As the world continues to speed up and we grow more disconnected from one another--there’s one thing that will always slow us down--kindness.
David Wagner, the king of kindness, lives to slow things down. In fact, David wouldn’t be the salon industry success that he is today if it weren’t for his mission to care for and connect with each and every one of his clients.
David, the owner of Juut Salon Spas, coined the term “daymaker” and it has been both his passion and his profession ever since. He even wrote a book on how you change the world by simply making someone’s day. Today, David shares his secret to a successful career behind the chair, and it all starts with intentional acts of kindness.
How “Daymaker” Was Born
David was participating in a hair show in Dallas, Texas, watching the hairdresser before him when the crowd went wild. The artist had begun a drastic transformation, cutting off most of his model’s hair, the audience was loving it until the model started to cry right there on stage.
It was clear that this haircut wasn’t something that she had agreed to and the crowd was left stunned. As David and his model took the stage bearing the weight of the last performance, he said,
“What if it was more about her than it was about me? I'm here to make her day, not mine.”
David got a standing ovation for a mediocre haircut because the audience saw the beauty in that small act of kindness.
After the show, David took his seat on his first class flight back to Minneapolis. With his rock’n’roll hair and leather pants, he stood out from the other businessmen around him, and one man leaned over and asked what he did for a living.
“I’m a daymaker.” David said. The man, confused, asked him, “Well, what in the world is a daymaker?” And David responded, “I make people’s day.”
And the businessman sat back and said, “Well, you must do it really well, you’re sitting in first class.”
Why It Matters
David returned home, switched all of his business cards from “stylist” to “daymaker” set out on a mission to center every appointment around the client.
Flashing his business card, he would always get a chuckle out of his clients, a smile from friends, family or colleagues when attending parties or networking events, but it wasn’t until one of David’s usual clients came in unexpectedly that he really understood his own impact.
One of David’s regulars dropped by the salon in between her usual cut and color for a last minute blow out. He asked if she had anything special going on and she said no, that she just really wanted to look and feel good.
David knew something was up, but he didn’t know what, so he gave her a nice stress-relieving treatment, scalp massage and took his time with the shampoo. They had a blast for that brief half hour and on her way out she gave him a big hug and he knew something had changed.
A few days later, David received a note from the same client thanking him for being there. She admitted that she had plans to commit suicide later that night and wanted to look good for her funeral, but over the course of their short shampoo, his kindness touched her in a way neither of them were expecting.
You Have the Power to Change Lives
What if David hadn’t been there? Not just physically, but what if he hadn’t been present for that guest mentally or emotionally? He would never have had such an impact on her life.
So, David decided to start treating every single one of his guests as if they were the one. And he found that by connecting with each client on that level, he was able to keep his own energy up without feeling depleted as the day went on.
His team started to see the difference he was making and it wasn’t long before everyone had their business cards changed to “daymaker”.
You Have to Make Your Own Day First
Now, as the owner of Juut Salon Spas, David centers his salon culture around day-making. His staff know that it’s not just about being a great hairdresser, it’s about being that kind, caring and compassionate person for each client when behind the chair.
David’s one rule of thumb? You have to make your own day first. You can’t give away what you don’t have. Eat well, sleep well, and take care of yourself first so that each morning you wake up excited about the opportunity to take care of others, even if it’s just for thirty minutes.