The business started out solely as a child-focused hair salon. But about five years ago, the Snip-its pilot tested spa offerings in its Palo Alto location, and the experiment went so well, spa menus have been added across the country.
The chain offers the usual manicures and pedicures, as well as facials, a “Mommy & Me” spa package, signature spa packages and spa parties.
“The concept was all about making kids feel good about themselves and allowing them to have a good experience,” says CEO Jim George.
Spa parties have since become one of the chain’s most popular offerings, says George. But with that said, he admits the mani-pedis remain the big seller. Services such as facials have yet to gain the same popularity.
As with Great Wolf Lodge, George says the company’s spa services are more about having a good time, then teaching wellness.
“There’s not a real health benefit to it,” he explains. “It’s more for fun and makes the kids feel good.”
Spas that do venture into true wellness offerings for children however, will stay ahead of the pack, says Julie Pankey, a spa consultant and industry expert who has contributed to the success of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Marriott, Cliff House Resort and Spa and others.
Pankey recently wrote a blog on the topic aimed at spa owners, in which she says the trend towards kids’ wellness is going to continue and urges businesses to respond by offering such things as family spa day packages or mini restorative treatments for kids that will introduce younger customers to the benefits of spa wellness.
The KidSpa at Stowe Mountain Lodge, seems to have heard that message loud and clear. The website for the Vermont property emphasizes that kids are living in the same stressful world as adults. Options to deal with the stress for the under-8 crowd include a Mini Me facial that teaches basic lessons about the importance of clean skin and also a Chillax Session involving aromatherapy washcloths, cool cucumbers, hand and foot treatments and deep breathing exercises aimed at leaving kids relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep.