Tres Belle Spa: From Prada To Pampering August 22 2014

Tres Belle Petite Medi Spa is unassumingly set between Atlantic and Pacific on Bond Street in Brooklyn. It looks very quaint from the outside with a blanket of calming energy. Step a foot inside however and you will be positively electrified by salon owner, Allison Tray. This five foot tall woman is a fiery force of nature with striking red hair and unwavering enthusiasm. She is also atypical in her look, donning asymmetrical frocks, chic leather boots and heaps of cool jewelry. Her sense of style is certainly innate, and one she cultivated with her background in fashion. She tells us how she came from Nicole miller and Prada to owning a small business with no experience in beauty or wellness.

Willimantic, CT
Current City + Neighborhood:
Brooklyn Heights Kings County, 24 years!
Morning stop for coffee + Order:
I’m mostly into coffee at home: Bustelo in a French press, coconut sugar, soy milk, stirred with an eensy-weensy National Airline’s spoon. I have a thing for vintage airline flatware.
Any AM rituals (workouts, breakfast prep, emails in bed?)
My cats, Julio and Murray usually “meow” me awake around 8.30. I drink 2 cups of coffee, obsessively answer emails and see what’s happening on Refinery29 and Of A Kind. I do yoga and walk to the spa, stopping to French every dog in sight, esp Pits.
Go-to uniform for work?
I live in APiece Apart, and Osei Duro. I love to hi/lo, wearing a shmancy dress with a cheap $1 store necklace. I wish I was the woman with the wind-tossed hair in jeans and chucks but, I’m the almost 5 foot Jewish woman desperately fighting frizz, in shoes that pinch.
Favorite stores in Brooklyn?
Mocuin: I have an obsession with Brooklyn Ceramicists. I love the clothes at Kaight, Jumelle and Bird.
You got started in the fashion industry with Nicole Miller. How did you find that position and how was it?
After a stint as the worlds klutziest dental assistant, I just decided I want to work in fashion. I wanted to hangout in Soho which at the time (early 90′s) was still rich in art galleries. I walked around with an almost blank resume and tried to talk to shop managers. Sally at Nicole Miller took a chance on me and I went on to work in a few Soho shops over an 8 year period. It was FUN.
What was working at Prada like?
There are some positive memories, like the time a woman I’d never met before, walked in, kissed me on the mouth and walked out. But mostly, I spent a lot of time quietly weeping in the bathroom.
When did you decide to switch over to the beauty industry and why?
In 2004, my dad asked me if I wanted to start a business. My family had always had small businesses with staffs that stayed for the duration. When my dad told me it was a laser for hair removal, I said “My claim to fame is going to be removing people’s unwanted hair?!” He said, “Why not?”, and so it began. I’d never even been to a spa when I started mine.
Your spa is called Tres Belle. How did you come up with the name and what inspired the TB brand identity?
A friend and I were both unemployed and hand sewing quirky purses. Her last name was Bell and yours truly, Tray. We were Tray-Bell. We made it French boom, spa.
In your eyes, what is the relationship between beauty and fashion?
They do compliment each other in the desire to feel special. However, the spa industry really focuses on wellness and relaxation. It is seriously a dream job.
Favorite beauty treatment:
My love for a good detoxifying facial is immeasurable however, I really think a lash and brow tint are the f’n best. I like the fact that I can wake up looking polished.
What’s next for you?
I’d like to try and create a focus on Brooklyn skincare brands. I am all about community, and abundance.
Written By Ava Donaldson