Daria Einhorn knows all about the beauty industry. After coming to work in the United States three years ago as a model, the Russian-born 20-something gal has left behind her years strutting her stuff on the catwalk and in advertisements to open up New York City’s first kids-only salon and spa.

“I love kids, and I love spas,” says Einhorn. “I thought it would be really good for kids to experience spa activities in a clean and safe way.”

The idea for the spa, says Einhorn, was spurred by her young niece, whose pictures are plastered behind the spa’s reception and payment area.

What It’s All About
Although some kids’ spas seem like a stepping stone for kids on their way to destination spas, Dimples is more like a place for parents to send kids for slumber-partyesque primping — but without having to clean up the glitter in the bathroom sink.

Einhorn stresses that all of Dimples’ services are about decoration (except for haircuts). So, kids stop in to have their nails painted, hair braided, or face painted. The goal of the spa is “to teach kids how to take care of themselves but in a fun way,” she says. That means for nail services, there is no nail cutting, only filing, as some younger kids are afraid of having their nails clipped.

The spa was opened in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of the city. With easy access to the subway lines, the area has seen a recent surge of new businesses. Mall-brand stores line the streets, and other beauty spots — like Dashing Diva — are just a few blocks away. And key for Dimples, so are a lot of schools, meaning easy access to a lot of school-aged kids.

The modest one-room, 600-square-foot spa is sparsely decorated. Service menus are reminiscent of kids’ classrooms and written on oversized Post-its. The white walls have splashes of color from wall decals and hanging stuffed clouds. Einhorn says she originally envisioned the space to be like a little girl’s bedroom but has since made some changes once she realized her clientele wasn’t all sugar-and-spice. Estimating that 30% of the kids in the spa are young boys, she’s added some toys and other goodies for them.

“We take everybody from 0-12,” says Einhorn. “So parents who just had their babies, they bring them to cut their hair for the first time.” And although client age varies greatly, Einhorn thinks the most common age is around four years old.

Kids’ Menu
The spa groups services by one of three types: hair, nails, and face, and Einhorn admits that hair services, especially cuts, are the most popular.

One of the services that has surprised Einhorn with its popularity is the facial. A 99% natural, organic chocolate facial has kids literally licking their lips. “It’s made with Belgian chocolate, so sometimes kids like to lick it,” says Einhorn, adding that it’s popular with boys and girls alike.

Like the products in the chocolate facial, all service and retail products are natural and/or eco-friendly. The spa’s polish line is the Go Natural brand, which is formaldehyde-, toluene-, and acetone-free; the skin care line is Aqua Dessa Spa Therapy.

Pressing the Subject
The October opening of the spa started without any advertising, yet Einhorn still saw business explode with word-of-mouth referrals. Since then, she and her husband have launched a Facebook page for the spa. He runs the page, and many new clients contact them for an appointment through the page or just come by as walk-ins.

However, almost all of the new clients found out about the spa through articles in local media. New York blogs, newspapers, magazines, and television stations have all covered Dimples — and all without Einhorn even trying. “We have a lot of fans that say they found a new place, and they took their daughter here,” she says. “That’s how [media outlets] found out about the spa.”

And even though all the coverage hasn’t been the most positive, it still hasn’t affected business. Shortly after the spa opened, the Daily News article ran with pictures and information about the opening. At the end of the article it says, “Dimples didn’t bring a smile to everyone’s face. ‘Kids should stay kids,’ said Angela Moran, 50, a Crown Heights resident who wondered ‘what happened to good old soap and water?’” It also has another parent mocking the idea of her kid getting a facial.

But Einhorn is unfazed by any nay-sayers. What with all the clients she still got from the article (and it’s placement on television’s NY1), it would be hard to be upset. “I think it’s fun for kids and parents also,” she says, adding that it’s a way for parents to entertain kids. “If they have the time and don’t know what to do with their kids sometimes, they can come and spend two hours here and entertain the kids and teach them something new.”

Salon name: Dimples Kids Spa
Location: Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Owner: Daria Einhorn
Square Footage: 600
Date opened: October 6, 2008
Number of Nail Techs/Total Staff: 3/4
Compensation: hourly plus tips
Website: www.dimpleskidspa.com

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