In Kids & Family

Kidz Unplugged sparks healthy lifestyles

After Alicia Masino's son Mason was diagnosed with autism two years ago, she became voracious for holistic information, which eventually led her -- and her family -- to a healthier way of life.

"This (change) led to a more positive way of thinking and lifestyle change," says Masino. "Since then my son has made exceptional gains and I started to develop ideas for a children's business that focused on health, fun and spirit."

On Sept. 30, Masino's "ideas" come to fruition when she and business partner Laura Emanuelson celebrate the grand opening of their new business, Kidz Unplugged.

Kidz Unplugged, 5036-5040 W. Ashland Way, is a Franklin-based wellness facility and full-service natural children's hair salon.

"We believe that this is the first of this type in the United States," says Emanuelson. "While there are many children's salons and wellness centers, we don't believe that there is a business that combines both in a state-of-mind, spirit and body for the whole child."

The 4,800-sq. ft. environment will eventually offer wellness-themed birthday parties and an array of classes led by certified instructors. Masino is midway through a Yoga Kids and Brain Gym certification; Emanuelson is studying Itsy Bitsy Yoga.

"I am also drawing on my experience with teaching and library experience to lead several fun, creative classes for both toddlers and older children," says Emanuelson, who is a business librarian and the mother of three kids.

Classes will run $8 to $10 a piece. Memberships will soon be available, allowing children to take unlimited classes.

Interior designers Cieslik Celek used mostly natural materials and elements -- waterfalls, plants and live fish -- to develop the kid-friendly environment.

"Cieslik Celek did a fantastic job in bringing our 'fun-but-serene' request to life," says Masino.

Other design highpoints include "peep" boxes, created by artist Angela Bernadine, which showcase children doing holistic activities like eating healthy, exercising and helping others. Affirmations and other calming images are painted on the walls to promote health, self-esteem and friendship.

Kidz Unplugged has a small café, featuring smoothies and light, healthy snacks. The owners' line of natural products are also for sale. Masino and Emanuelson partnered with Baby Tea (formerly Doodle Bug) to create toxic-free shampoos, lotions, body wash, hand soap and more.

Overall, the Kidz Unplugged mission is to introduce children to a healthier diet, exercise, self-esteem, safety and environmental awareness.

"Our goal is to foster the child's mind, body and spirit, while allowing them to have a wonderful time," says Emanuelson.


OMCreader | Oct. 3, 2006 at 3:22 p.m. (report)

fair_e_wings said: The grand Opening was great. Kidz Unplugged is a great place to take your kids to get away from the everyday life. The focus on kids health and fun is great and nice to see coming to our area. i am so happy that i have a place to take my kids that is not centered around the television and video games

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