I know that all of my Toronto ladies have heard of The Ten Spot before — the niche beauty bar offering the best manicure, pedicures and waxing in Toronto? Well, Kristen Wood opened the first The Ten Spot Beauty bar in 2006 on Queen West. She saw the need for an environment that was totally “anti-spa”. An environment for both men and women that combines the efficiency of the lower-end salons and quality standards of the high-end spas. Kristen’s drive and dedication to her customers has us turning our heads, wanting to know more about her. She is this week’s Darling.

KRISTEN WOOD, Darling of the week, KRISTEN WOOD

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Winnipeg. I left there when I was 17 to go to the University of Western Ontario (at Huron) and did a (useless) degree in Philosophy. From there I went to New York and did an internship (which turned into employment) at Vice Magazine, then moved to Montreal and did a degree in Graphic Design (which I loved). I didn’t parlé francais so I moved to Toronto at 23, worked as a designer for a while and a year later when I got laid off I knew I needed to think of something fast – so over a slice of pie with a friend I thought of an idea for a beauty bar and alas, THE TEN SPOT was born. I started franchising about two years ago now and so what started as one spot on Queen West is now a small chain with 13 locations and rapidly growing.

What do you do for your day job?

Since I live in Hamilton a typical day for me is commuting to our offices in Liberty Village, Toronto. My husband and I split the Montessori drop off duties so either I’m getting my son (Jack) ready for school and dropping him off or my Husby is. Then I hop on the GO Train, which I LOVE. I get one solid hour of computer time and thanks to the ‘quiet zone’ on the train, it means no phone interruptions. From there it’s a mix of things during the day. Putting out fires, meeting with prospective franchise partner candidates, creating new protocols or procedures, assessing new products or services, meeting with my team or suppliers. The only thing that is constant about my days are that they are always changing. Which I love. Then it’s home on the train and either pick up Jack or meet him and my husband at home. Then make dinner and chill out with a Pixar movie (or two).

What are 3 things you’re really passionate about?

My baby boy, my husby and graphic design!

How important is social media to your business? And what do you love about using it?

Pretty damn important! The Ten Spot’s target clientele is a high user of online media, so we are very active with social marketing and have both brand level and location specific pages. The Ten Spot (including 10 locations in Toronto, Oakville, Guelph, Hamilton and Ottawa) is super active on social , creating relevant and engaging content (i.e. unique nail art designs branded with #GetTheLook @thetenspot) and interacting with guests within minutes of their postings. The Ten Spot website is interactive (e.g. we regularly post and share guests’ images tagged with @thetenspot) and we also produce a very popular monthly e-newsletter.

What are your beauty must haves?

My mascara and my eyelash serum – Eyenvy.

Do you have a  go-to outfit if you’re running late? What is it?

Black tights, a little black dress from Aritzia and some gold jewelry – that’s my go-to right now.

Heels or flats?

I’d love to say heels, but it’s flats for sure.

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