For Renee Ahalt, being a Daymaker is a full-circle experience starting with her clients and co-workers, and coming around to how her clients make HER day.
“They make my day all the time,” says Ahalt, who has been with Juut for nine years.
As an esthetician, Ahalt’s encounters with clients are one-on-one experiences in a private treatment room. She has learned if a client happens to be having a bad day, she has to employ three things: compassion, empathy and curiosity.
“It may come out negatively if a client is having a bad day, and that’s when I have to be compassionate,” Ahalt says. “The curiosity comes in when I find out more information on the back story—and there always is one. I find everyone just wants to be heard and loved. Negative people are actually my favorite clients—they’re the most fun to figure out and it’s a challenge to try to change their attitude.”
But the client who sticks out the most for Ahalt isn’t a negative one. The client who made the biggest impression was one who was the most appreciative.
“When she came to see me, she was having horrible headaches,” Ahalt says. “I did a facial for her and for the first time, her headache went away.”
Unfortunately, when the client came back to Ahalt, she told her the headaches were because she had cancer.
“It came on quickly and she passed away within a few months, but in the interim, she came in regularly for facials,” Ahalt says. “It was the one thing that made her feel better. She felt good for that hour and it made her headache go away. It was really moving to be a part of that.”
And in those hours she spent with her dying client, Ahalt realized her job is so much more than taking care of someone’s skin or making them look beautiful.
“It was a big turning point for me. I felt like I had always known I was touching people, but this particular guest—she could go home and be with her family and have a better day because of me,” she says.
Awhile after the client passed away, her daughter, who was in her early 20s came to the salon.
“She came to me for the same reasons her mom did—to feel better and have a moment of peace,” Ahalt says.
Daymaking has always come naturally to Ahalt, but she says having it be a part of the culture at Juut has influenced her work.
“When ‘Daymaker’ is on your business card, people ask you about it, and it keeps you accountable when the whole culture is about Daymaking,” she says. “It’s part of your title, and you want to represent the company and honor the culture.”
That’s why the last client at the end of a long Saturday gets the same treatment and attention from Ahalt as the first.
“It also makes you aware of how you go about in the world,” she says. “I can’t be out driving and cut someone off—that could be my next client. You can’t just be a Daymaker in the salon, you have to do it in life as well.”