Being located in the West Hollywood Design District, a hot bed of charming boutiques, upscale hotels, and busy restaurants, Marco Pelusi, owner of Marco Pelusi Studio, has always been conscious of connecting to his community. He has been active in local business improvement efforts and boards, attends neighborhood networking events, and is also consistent in his outreach to press. This interest and involvement in his area has meant new business for his salon and the forging of important relationships.
Last year, Pelusi connected with a new luxury hotel in his area, La Peer, and he and his team have since become a go-to destination for hotel guests as well as offering in-room services.
“Relationships, relationships, relationships—it’s all about relationships,” Pelusi says in answer to a question of how this all came about. “Once you connect with someone and they are like-minded, it’s about maintaining and fostering that connection. The staff at La Peer has been just wonderful to work with, from the very start.”
When Pelusi first opened his salon space in 2005, he did an event with the Los Angeles Concierge Association. “We had each concierge come in for a complimentary hair service. It was a lovely way to meet them and for them to get to know us. Now, when their guests are in need of hair services, we are top of mind. Usually, the guest needs a blow dry or styling and you can also talk to them about an additional service. That ticket adds to your week.”
Pelusi says because he wants to have newer stylists or booth renters busy, he is especially happy about offering them new referrals. “My staff is excited by this new connection because they know it’s going to make them money and give them more clients."
The hotel wants to capture the feeling of the neighborhood and encourages guests to visit local businesses. “They hope to create a memorable, intimate experience for that guest by saying the salon is a block away and we encourage you to walk and experience the neighborhood. They believe the guest will remember it as a destination and will want to return."
And for guests who want instant gratification, Pelusi says salons can go mobile, visiting guests in their rooms for those willing to pay to be pampered. “It’s Los Angeles, so there are many VIP or red carpet events, plus weddings happening everywhere. You can charge a convenience or service fee for the trouble of bringing your tools and all your kit. It’s a good idea to have a makeup artist on standby, too, so you can answer that request, as well.”
The reciprocal relationship continues to expand in scope. Pelusi and his team recommend La Peer to their guests, friends and colleagues and his salon space has been used for hotel events. His advice for salons wanting to be on a hotel concierge’s speed dial? “Be involved and stay connected.”
- If you aren’t already, do get active in your local Chamber of Commerce. At mixers and events, you’ll be meeting with neighborhood business people and that might include hotel staff, concierges, and even owners. This is the right time to talk about how you can help each other.
- Talk to your team about how they can deliver a quick pitch whenever the time is right. Develop an elevator pitch and encourage them to always carry their business cards. If they are at a wedding at a nearby hotel, maybe they can take a moment to leave a card with the concierge.
- Go to them or bring them to you. Offer free pampering services to hotel concierges, either at their location or in your salon. Let them experience your expertise.