Lil’ Divas and Dudes Salon and Day Spa now open in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG – If you stroll along 4th Street North you will find a new shop to add to the growing list of businesses. This one, however, is for the kiddies only.  Lil’ Divas and Dudes Salon and Day Spa is specially geared toward children and promises not only a great haircut, but spa services catering to every child’s needs.

Matt Taneja and his wife Amy decided to makeover their lives just a few short years ago and now makeover young children by giving them the experience of a lifetime.

When you walk into Lil’ Divas and Dudes it’s hard to not be impressed. Giant purple shoes line the walls just waiting for little feet to experience their first pedicures. Mini airplanes, police cars and race cars resembling amusement park rides stand opposite mirrors, anxiously awaiting kids under eight for haircuts that will make them smile. For those older children specialty chairs are available to make them feel special.

“It’s a wonderful shop,” said Lil’ Divas and Dudes owner Matt Taneja who came up with the idea after trying to find a salon to take his seven-year-old daughter Sophia to. Whether celebrating something special like a birthday, or a first haircut or just needing a kickback day to hang with family and friends, Lil’ Divas and Dudes promises a spectacular experience that your child will enjoy.

With haircuts starting from $16-$18, which include shampoo, cut and style, Lil’ Divas and Dudes is priced right for an experience of a lifetime and a shop that caters totally to children.

There’s music, movies, a play area even, all geared toward relaxing haircutting fears among children and to promote an atmosphere of fun and excitement.

“Sometimes a child walks in and they’re kind of reluctant or scared,” said Taneja who has thought of everything when it comes to comfort and making children feel at home in his shop. “It really takes their mind off of the haircut and gets them into an environment they’re used to.”

Staff members have been specially handpicked for not only their haircutting and styling skills but for their ability to work with children and bring about a positive experience for both the child receiving the haircut and the parent that brings them in.

“Children are wonderful but they can be upset, especially if they’re young,” explained Taneja who knows patience is a key attribute in any employee that works with young children.

He and his staff at Lil’ Divas and Dudes understand that they have to be flexible when working with little ones who may be anxious when getting their haircut. In order to ensure each child feels welcome they monitor each customer, at times having to slow down the process while in other cases speed it up, in order to make the experience a pleasant one.

“When a child walks through the door and sees them standing there they right away feel comfortable like this person is somebody that I want to be with,” said Taneja when speaking of his staff who underwent a lengthy hiring process before being chosen to represent Lil’ Divas and Dudes. Each stylist takes extra care in making the haircutting process one of enjoyment. Some team up to entertain the little customers, at times dancing or singing with stuffed animals to get them comfortable.

“Sometimes the stylist will go sit with them and play with them a little before,” finished Taneja.

But hair styling is not all Lil’ Divas and Dudes does. Manicure, pedicures, hence the giant purple shoes, facials and up do’s are also offered. Even makeup can be applied if that’s what a customer desire.

“Anything that allows a child to feel pampered,” said Taneja. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Four types of parties are offered. The rock star suited to both boys and girls complete with blowup electric guitars. Hair is spiked for boys, frizzed out like a stereotypical rocker for girls and hair color can be added as well.

Diva parties are also available, along with princess parties for the younger girls. They also get to wear tiaras and a wand to twirl as well. The fourth party offered is the spa party. It’s a little bit more about serenity than jamming out. Children dress in fluffy robes while experiencing a manicure, pedicure, facial and makeup.

“Lots of fun,” said Taneja. “Everything we do is 100 percent focused on kids.”

Cake and pizza are included in every party while a disco ball hangs from the ceiling of every room. For larger parties, individual rooms can be opened up for one large gathering area. Music is a must and dancing is an integral addition to each party and with the freeze dance, the limbo and the cha-cha slide, it’s a blast.

Taneja is big on community having recently attended the Alopecia Awareness Seminar where he broadcasted his business, perfect for younger children experiencing the hardship of losing their hair to illness.

“Even if a child doesn’t have hair that we can work with there are so many things we can work with them on,” explained Taneja who believes just the experience of being in his shop would help build their self-esteem. It can, “make them feel like they’re a child and can still have fun.”

When not in the shop here or the one he opened a year ago in Bradenton,

Taneja and his family cruise along Central Avenue on their bikes supporting small businesses in the area.

“We try to go to local establishments, to help out the small guy,” Taneja said.

Lil’ Divas and Dudes Salon and Day Spa is working to get their name out, along with helping out the community, through working with schools in their fundraising activities. They also sell two lines of hair care products meant especially for children. But with all his efforts set on creating the best atmosphere possible in his shop, he hasn’t had much time for advertising, so Taneja hopes that word of mouth will bring business his way.

For more information on Lil’ Divas and Dudes which is located at 4200 4th St. N., here in St. Petersburg, check out their webpage at www.lildivasanddudes.com, or you can call them at (727) 800-2991. Lil’ Divas and Dudes also has a location in Bradenton for your child’s hair care and luxury styling needs.

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