My name is Sonia and I am the founder and sole owner of Pretty in Pink Spa in Oakville. It has been three years since I opened my doors to the public and what a fabulous ride it has been – probably the best roller coaster rides ever. By far, one of the most challenging and exhilarating rides of my life and one which I can only hope will continue for years to come. And now, as I am bursting at the seams, am finally ready to share this ride with all of you.
As a small business owner, I have always appreciated the importance of blogging and creating a presence on social media. It has always been on my “To Do” list. But, as a small business owner, as many of you may be able to appreciate, you continue to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of the business. Before I knew it, it’s three years later and only now am I finally writing my first official published blog. I have committed to writing a blog at least once a month about whatever topics are resonating with me and I can only hope that you will enjoy reading them as much as I will enjoy sharing them with you.
I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit and have always been driven and ambitious. I entered the corporate world at a very young age, and continued to climb the corporate ladder until I made the decision to change my career path and become a mother. After my first daughter, Sofia, was born I made the conscious decision not to go back into that corporate world. My second daughter, Celina, arrived a couple years later and although I love both my daughters and adored my time at home with them, I could not see myself being a stay-at-home mom forever. I longed for more. My creative mind was spinning out of control and needed an outlet in which to express it.
My “A-HA” moment came to me in 2008 when my family and I had travelled out-of-town for a wedding. My eldest daughter, Sofia (who was 5 years old at the time), and I were asked to be a part of the bridal party. As part of the pre-wedding festivities, all the bridesmaids were participating in a day at the spa, so naturally, I just assumed that Sofia could be a part of that experience. Unfortunately, the manager of the spa made it quite clear upon our arrival that there was a NO KIDS policy. After much begging and pleading, I was able to convince the manager to allow her to stay with our party and participate in the services, only to come to the sad realization that they were unequipped to service children. Her tiny feet couldn’t reach the bowl for a pedicure and they placed a seaweed mask on her legs. Poor little girl was traumatized. Oh, and did I mention I had to pay full adult price for her? I left there knowing that I had to create something that could ensure that no other little girl would have to go through an experience like that one again.
And so began my journey with Pretty in Pink. Although I already had my concept and knew what type of services I wanted to provide, I had not yet decided on the name. Once again, I experienced an “A-HA” moment, and this time it was thanks to my youngest daughter, Celina. Unlike her older sister, Celina has never been interested in the stereotypical things that are often associated with little girls. She is happy playing the drums and would prefer pants over a dress any day of the week. So you can imagine my surprise when one day, after too much time had passed without either of the girls making noise (you know that kind of eerie silence when, as a mother, you convince yourself that your kids must be up to no good), I found Celina admiring herself in front of a mirror wearing one of her older sister’s pink dresses. When I asked her why she was wearing Sofia’s dress she responded by saying “I feel so pretty in pink”. That was it. That was all I needed to hear. That was going to be the name of my new spa. Pretty in Pink.
After doing a lot of research, primarily when I wanted to learn more about how to deal with my eldest daughter’s diagnosis of celiac, I learned a lot about ingredients and both the positive and negative effects various ingredients and chemicals can have on the body. I was amazed to learn how many chemicals are in our day to day products and the long-term ill effects they have on our bodies when we are exposed to them over long periods of time. When I continued to do more research for products I wanted to use at Pretty in Pink, I couldn’t ignore all that I had learned. You can’t unlearn what you already know. Going completely organic was definitely going to change the price points for my products but I had to stay true to my beliefs. I couldn’t undervalue the vision of my business in the hopes of making better profit. I truly believe that my passion for offering valuable products and services not only sets us apart from many of my competitors, but will, in of itself, pave way for the continued success of Pretty in Pink. We are the first Organic Kids Spa in North America and that is definitely something I am proud of.
Success means different things to different people. For me, success is not defined by dollars and cents. I am not going to tell you that it doesn’t matter because I would be lying if I did, and I wouldn’t be in business if I believed that to be true. But that is not what defines me or Pretty in Pink Spa. What motivates me and inspires me to get out of bed every day and continue to work hard day in and day out are my daughters. I want them to know and see – with me as their prime example – that women are capable of having all that they want out of life. It may not all happen at the same time, but as long as they believe in themselves and follow their dreams, anything is possible. If I have been able to inspire my daughters to try harder in any aspect of their life, then I have already succeeded. Everything else is just icing on the cake…
I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you through my blogs and I can only hope that you will get as much out of them as I know I will get putting in to them. I hope to see you at Pretty in Pink Spa some time real soon!