly helps patients retain as much hair as possible, keep it healthy, and maintain a feeling of dignity in the midst of a health crisis. The key target market for recipients of HairToStay donations is 3 to 6 times the Federal Poverty Level – a demographic that would most likely be unable to afford this service.
The HairToStay mission touches the lives of everyone that comes into his salons by simply opening up a conversation around cancer, chemotherapy, and hair. Buchanan pointed out that almost every salon guest knows someone impacted by cancer, or is personally dealing with the impact of cancer themselves. It’s through these 1-1 connections and conversations that Scott J builds awareness of HairToStay and generates organic support from clients who believe in the cause or know someone who can benefit.
Creating a Clear Gateway Between Salon Business Operations and Non-Profit Support
Scott J Salons make it super simple for clients to learn about their efforts with HairToStay, then donate to the cause in their own way.
“I have 3,500 customers per week on average moving through my five salon locations,” says Buchanan. “It provides lots of opportunities for me and the staff to share information about HairToStay and the good it can do. The success rate of contributions is directly related to getting our staff involved and onboard to share during every aspect of the guest process, in non-invasive ways,” adds Buchanan.
Here are simple, effective ways ScottJ Salons build awareness about the HairToStay cause and make contributing easy:
- Educate every staff member about HairToStay and ways to donate, and get them inspired to talk about it with guests
- Post signs at key locations in the salon including check-in and check-out, near in-store products, and using mirror talkers to spark guest conversation with the stylist
- Create email marketing outreach to current clients every few months featuring unique content with direct links to donate or help – and track the details from email blasts in SalonBiz
- Host special events at the salon or attend special events to network and share stories
- Have staff share HairToStay details on guest confirmation calls
- Feature a HairToStay donate button on the home page directly linked to the organization and feature a link to a video about why it matters
- Create a donation button as part of the Point of Sale system that holds funds separate from the salon, and make it available at all terminals to keep workflow smooth while separately tracking donations and salon sales
- Ask guests to make a donation at any point in their salon experience
“Every $1000 we raise for HairToStay means that somebody else will receive a subsidy so that they can afford scalp cooling throughout their chemotherapy treatment. In October 2019 during cancer awareness month, we had 10,000 visitors on the website and a lot of them were new,” says Buchanan. “It was a really wonderful gift! However, we keep up donation options up year round because cancer is year round”.
“Our most important mission at Scott J. is to enhance the total beauty that lies within us all, through service, education and environmental awareness. HairToStay helps fulfill our mission in a big way, and for the last two years we have been so pleased to contribute to helping cancer patients through HairToStay and at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in any way we can,” adds Buchanan. HairToStay is also available at many other medical centers throughout NYC.