Glama Gal Tween Spa is a spa experience created just for girls ages 6-16, started by two sisters Laura and Josie in 2006. With six locations across the greater Toronto area (and growing!), Glama Gal offers a variety of fun services for young girls, including spa birthday parties, a variety of spa packages for tweens and their friends, summer and March Break camps and more.
We previously had the chance to experience Glama Gals when our daughters visited the Ajax location for some pampering which included such fun touches as chocolate facials and dessert manicures and pedicures (with sweet smelling bath bombs and served with ice cream!). The girls had a blast and loved the fun glam decor but as moms we also really appreciated Glama Gal’s focus on inner beauty and celebrating every girl’s uniqueness.
With the opening of the newest Glama Gal Tween Spa location in Unionville, we had the opportunity to speak with Glama Gal co-founder Laura Cannone to learn more about their history and the Glama Gal philosophy.
Q & A with Laura Cannone of Glama Gal Tween Spa:
You’ve created a fun spa experience just for tween girls. Can you explain to our readers what makes Glama Gal Tween Spa unique,and how a trip to Glama Gal differs from taking your daughter to a typical spa?
Great question… We are unique because our definition of a spa is quite different than from what most people think a spa is. Most people think a spa is going to get a manicure, pedicure, massage, or facial. Whereas, yes we do all those things, but we also take care of a tween’s inner self. From the moment you walk into one of our spas you are greeted by our Glam Staff who are ready to make you feel good inside and out. During our services we promote bonding between friends and moms who partake in the services. Tweens are never separated and are always all together; this promotes engaging in conversation. Our staff performs special top secret games and activities during services that help girls feel good about themselves, so that by the time they leave they are feeling confident everywhere!
Another reason we are unique is where else can you go and have an edible chocolate facial and eat ice cream during a pedicure? This is what makes our spa unique, as we designed all our spas as a place where girls can be girls! Not to mention we offer organic nail polishes and cosmetics and all nail files, brushes, etc are one-time use and disposable. We keep your tweens safety our first priority.
How and when did Glama Gal Tween Spa get started?
Our crazy idea originated in 2006 at my bridal shower. We hosted a table for girls called the “Glama Gal” table where girls had mini manicures and created their own lipgloss. The girls had such a blast that our little cousin asked if we could do this for her party. I remember my sister Josie and I were up till 2 am thinking of ideas. We even went out to buy robes for the kids at La Senza Girl. We looked up facial mask recipes and I was thinking “but this isn’t fun,” and as we were drinking a Tim Hortons hot chocolate the lightbulb went off. I said “we should have chocolate facials – how fun would that be?”
Anyhow, to make a long story short, we hosted our cousin’s party and her friends loved it. We even made name tags “Glama Gal Sisters”. From that party moms were asking us to do their daughter’s party – they were wanting to book us on the spot! We were asked how much do you charge? I was like “I don’t know, we have never done this before”. Josie was finishing up her teachers college degree and I was working full time at an office.
After that first party we said “why not lets try this out as a side business?” So we did. We posted ads on Kijiji ( free advertising), and we even created a package that you could buy on eBay. I know – crazy! We wanted exposure and we really had no money to pay for any advertising. Fast forward four months later and we were booked every weekend doing parties from people’s homes. We would prep our rubbermaid bins the night before and off we went. My husband would drive us as our “security guard” because we didn’t really know whose house we were going to, or sometimes houses were so far we didn’t know how to get there.
Slowly we grew and our parents’ basement which served as our storage area was overflowing. Our father (God rest his soul) was our strongest supporter and the world’s greatest risk taker. He sat myself and Josie down and basically said “get your Glama Gal stuff out of my basement – I need my man cave back.” He said “you ladies are so busy – get a space where we people can come to you.” I know, sounds easy right? I had just got married and had a mortgage, and to think of a new expense like leasing a space was a very scary thought. My dad said – and I will never forget it – “Life is a gamble, so take the chance, and right now the odds are in your favour.”
So we found our first location in Vaughan in 2008, and in 2009 we expanded it and rented out the entire back space from the landlord. In 2011 we opened a second location in Ajax. In 2013, we opened our first franchise in Oakville and in 2014 we opened three more locations… Yes I know crazy – and did I forget to mention Josie got married and we had some babies along the way? But that is our story, and we continue to be grateful for each day and hope our story can inspire anyone reading about it.
You’ve recently opened new locations in Toronto, Newmarket and Unionville. You must be excited to be sharing the Glama Gal experience with new communities. Do you have any more plans for expansion in the near future?
Absolutely! We plan on moving out of our Vaughan location and into a new one, we plan on opening outside of Sherway Gardens by December 2014, and we are heading to Sudbury this summer. We have two more new locations in the works to open by September 2014, however we have been asked by other owners to not release details until the leases are finalized.
The Glama Gal Oath is posted on the wall of every Glama Gal spa. Can you tell us more about the oath, and why it is important to you?
The Glama Gal Oath is very important to me as it represents what GLAMA stands for: Girls Leading And Motivating Altogether. We remind girls through our Oath to cherish their time together and to remember to stick up for one another during a time when someone may need them to. It’s also important for us because we don’t want girls to get wrapped up in the idea of glamour and that they have to do their nails and makeup, etc to feel good. The far more important message is how they feel on the inside. The oath re-affirms our beliefs and also reflects the positive footprint we want to have on tweens.
What 3 things do you wish you had known when you were a tween?
I wish I knew how to stand up for what I believe in, I wish I was strong enough to not let bullies bring me down, and I wish I knew that being positive will change the outcome of negative situations.
For more information on Glama Gal Tween Spa, visit glamagalparty.com. Also, be sure to follow Glama Gal on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get all of the latest news including spa specials, contests and upcoming events.
About Kathy Sima
Kathy is a blogger and freelance writer and mom of two teens who gave up her career as a financial advisor when her son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. When it comes to parenting, Kathy truly believes there is strength in numbers and knows that sharing stories and strategies with other parents has helped keep her sane (so far!)