On Alayna Pedra's fourth birthday, mom Karen asked her what she wanted to do to celebrate. "I want ribbons and a manicure and pedicure," the preschooler replied.
So Pedra took her daughter to the salon where she got her own nails done. They didn't have ribbons, and Alayna's feet couldn't reach from the chair to the pedicure tub. "It was not a special experience," Pedra says, sadly.
But it led to Mom's new business: a salon and spa catering specifically to girls younger than 18. And in April 2008, Pedra, who lives in Medford, and her sister and business partner Lisa Gadzinski, who lives Manorville, opened A Girl's Gotta Spa! in Patchogue Village.
Now, the two moms - Pedra has a second daughter, Kayla, 9, and Gadzinski has a daughter, Alexis, 12, and a son, Gavin, 9 - are planning to open their second location, on the North Shore, by September, and are in meetings to expand to franchising.
The spa's decked out in milk-chocolate brown, peppermint pink and white, its signature colors. Pink twirling chairs sit before the hair stylists' mirrors.
The girls have an authentic spa experience performed by licensed professionals, with girlish twists. For instance, the facial is a "chocolate facial." For the "ice cream" pedicure, each girl's bath balls and soaps are scooped into a glass ice-cream dish. Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers sing from the speakers.
The spa does "day at the spa" for girls and birthday parties. At parties, each girl wears a pink bathrobe and matching slippers and is served sparkling pink lemonade in a Champagne glass on a silver tray. For $180 extra, a white limousine will pick the girls up in Suffolk County, and a red carpet rollout will greet them upon spa arrival.
In November, the spa added the "Bath Bakery and Sweet Shoppe," which has a glass bakery case filled with scented soaps in shapes of sweets such as cinnamon buns, chocolate covered strawberries or Hostess cupcakes.
A Girl's Gotta Spa!
240 E. Main St., Patchogue
INFO 631-569-2012, girlsgottaspa.com
HOURS 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays.
SAMPLE PRICES $29.95 for glam ponytail with twist and curls; $39.95 ice cream pedicure; $129.95 "Ultimate Day of Decadence"; $595 for "It's All About Me!" birthday party for eight guests.
Little Divas Spa on the Go
INFO 631-793-3091, lildivasspaonthego.com
A party at your home for nine girls with two spa services is $295; five services is $450. You also can book a specialized party, such as an American Girl party package in which each girl's hair and her doll's are styled identically, says owner Cari Villani of Mount Sinai. The parties cater to girls ages 5 to 11.
Totally Glam Girls Club
INFO 646-623-9454, totallyglamgirlsclub.com
"All Hail the Princess" birthday party for eight at your home is $350; other party packages run up to $450. The Queens-based company caters to girls ages 4 to 14 in the tristate area, says company president Venetta Carraway.
Ooh La La Spa
160 Laurel Ave., Northport
INFO 631-239-6623, oohlalaspas.com
This destination spa is a white house with pink shutters and door, and offers birthday parties that include smoothie face masks and karaoke. A la carte services by appointment.
Glamorous Girlz Parties
3333 Veterans Memorial Highway, Ronkonkoma
INFO 631-619-6275, glamorousgirlzparties.com
Girls 3 to 12 get their hair and nails done, play dress up, and sing karaoke during a Glamorous Girlz birthday party.
The Little Miss Day Spa presented by Tina Marie
INFO 631-730-2716, thelittlemissdayspa.com; also at: The Hilton Garden Inn Ronkonkoma
Girls ages 5 to 13 can have manicures, pedicures, facials and make headbands at these birthday bashes.
INFO 516-697-6631, athomespaparties.com
Children ages 5 to 18 can choose a "Fun Facial Party" or "Foot Fun Party."