[ads1] [dropcap]A[/dropcap]re you a lover of all things cat? Does the idea of a business whose focal point is feline make you all warm and fuzzy inside? If yes, it may be time for you to check out Salon MOOV in Montreal, Quebec.
In the beginning Salon MOOV was just your ordinary, everyday hair salon and owner’s Jean-Marc Richer and Yves Pednault were worried they might not be able to keep their doors open. Competition for clients was tough in the Plateau-Mont-Royal district and many people already had stylists they were loyal to. This left the partners in a bind, they had spent their entire life savings buying the salon, and had no money left over for advertising. Luckily for them Richer’s girlfriend was in need of a sitter for her Bengal kitten, Tarzan. Not wanting to leave the kitten home alone Richer brought him to the salon, and that’s when things changed!
As people passed by and saw Tarzan in the window they began taking pictures and coming inside to meet him. Locals couldn’t get enough of the tiny leopard kitten, so when his Mom came to pick him up Richer knew it was time for him to catify his business! Adding leopard themed curtains, and a screened in outdoor catio was just the beginning for Salon MOOV as the Bengals were taking over!
Soon after Tarzan’s departure Richer acquired Très Jolie and Beau Bonhomme to take his place. These two gorgeous Bengals would be the heads of Catvertising at Salon MOOV and advertise is just what they did! The average person has never seen a Bengal cat before, a hybrid cross of a domestic cat and an Asian Leopard Cat, and Richer used their rare beauty to his advantage. He set up a patio outside the shop and after hours he and the cats would sit and enjoy the evening. As people strolled by they would stop to meet the cats, and Richer would tell them all about his feline friends and the Salon’s services.
In a short period of time sales began to steadily increase! Richer started a Facebook page and began handing out business cards on his nightly strolls through the city with Beau. On an average night he was handing out over two hundred business cards to people walking by! When they got home and visited the Facebook page they would see pictures of the cats, and of the beautiful girl’s hair styles and many of them were coming in or calling back to schedule services.
Richer credits Salon MOOV’s success to the cats and to zoo therapy. Zoo therapy is a newly coined term that refers to the use of animals as a treatment for medical conditions. While there are countless ways zoo therapy can be used the kind we are most interested in is the soothing effect animals have on the humans around them. Animals have been soothing and reassuring people for thousands of years, however those calming effects have only recently begun to be studied. While this may seem a strange way for a business to make is customer’s feel at home you have likely already experienced it with the fish at your own doctor or dentist’s office. Watching fish can be relaxing, but the cute factor of a Bengal cat in your lap is enough to melt all the stress of your day away!
The success of Salon MOOV hasn’t been all smooth sailing; many detractors believe that Richer is using the cats only for personal gain. While everyone is entitled to their opinion we believe this couldn’t be further from the truth. You see soon after acquiring the salon’s cats Richer decided instead of going home at night that he would just live at the shop. Going back and forth every night would be too stressful for the elegant cats, and he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving them at the shop alone. His dedication to his four legged companions paid off when late one night someone attempted to steal the fancy felines! They broke a window and gained entry, but quickly retreated when they saw Richer approaching with a fire extinguisher!
When talking about hybrid cats you may hear them talk about the cat being an F1, 2, 3, etc. what this represents is the cats filial generation. So an F1 Bengal would be the offspring of a domestic cat and an Asian Leopard Cat, and an F2 would be the second generation offspring or children of the F1 cats. At Salon MOOV Richer will proudly inform you that Très Jolie is an F3 and Beau Bonhomme is an F8!
An animal lover his entire life Richer has had cats and dogs since he was a little boy. So why not have a regular domestic cat or a dog at the salon? What sets the Bengals apart and makes them the perfect fit for his business is that they are hypoallergenic cats. Only two of Salon MOOV’s clients are allergic to the cats, and only if they pet them! Those are pretty impressive statistics when you think how many people you know that are allergic to cats. Even Richer’s business partner who is normally highly allergic to felines can snuggle and pet the Bengals without itching an eye or sneezing! This may have something to do with the cat’s low shed coat, or their unique dander.
If you ask Richer what makes the cats so special he will likely tell you that he is in love with their beauty. They are an elegant breed of cat that has a beautiful coat covered in brown and black rosettes; this pattern makes them look like their cousins the leopard. Like the leopard they are also very in tune with their surroundings and love to hunt and play. While leopards are hunting to eat these domesticated beauties are simply hunting their toys, playing with their friends, and enchanting their audience.
Thanks to the success the Bengals have brought to Salon MOOV, owner’s Richer and Pednault are able to give back by providing free haircuts to women at two homeless shelters in the area. The women are invited to come in before attending any important event such as a job interview, viewing an apartment, or reuniting with family so that they can look and feel their best! Every woman is treated to the same hospitality and kitty love as the paying customers and they leave set up for success and feeling amazing!
Salon MOOV is just one of many businesses in the World that is cashing in on Catvertising and we will likely see the trend begin to grow as store owners like Richer become more and more successful. Richer credits eighty percent of his business to the cats, and says their number of followers is growing every day! The number of businesses that would be improved by cats is endless, but I can’t wait to see them showing up in bookstores, massage parlors, coffee houses, and boutiques! Until then though we will all just have to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment at Salon MOOV!
More info: Salon MOOV on facebook