While autumnal shades of red, orange and gold signal the changing season around us, set your sights on the gray, yellow and sage walls of Très Belle Spa if you’re searching for personal transformation.
Located on Bond Street in Boerum Hill, offers laser hair removal, facials, eyebrow shaping and lash tinting. The air inside carries the lightest, refreshing scent of eucalyptus mixed with vanilla. The décor is muted and minimal: a small banquette in the window here, a large console displaying natural skincare products there. And the remaining space is filled with owner Allison Tray’s personality, a vibrant combination of nurturing Earth mother, salty nightclub comedienne and glam best friend.
From statuesque models to conservative septuagenarians, and cashiers, everyone who walks through the door is greeted with a hug, a kiss on the cheek, and a quick check-in about last night’s dinner plans or the latest addition to the family.
“It’s like this all day,” she says. “Friends are visiting, people are hugging and kissing, we’re talking. It’s such an amazing place. It’s a joy to be here.”
Though, Tray admits that medi-spa owner was a career path she did not envision for herself.
Open your heart
After working for years in the fashion world, dealing with couture labels and upscale designers, Tray lost her job and used the newfound freedom as an opportunity to start something new. The question was, what?
Not long after, her father, a chiropractor, mentioned in conversation that a group of his friends were looking to go in together on a set of laser hair-removal machines.
“So he said, ‘Hey, do you want to start a laser hair-removal business?’ explaining that he would invest in the company and I would run it. And I, thinking, what the heck is laser hair removal, said, ‘My claim to fame is going to be permanently removing people’s unwanted body hair?’” she recalled, and laughed.
“And he looked at me and very ‘Jewish dad’ he was like, ‘Why not?’”
Having just celebrated the business’s ninth anniversary this summer, Tray has clearly grown very comfortably into a spa owner's skin—and it has become her mission to help others feel beautiful in their own.
Do the right thing
The two most popular services at the spa are laser hair removal for the bikini area and luxury facials, says Tray, who only uses products that do not test on animals and are all natural.
“People have asked me if I would offer Botox before, and I did for a period of a time,” she says. “But the more I read about Allergen, I couldn’t do it. Animal testing is extremely violent.”
Aiming to disprove the misconception that vegan skincare is for hippies and not as potent as other commercial products, she maintains that the lines she carries can produce the same results, adding that treatments at Très Belles “are very glamorous and rejuvenating.”
“You know how you see a lot of people after a facial and they’re red, their pores are all open?” she asks, pausing a beat before answering her own question, “You’re like, ‘oh, my God!’ Who would ever want to get a facial after experiencing that?”
For that reason, Tray insists that every service end with a soothing treatment for the skin, such as ‘beauty globes,’ a pair of icy light bulb-shaped instruments dragged over the skin in circular motions to cool your face and close pores at the end of the facial.
Free your mind, and the rest will follow
Asked to expound upon the benefits of laser hair removal, Tray becomes even more animated. In her mind, life is too short to spend so much time worried about body hair.
“If there’s a pool party or if ‘something’s cooking up in the kitchen’ as women you always have to stop and think about it, instead of just going with the moment,” Tray explains. “Why not get rid of having to think about that extra thing?”
Laser hair removal can change your life, Tray says.
In addition to beach and bedroom needs, women and men struggling with skin problems and self-confidence are also part of the clientele. From acne to hirsutism to transitioning genders, various needs come through the doors of Très Belle Spa. But everyone is treated the same and invariably leaves feeling more beautiful.
“It’s nice to be a safe place for people, to see them come in so self-conscious then say goodbye feeling good about themselves and smiling,” she says. “That is definitely the most rewarding part of this work.”
About this column: Meet the Owner allows you to get to know some of the owners of local businesses here in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill. To nominate someone for this spotlight, email editor Joanna Prisco at email@example.com.