Health & Beauty

How A Tough Pregnancy Inspired Vancouver’s Enhance Arts Spa

July 4, 2024

“We took over the keys when I was nine months pregnant,” says Tila Huynh. The year was 2020, most businesses were shuttered due to the global pandemic, and Tila was due to give birth any day. Undaunted, she and her sister, Linda Huynh, signed the lease on a space in Vancouver’s Olympic Village. “I gave birth like a week later.”

“We love a little challenge,” says Linda. “And a big challenge.”

That first location of Enhance Arts Aesthetics and Spa was soon followed by a second, on Davie Street in Yaletown. The sisters are now sitting in the front area of the Yaletown spot, with natural light streaming in from the tall windows behind the reflexology chairs, and discussing their entrepreneurial journey. They frequently say the same thing simultaneously, talk over each other excitedly, and speak to each other in sibling shorthand.

“We come from a really big family. There’s eight of us,” Linda explains. “Seven girls and a brother.”

“I was babysitting my whole life,” says Tila, the eldest of the siblings.

All that forced togetherness didn’t lead to a desire for distance later on. “We’re like best friends,” Linda says. “We do everything together.”

“We finish each other’s sentences,” Tila adds.

The idea for the business came about during Tila’s pregnancy, when frequent massage therapy was the only thing that relieved her aches, pains, inflammation, and insomnia. She noticed that although Vancouver has many hole-in-the-wall massage places, and a handful of hotel spas, there’s little in between, which can make it challenging for locals to prioritize regular self-care.

Enhance Arts now offers treatments such as relaxation massage, Thai massage, eyebrow shaping, lash lifts, laser hair removal, body contouring, skin tightening, dermaplaning, microneedling, HydraFacials, teeth whitening, and reflexology. Tila is a huge fan of reflexology. “I’m a true believer in it,” she says. “It can help with sleep. It can help with anxiety.”

Offering such a variety of services in a friendly and inviting environment means it’s easy for clients to try out new, possibly unfamiliar treatments. And to encourage locals to visit regularly, Enhance Arts offers monthly memberships as well as five- and 10-packs for certain services.

A lot of moms besides Tila have discovered the value of frequent self-care. The sisters describe their clientele at the Olympic Village location as quite family-oriented, with many moms and retired folks, while the Yaletown location sees more businesspeople and couples. Almost half of the clients are men.

“There’s so many different services for everyone to try,” Linda says. “It’s not like we cater to just one thing.”

The sisters agree that focusing on different parts of the business has been key to their success as partners. Linda manages the front of house and also does some of the beauty services, while Tila stays more in the background, doing the marketing and accounting. Tila says, “We balance each other out.”

The pair have long found inspiration in their parents, immigrants from Vietnam who started various businesses over the years—music store, coffee shop, deli—and now run a restaurant near Winnipeg. Tila and Linda have received parental encouragement at every step along the way of their own entrepreneurial journey. Linda says, “They’re not very traditional, so they’re always happy with whatever we want to do.”

Tila says of their mother, “She always comments on all our Instagram posts.”

“She’s our number one fan,” Linda adds.

Recently, the sisters opened their first Toronto location, in the Yorkville area. They are also contemplating venturing outside of Canada further in the future. Wherever they go, they hope more of their siblings will join them in the business.

Linda says, “We’re going to work with the whole gang one day.” —Sheri Radford


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