"Pamper Me Pretty," a new day spa, is set to open soon in University Mall in Tuscaloosa, and it's catered exclusively towards kids.

Owner and Founder Shawn Marrow told The Thread that the spa is is unique in that it's mainly for entertainment. Little girls ages 3 through 13 can come in and get pampered with everything from mini-manicures and pedicures to min-facials.

"All our services are considered 'mini,' meaning we don't do a lot of typical treatments," Marrow said. "We aren't pushing back cuticles, we're not cutting toenails. It's mainly for kids to treat themselves, like moms and kids get very excited to have birthday parties here."

Marrow, a retired cosmetologist, got the idea for the spa all the way back in 2008, when she was living in Maryland. She and her daughter, who was six at the time, would dedicate the Monday of each week to have a "Mommy and Me Day." Marrow would take her daughter to do all sorts of things, but they especially loved getting their nails done at the salon.

Tuscaloosa Thread logo
Get our free mobile app

However, Marrow soon noticed her daughter was mimicking the more "adult" conversations and language, as she described, they heard in the store. She was frustrated that there was no kid-friendly alternative in the area, so she decided to open one herself.

She acquired a nearly 6,000 square foot space in the St. Charles Towne Center in Waldorf, Maryland after a Disney Store vacated the space. The massive pampering palace was smattered with hot pink, black and white colors and a full authentic spa setup. Despite seeing success, one of Marrow's key investors pulled out after one year in business and she made the choice to close it down. She moved to Huntsville, Alabama, with the itch to reopen the spa always in the back of her mind.

"I saw that this business actually means something to these kids," Marrow said. "Moms would come in every week and say things like 'my daughter had a bad day at school, so I'm treating her,' or 'she got all A's on her report card, this is her reward.' This was bigger than just wanting to open a new space."

She opened new stores in Madison and Huntsville and is now seeing continued success in expanding to Tuscaloosa. Not much has changed in the spa's design or services since 2008, just a transition to a softer pink and grey color palette.

Marrow broke down what a full spa treatment looks like at Pamper Me Pretty: for $55, girls can enjoy a full "self care day," which includes a mini-mani, mini-pedi , mini-facial, a henna tattoo that lasts 4-5 days, a colored hair clipping and a paraffin dip.

Girls enjoying the self care day also get walked out on a red carpet, dawn a silk robe and are offered sparkling cider on a tray.

They can also get individual services, like a min-mani for $14, mini-pedi $17 or mini-facials for $10. Two girls can sign up for packages like the "Besties Forever" combo, and the spa also caters to larger birthday parties.

Marrow told The Thread that the only thing holding her back from opening the Tuscaloosa location is a hangup with the State Board of Cosmetology. Despite not having required a license for her previous businesses due to their classification as "entertainment," her new location will either be required to be licensed under the state board or be granted an exception due to the business type.

"I would love to bring this to Tuscaloosa, but I'm fighting a battle now," she said. "But once it gets resolved, I'd be ready to open the next day. My staff is ready to go, they've been trained in Huntsville. I know lots of people are eager to see us open."

For more information on Pamper Me Pretty, be sure to visit the website here, or follow Pamper Me Pretty on Instagram or Facebook.

New Tuscaloosa Restaurants & Retail in 2021

Top Stories From The Tuscaloosa Thread (1/03-1/07)

More From Tuscaloosa Thread