Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trendy Cutie Patootie Spa Experience pampers tots and little girls

TEMPLE TERRACE

Rhonnetta Moore says her 4-year-old daughter Zaira's favorite new hangout is a great reward for good behavior.

"When she's not here she is begging to come and she asks, 'Mommy, if I clean my room can I go?' " Moore said recently.

It was the duo's third visit to the Cutie Patootie Spa Experience since it opened in November.

Inside the Temple Terrace spa on 56th Street, little girls from tots to tweens relaxed on lounge chairs, eyes closed as licensed workers massaged antioxidants into their smooth skin. Others soaked their toes in pools of water, preparing for their latest pedicure, or held out their hands for nail technicians to apply glossy polish.

Their mothers, meanwhile, sat on the sidelines awaiting the bill — $9 for each service or $25 for the manicure, pedicure and facial combo.

The spa walls are painted hot pink and tequila lime, and clients are outfitted in little pink terry robes. When not getting pampered, the girls may twist to music sounding from a big-screen wall-mounted video console featuring Wii dance games. They can sit on child-size furnishings accented with zebra-striped cushions and pillows.

"I think the environment is very playful and the prices are very reasonable," said Moore, who drives to Cutie Patootie from her home in Ruskin.

Owner Marcia Harris said girls usually don't want to leave her spa, and acknowledges that it's proof of change.

"When I was a child my mom didn't even allow me to wear nail polish, unless it was clear," she said. "But times definitely are changing."

Spas catering to young girls started popping up throughout the country a few years ago, Harris said. Local businesses include Sweet & Sassy, a franchise in the Carrollwood area, and Lil Diva Dream Spa, a mobile spa that offers birthday parties and other special events throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Harris, 28, a single mother of one young son, said she struggled financially before taking out a loan to open Cutie Patootie. She got the idea after a short stint doing in-home spa parties for young lassies who wanted the same pampering as their mothers.

The concept seems to be catching on. Shaqavia Smith and her mother, Deborah Hayes, sat on a cream-colored wrap-around leather sofa as they watched Smith's 6-year-old daughter, Kyra, from across the room.

Kyra lay stretched out on a black leather lounger, reveling in a chocolate facial treatment, which was filled with antioxidants and also works well as an exfoliant, Harris said. (Clients may also select honey- or cream cheese-based facials.)

"We'll make sure Kyra comes back to get another facial and all the other stuff," said Hayes, who lives in Tampa and learned about the spa from a flier. "This place is just amazing."

Nearby, Stevondria Hardy, 7, and Candra Belton, 3, sat side by side on cushions in the pedicure corner, their tiny tootsies submerged in a warm pool of water.

They quietly waited their turns as pedicurist Mara Moore filed and transformed the toenails of another girl, 7-year-old Stevaria Hardy, using bright red polish accented with an overlay of pencil-point-thin black diagonal stripes. She topped them off with a splash of mini rhinestones.

"I have to earn and save my money to come here," said Stevaria, who described the experience as "really cool."

Stevaria and the others wouldn't be allowed to get service at some adult spas. At Legend Nails & Spa in Temple Terrace, girls must be at least 10 years old. A spokeswoman at Divine Designs Salon & Spa in Brandon said parents must sign a waiver before their young daughters are served. Such requests, however, are uncommon at both salons.

Trish Bui, owner of nearby Amethia Nail & Spa in Temple Terrace, said nail technicians will provide manicures to young girls accompanied by their mothers or guardians on special request.

Nicole Penon of Tampa, the mother of Nya, 9, and Nadiyah, 3, brought her daughters to Cutie Patootie for the second time in a week.

Their prior visit was to celebrate Nya's birthday, which included a private pampering party for her and eight of her girlfriends, plus Nadiyah.

Carla Griffith recently hosted a birthday party for her daughter, Jacorria Jones, 6, and several of her friends at Cutie Patootie.

"She loves to have pampering sessions at home so I knew she would really like something like this," Griffith said. "Even little girls like to be told how pretty they look."

Joyce McKenzie can be reached at hillsnews@tampabay.com.

>> FAST FACTS

Cutie Patootie

The spa, at 9750 N 56th St. inside the Terrace Piazza, Temple Terrace, is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 399-3585.

Trendy Cutie Patootie Spa Experience pampers tots and little girls 02/02/12 [Last modified: Thursday, February 2, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.