Spa treatment for children
WHEB IESHA EDWARDS had to come up with a project for a course she was enrolled in the Samuel Jackman Polytechnic last year, she knew she had to do something different.
So, she came up with spa parties for children.
“At that time, I was babysitting at Sandpiper Inn Hotel and that’s what the little girl wanted to do all the time – play spa. I had the idea and said let me see if anyone else thought of it first. Then, I went online and realised that people were making a business out of it.
“I did it for my project and there was nothing like that in Barbados and I decided to see where it could go,” she told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
The parties offered by Empressive Events, the name of Edwards’ business, could see the little girls, tweens, and teens getting basic services such as manicures, pedicures, face masks, luxury treatments or VIP platinum parties which include spa robes, foot massages, make-up and an after-party photo shoot.
“We have a wide range of spa parties to suit all budgets. I offer manicures but I’ve found that more people like pedicures. There are foot soaks, foot scrubs, a flat toe nail polish and the birthday girl gets nail art if she wants. We create a nice environment, so there is spa music if the location provides an atmosphere that I can play music. That’s the basic pedicure party,” she said.
Edwards described the response to her parties as “very positive” and she said that some people have commented that they “like it because it is so different and it’s so special”.
“The spa parties are for children only but I have had enquiries for bridal parties to have the same parties. I would go to the bride’s location or if they have a particular event, I can go.
“The first party I did was for a friend of mine who wanted a party for her niece. When I went in the girl’s mom said: ‘wow, I didn’t realise it was going to be all of this’. She thought I would just come in and paint their nails, she didn’t know it was going to be a spa experience. I saw her recently and the children were still talking about it and her friends thought she was rich. Then everybody wanted one,” Edwards said with a chuckle.
The small businesswoman also has slumber “spa’rty” experiences and like the spa parties the services can be customised to suit clients needs.
She saw the need to offer an experience to her young clients so they get the chance to be pampered just like their mothers and seized it.
“It’s a chance for them feel really special,” she said.
She does not have a location but goes to the client’s house or party venue and sets up her equipment. A hostess to take care of the birthday girl and her guests’ needs comes with some packages.
Edwards bought equipment and supplies weekly or bi-weekly when she started. However, after entering a competition through the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, she received money.
“I did a course, Student Entrepreneurial Empowerment Development, funded by CIBC, which helps give entrepreneurs a start. Everyone who enters and gets to the finals gets prize money. I made it to the finals, got funding and I was able to buy most of my materials,” she recalled.
“I bought some of the items here and some overseas. The basic things such as the scrubs and bowls, those things that I would use over and over I bought here. The robes and certain types of decorations I brought them from overseas.”
While business is not moving at a pace she would like, she is not ready to give up and is optimistic that by the end of the year there would have been an increase in sales.
“In five years, I would like to have a location where people can come in and it would be like an entire spa for kids. That is my long-term goal,” she said.
Determined to succeed, what she has done is reach out to other budding business people such as Tanya McAllister, of Essential Events, who shared what she has done to market and grow her business. She also encouraged her not to give up.
As an event planner, Edwards can work on other jobs such as intimate weddings and baby showers. She has also made tutus and created selfie boards and would not turn down requests to do so. But she really wants to work on the spa parties. (GBM)