In 2006, sisters Laura and Josie Cannone knew they’d created a winning business when tween relatives begged for spa parties after the fun they’d had at Laura’s spa-themed bridal shower. From home parties to opening the doors of nine Glama Gal Tween Spa locations across Ontario, this entrepreneurial duo is building a sparkling pink empire.
Glama Gal Tween Spas use all-natural products and carefully tailor traditional spa services like manicures and pedicures to the needs of their young clientele. With no cuticle cutting, and safer environments and procedures, the spas embrace everything pink, glittery and happy. But that’s not all young girls will find there – Glama Gal prides itself on offering services and activities that make girls feel valued and empowered.
Every aspect of the business embraces their motto: Be Confident! Be Positive! Be You!
Initially, says Laura, the goal of Glama Gal was to offer age-appropriate, fun and safe spa services to young girls, in an environment that spoke to their youthful interests. That alone brought thrilled crowds through their doors. But their mission changed when one young girl came late to a party that had taken place earlier one day. Her classmates had intentionally given her the wrong time, and the young girl was humiliated and devastated. Laura and Josie not only treated this guest to a wonderful day to make up for having been bullied, they took it even further: they modeled their business around the idea that girls need support from the inside out in order to grow into positive contributing members of communities.
Building self-esteem and encouraging healthy peer relationships separates Glama Gal from other tween entertainment venues. From the motivational sayings on the spa walls, to the workshops and camps, they work to help stop bullying before it starts, by fostering self-esteem and healthy interests in tweens. Every aspect of the business embraces their motto: Be Confident! Be Positive! Be You!
After the sudden loss of their father in 2011, the Glama Sisters channelled the sadness of losing their incredible mentor into reaching for the stars. If they could be successful with one location, could they replicate their achievements? Their second location was a huge success, too. One year later, after proving they had developed a profitable business model, they began franchising locations across Ontario.
Glama Gal franchisee Jennifer Barci says, “Glama Gal Tween Spa Vaughan is my pink paradise! The sun is always shining inside our doors and the air is filled with joy, laughter, and positivity. Glama Gals represents all of my favourite things wrapped up in one very special place!”
Finding inspiration in role models such as Mark Cuban and Arlene Dickinson, the Cannone sisters approach their company’s growth with drive, excitement, and a good dose of humility. They embody the entrepreneurial mindset.
They’ve set their sights on expansion across Canada over the next five years and see entry into the U.S. market on the horizon as well. The Glama Sisters know they’re not in this alone — thanking every person involved in their lives is important to them. Laura is careful to acknowledge that their grounded support system is as important as all their hard work. Being mothers themselves, they know how important work-life balance is to everyone in a business, and they extend this understanding and support to all franchisees, as well.
There have been unexpected rewards beyond seeing their business flourish, too. Supporting female business owners is a great source of pride for Laura and Josie, and seeing franchisees at their ribbon cutting is one of their favourite moments. Says Laura, “There is a sparkle in their eye. I can’t explain it, but it is so inspiring. Seeing a mom who has raised three children open her own business and call that store her newest baby . . . it’s a surreal experience for Josie and me.”
Beyond the emotional support, Glama Gal franchisees have access to an interactive web-based online group, which hosts training modules for staff. They’ve created a comprehensive, 65- page employee training manual, and franchisees have access to the Franchisee Community Manager at all times. There is a store set-up team, social media and web staff, and a lab technician making all Glama Gal’s products. From top to bottom, the business has a solid web of support.
“Store owners don’t need to have previous spa experience. We provide them with in-depth training,” Josie Cannone says. Elisabeth Mensher, owner of the popular Unionville location agrees. “They are completely hands-on,” she says, noting that support is available at all times via supportive emails, indepth training, and even text messages. The extensive training offered to new franchisees combined with support going forward makes their business model one that succeeds time and again.
Motivating young girls and fostering healthy self-esteem and body image has proven indispensable to today’s youth in particular. More than ever, tween girls need this kind of support, and Glama Gal’s clients stream through the doors to enjoy specially designed spa services, but to also participate in carefully crafted, fun and motivational workshops.
“Our goal is to have every young client identify what makes her special, unique and aware of what’s most important: her inner beauty.”
The business isn’t all about glitter, nail polish, and pedicures, though. Finding the right franchisee fit can prove challenging, notes Laura. Although they are inundated with requests to open new franchises, there is a strict process for choosing which applicants are approved to open new Glama Gal locations. “Everyday I get to make girls feel like they matter and are important. At Glama Gals every girl can be herself. Our goal is to have every young client identify what makes her special, unique and aware of what’s most important: her inner beauty. Some come in thinking we are “just a spa” but they all leave a little more confident, positive and feeling glamtastic,” says Sudbury franchisee Carol Woodliffe. It is that kind of heart and passion, that special “spark” that brings all Glama Gal spas to life. Franchisees must embrace a love of inspiring children, and understand the importance of the motivational programs that Glama Gal designs.
Keeping abreast of trends and tween culture is important, too. The sisters know just how fast the landscape can change, and have designed the business to be flexible and able to embrace the fluidity of tween tastes. It is this understanding that keeps them at the top of tween entertainment choices.
Although services may change, the core vision remains constant: instilling confidence and empowerment in young girls. Elizabeth Buslovich owner of the bustling Newmarket Glama Gal location sums up exactly how Glama Gal fits into the market of available tween venues: “Glama Gals is the place for girls”. “We’re going to paint Canada pink!” says Laura with a smile.
For more information about becoming a franchisee, or to arrange an interview, contact: Robert Cannone, Media Relations 905.856.8118