At Salon, Adult-Size Primping for Girls

Spoiled and Rotten Kids Boutique & Kids Spa offers children a glimpse of a grown-up experience.
By Timothy Wilson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tarsha Campbell wanted to do something "different" to celebrate her daughter's 13th birthday. She wanted something to suggest that her little girl was on the verge of becoming a young woman.

After searching the Internet, Campbell found just the right experience for her daughter, Dayana, to have fun with five of her closest girlfriends.

She made an appointment for the girls to spend Saturday afternoon at the Spoiled and Rotten Kids Boutique and Spa, a clothing store and salon that caters to children ages 2 to 13.

"Every girl needs to be pampered," Campbell said.

With its miniature foot baths, nail stations, couches and music from artists such as Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers filling the air, the spa, at 1012 H St. NE, caters to young girls' fantasies of being an adult and putting on makeup.

"I thought it was a cute concept," said owner Khadijah Bronson, who originally opened the spa as a clothing boutique in June on the second floor above her Philadelphia Water Ice Factory shop at 1204 H St. NE.

Not long after, Bronson noticed that parents were bringing their children for manicures and pedicures instead of buying clothes. By December, she put away the clothes and expanded the spa.

That turned out to be the right move. Business increased to the point where the small second-floor space could no longer keep up with the influx of new clients.

"Everyone wanted to see the little kids get their nails done, but we couldn't accommodate them," Bronson said. So she found a larger space two blocks away and held a grand opening this month.

"It's a big difference," said Nairy Hudgens, 23, who visited the previous location with her daughter, Denija.

A difference not only in space but with new amenities and expanded services. Bronson said she wanted to mimic the experience women receive when they visit a spa, yet retain a child-friendly atmosphere.

Each guest receives a pink embroidered robe and a pair of flip-flops to be worn throughout the session. Guests are escorted to a foot bath station, where their feet are washed.

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