Sheila Armbruster, co-owner of Defining Looks Salon and Spa in Sikeston, said in the past few weeks the business has sold several Mother's Day gift certificates for permanent make-up, massage, microderm abrasion, chemical peel and Lipodissolve -- a fat-reduction technique -- procedures.
"I think baby boomers are changing the whole thing," Armbruster said. "My mom isn't into permanent makeup so she'd probably prefer flowers, but I'm 51 and have seen so much change. Women today are more focused on things that will make them younger."
Consumers plan to spend $15.73 billion on gifts for women this Mother's Day, according to the National Retail Federation's 2007 Mother's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey conducted by BIGresearch.
"For mom, it's the thought that counts," said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin in a statement. "As people find more creative ways to treat the women in their lives to something special, retailers of all types and sizes stand to benefit from Mother's Day."
Shoppers plan to spend about $1.6 billion on clothes and accessories, $2.1 billion on jewelry and $2.3 billion on flowers and $3.1 billion on a special dinner or brunch at their favorite restaurant.
In recent years, pampering mom with a personal service gift such as a trip to the spa or beauty salon has become a favorite gift choice with 19.7 percent of consumers planning to spend $1.3 billion on these gifts, the survey said. Last year, only 14.5 percent of consumers purchased this type of service for mom. Armbruster said she thinks it's nice if children ask mothers what they want because otherwise they may get something they'll never use.
"My mother makes a list," Armbruster said. "I have no doubt more mothers today are requesting what they want for Mother's Day."
Jeannie Williams, owner of PurseNality in Sikeston, said she thinks more shoppers come to her boutique in search of Mother's Day gifts because of the creativity offered through her product line.
"We're a very unique store for ladies," Williams said. "We have a lot of unique jewelry and a lot for the collector like Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop products."
Williams said probably the most popular item being sold for mothers is the custom photo purse, which allows a customer to bring in a photo and have it screened onto a purse.
"We are so busy with those, we can't take anymore orders," Williams said. Next in line for popularity are the photo insert purses. the purses have places on them where photos can be inserted.
"Most of the time young mothers like that because their babies are constantly changing, and they can just swap out the pictures," Williams said. "... It's just beautiful, and they're very popular."
Melissa Seiler of Diehlstadt said she and her two siblings are considering giving their mother a gift certificate to the women's gym Contours Express in Sikeston.
"I think she would like it," said Seiler, who also gave her mother a tour of the facility.
Seiler said her mother, who has been dieting, would like to exercise but an old knee injury is holding her back. Seiler said she thought if her mother joined the women's gym a routine would be developed that will work for her mother's body.
"If she gets a gift certificate, she can't say she doesn't have the money to go ... I don't want her to think she needs to lose weight, but she's been wanting to. Plus, it's always good at any age to start working out, and any kind of exercise fights off heart disease."
Contours Express owner Lisa Neumeyer said there are lots of people who run out of things to get mom and decide to give her the gift of health.
"Lots of women want to get started on a fitness plan but don't want to spend money on themselves," Neumeyer said. "This is a way for husbands and kids to give back to mom -- to make her more healthy, feel better. In return, the entire family benefits."
"They've got everything and don't ask for anything," Seiler said about mothers. "It's nice to do something special for them, and it's something she wants and probably would never ask for."